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It’s been a glorious summer with many beautiful sunny days to enjoy outside. Whether your gardening, hiking, taking in the beauty that is the inner harbor or just sitting outside visiting with friends and family it’s important to understand and exercise good sun hygiene. What exactly does that mean? It’s simple. Let’s protect your biggest organ, your skin!

Now of course we want some exposure to the sun, as it’s very important that we all ensure our Vitamin D levels are within range. Now in order to absorb the sun we don’t need to spend huge amounts of time outside (Read this: we don’t need to burn!) in order to receive the ultraviolet B rays (UVB) from the sun required to produce Vit D naturally. Depending on where in the world you live anywhere from 10-30 minutes per day may suffice. Many factors will influence this. For example if you are only allowing your forearms out in the sun then you risk burning that area before your body can produce enough Vit D, whereas if you laid down and exposed the skin on your entire back you would require less time outside. During the fall and winter it can be extremely beneficial to supplement with Vit D3 such as one by Natural Factors (in an olive oil base) to ensure your Vit D levels don’t drop. If you are unsure of what your Vit D levels are then ask your Dr for a test or visit to request information as it relates to available Vit D testing options.

Let’s check out some of the top tips to keep your skin happy and healthy during these hot summer days:

1. Familiarize yourself with the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 guide to safe sunscreens. By the same group that brought you the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” comes another great resource to ensure that the sunscreen you’re using on yourself and your family is exempt of any nasty chemicals or fillers that could potentially aggravate your skin. TIP: Both ‘Goddess Garden’ and ‘Badger’ are clean sunscreens that you can pick up at your local Lifestyles Market shops!
2. Don’t wait until your outside! Put sunscreen on before you’ve fully dressed to ensure you haven’t missed any important spots. Also be mindful of how water (from a lake or pool!) or even sweat can start to wear down the effectiveness of a sunscreen. Don’t be afraid to re-apply.
3. Date check! When’s the last time you checked the expiry date of your sunscreens? Hmm, not sure? Do it now in case you need to stock up on some fresh products.
4. Hats! Make a fashion statement while simultaneously protecting one of your greatest assets, your head. You could go with a ball cap however a Tilley hat or something similar with definitely provide you with some additional ear, shoulder and upper neck sun protection.
5. Watch the clock. The suns rays are particularly powerful during the periods from 10-11am up until 3-4pm. If you have to be outside during these times then don’t forget about the tips above to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Well my sun seekers, I hope you find some sun this weekend and avoid any sunburns!

PS. If you do, aloe Vera gel is a wonderful product to apply topically to support any redness or heat you may receive.

Create a great day everyone.

Cordelia McFadyen, R.H.N.
Inspired Living Nutrition Inc.

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