For most of us summer means one thing: a lot of sun. Even those who prefer cooler places in the shade still smile when we see a cloudless sky. And there is an evolutionary reason for this: people need vitamin D.
Vitamin D does all sorts of great things for our health, from maintaining strong, healthy bones to strengthening our moods by preventing seasonal affective disorder – sunshine triggers that Release of serotonin and endorphins, which experts say are as beneficial to our energy level as sport.
From what we know, we know that over-exposure to the sun can seriously damage our skin. By drying out, causing and intensifying wrinkles, the sun can prematurely age our skin. Most importantly, it is a known cause of skin cancer. And yet we need this Vitamin D.
Here are a few perfect tips for the Heatwave to enjoy the good things while keeping the sun damage at bay:
Whatever you do, make sure you do not burn. Depending on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight, you should only do without sunscreen in the first 10 minutes. In this way, your body can get the direct access to the sun it needs to produce vitamin D, but without the negative effects of the UV radiation overkill. But always apply sunscreen before starting to burn.
2. Do not tell the way to the midday sun. That's when his rays are strongest. Your safest bet for a vitamin D dose is before 10 am or after 4 pm. When I have lunch with friends outside, I always go to a table in the shade instead of a sun-drenched spot. And later in the day I will walk the dog with my family under a much gentler sun.
3. Learn your best SPF number (and always remember to reapply). There is no perfect number for anyone, as our skin differs in pigment and genetics. Some of us make vitamin D faster than others, while some of us burn faster, and the only way to know what your skin needs is to play it safe and then experiment with small amounts of exposure. There is a tricky balancing act to getting the right amount of vitamin D and still protecting yourself. So listen to your body and how it responds to both needs. Do it and you will have a smart, safe and healthy summer – every year.