Let's play a game: myth or fact...
The sun is horrible for you and you need to take extreme measures to avoid it.
Zigii fam, we're here to teach you that not only is the sun your friend but it's also an essential component to your health! It's time we stop fearing the sun, and instead use it for what the universe created it to do... give life!
What are the benefits of sun exposure?
- Who knew exposure to sunlight could help you sleep? Getting sunlight specifically in the morning can improve your circadian rhythm and improve your quality and duration of sleep. There are multiple factors contributing to this benefit of sun exposure.
- Increased levels of serotonin, which works in tandem with melatonin which is your body's natural sleep aid
- If exposed to sunlight early in the morning, it amplifies your morning production of the stress hormone cortisol. Not enough cortisol causes fatigue as well as low blood pressure and multiple other health issues. Exposing your body to cortisol in the morning allows your body to wake up quicker for a full day and in turn a more restful night.
- Light exposure helps regularize patterns of sleep by waking your body up earlier and can help with insomnia
- Exposure to sunlight can help people who suffer from depression because the sun heightens our bodies levels of serotonin, a hormone that boosts mood and increases clarity and calm. Studies have also shown that sunlight helps people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is when one’s mood is determined by the seasons and the amount of sunlight available to them.
Produces Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is widely known as the sunshine vitamin for its amazing benefits when the body is exposed to sunlight directly. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and supports a healthy immune system. The vitamin can be synthesized in the skin through a photosynthetic reaction that is caused by exposure to UVB radiation...cool right? Safe to say this stuff is great for your overall health! Vitamin D also
- Reduces your chance of health disease
- Mitigates your chances of getting the flu
- Reduces the risk of getting multiple sclerosis
- Helps fight depression - vitamin D deficiencies are often found in people who experience depression and anxiety.
- Boosts weight loss because Vitamin D has an appetite suppressant effect
- We often hear about the negatives of sunlight exposure, but sunlight can actually help our bodies fight diseases and sicknesses. Lack of exposure has been a principal indicator to multiple sclerosis in women.
- Multiple sclerosis is a deadly and debilitating diseases in which your immune system breaks down the protective covering of nerves. A recent Harvard study showed that lack of sun exposure and Vitamin D deficiency has been main indicators to this scary disease.
- Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce chances of prostate and breast cancer, rickets, diabetes, and depression.
- Direct exposure to sunlight has also been shown to help with pain relief and support healthy muscles and bones. The process works like this: sunlight provides the body with Vitamin D, Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, calcium is vital to bone health, stronger bones reduce risks of joint pains and arthritis. Calcium is also extremely important to muscle movement and fighting inflammation, keeping pain and body aches at bay.
- Sunlight can also boost immunity through the absorption of Vitamin D. According to the New York Times, “There is now limited but convincing evidence that moderate sunlight exposure is capable of modulating the immune system and improving health.” If you want a natural immunity booster, try spending 15-20 minutes in the sun!
- Exposure to sunlight elevates your mood by boosting serotonin levels, making you calm yet alert.
What are the risks of sun exposure?
- Different from the normal aging process, according to Yale Medicine, “photo-aging happens when ultraviolet light from the sun and/or tanning beds permanently damages the skin’s structure.” If you’re in the sun for a prolonged period of time, you run the risk of quickening the aging process and getting signs like wrinkles, pigmentation changes, rough skin, loss of skin tone, and redness sooner than usual.
- Skin cancer is one of the most dangerous threats from over exposure in the sun and can in some cases be deadly. Over 80% of skin cancer is caused by exposure to sunlight, this happens when the radiation from the sun damages the DNA in your skin cells. The more sunburn you get the worse the damage becomes. It’s also important to note that you don’t necessarily have to get sunburnt in order to get skin cancer...moral of the story, wear your sunscreen!
- Over exposure to sunlight can also severely strain your eyesight. You can develop cataracts, macular degeneration, and potentially eyelid cancer. The best way to avoid this is by wearing protective eyewear.
- We’ve all been there, either by accident or on purpose. Exposure to sunlight can burn your skin when directly in UV rays. The long-term effects of repeated bouts of sunburn include premature wrinkling and an increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer).
Causes Brown Spots
- Brown spots happen when your body produces excess amounts of melanin. This process is sped up by exposure to UV rays.
What are some ways to prevent over exposure to the sun?
1. Always wear sunscreen.
- Apply it on your skin every day. Don't be guilty of only applying to your face like we are. Make it a habit to use it on your whole body, especially your hands and neck.
- SPF values are an unreliable measure of the effectiveness of sunscreens. A good sunscreen will provide equal broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Please be mindful of what sunscreens you're wearing. Ensure that they are safe for our reefs, vegan, and eco-friendly. Here are a few that we love: option 1 and option 2.
2. Avoid sun in the middle of the day, from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The ultraviolet rays, which cause sunburn, are strongest during this time.
3. Wear protective clothing.
- When you go outdoors, especially for long periods in the middle of the day. Long sleeves and slacks, as well as a wide-brimmed hat, help protect your body against the sun's harmful effects.
4. Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.
- This is the perfect opportunity to rock some cute shades while also protecting your eyes.
Conclusion: The Sun isn't that bad after all.
The Zigii Team