I recommend soaking up as much of the sun’s rays as you can this summer.
I always advise spending at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun every day (and strive to gradually increase this duration over time). It’ll boost your vitamin D levels, protecting you against almost every chronic disease that afflicts Americans today.
My one caveat: Don’t buy into the overblown concerns about skin cancer…
We now know what really caused the increase in deadly melanoma skin cancer observed in recent decades. It was not due to sun exposure.
In fact, a recent French statistical analysis clearly links the rise in melanoma death rates to an outdated medical practice used during the 20th century, not from getting more sun on the beach. This practice involved exposing children to extensive, whole-body ultraviolet radiation for supposed health benefits, hence the spike in melanoma rates we’re currently seeing in older adults.
Thankfully, this deadly practice was put to an end by the 1950s — and skin cancer rates are now actually falling among today’s aging baby boomers, who were not subjected to this dangerous medical treatment.
And the same downward trend has been evident in every generation that’s followed. (Which, in my opinion, expose more and more skin as fashion evolves. And yet somehow the price increases, while the amount of fabric shrinks…)
The bottom line: Go ahead and soak it all up this summer.
When you should slather on the sunscreen
I’m sure there will be times when you’re out in the sun for much longer than 15 minutes. And if you haven’t yet developed a deep tan from gradual sun exposure, or have light skin pigmentation, you probably should use sunscreen for these longer exposures to avoid a sunburn.
Of course, when it comes to types of sunscreen, many of the products on the market unfortunately contain harmful chemicals, as I’ve reported before. But making your own with zinc — one of Nature’s mineral treasures — is a great alternative. Zinc absorbs ultraviolet rays, has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes skin healing and provides a barrier to water.
Here’s a great recipe I’ve found to be effective and non-irritating:
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup shea butter
2 tablespoons zinc oxide
1 tablespoons beeswax
10 drops of essential oil, like lavender or vanilla (NOT citrus-based oils, as they can bring about a phototoxic reaction)
1.) In a double boiler, melt coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax together until liquid.
2.) Stir in zinc oxide and essential oil.
3.) Pour carefully into a jar, and let it cool for at least two hours.
4.) Secure lid and store in a cool, dry place.
This recipe makes six ounces, which should be enough to cover your whole body. And you can find all the ingredients quite easily on the internet, at your local pharmacy, or health food store.
Twenty percent zinc oxide yields an effective SPF of about 20. This amount will protect against over 90 percent of the sun’s rays for as long as you need it.
When you’re at the beach, apply this sunscreen once every hour, since sun rays at the beach are much stronger due to reflection off the sand and water.
A simple test to see if you’re burning is to push down on your skin. If it blanches to a much lighter color, it’s time to apply skin protection — whether it be SPF, light clothing, a hat, sunglasses, or moving into the shade.
So get active, get outside, and enjoy the relaxing benefits Nature provides. Just know when to bring out the reinforcements.
Above all else, stay safe and have fun in the sun!
“A Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe that Works,” DIY Natural (www.diynatural.com)