How do you protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, while still gaining the benefits? We need sun exposure for our body to make vitamin D and sunlight helps our body set the proper circadian rhythm, allowing us to sleep better at night; however, excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of cancer and cause premature aging of the skin. In addition, many of the sunscreens available include harmful chemicals, including the following:
- Oxybenzene, which disrupts hormone levels and mimics estrogen in the body.
- Octinoxate, which has been shown to negatively affect the reproductive system and thyroid activity in animals.
To help avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, I like to protect myself and my family from the inside out. We eat high levels of antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and blueberries. We also supplement with an antioxidant, astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure. There are other benefits to astaxanthin, including: reducing pain and inflammation, promoting recovery and endurance for athletes, and supporting eye health. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of astaxanthin, as well as the proper supplementation protocol, please contact me.
Keep in mind that there are times that still call for sunscreen, such as long hours in the water or at high altitude. Choose you sunscreen wisely using the EWG Sunscreen Guide and enjoy the sunshine!