All of June is designated as National Cancer from the Sun month to educate Americans about the dangers of being outside unprepared. Did you know that the most common cancer in the US is skin cancer? This is something to think about while we are gearing up to celebrate the independence of our country on July 4th. Additionally, it may be no coincidence that the day before Independence Day, July 3rd, is designated Stay Out of the Sun Day. This is an awareness day that urges Americans to take care of their health by either staying indoors or in the shade during the hot summer months. Knowing that on the 4th, most of us will be barbecuing, swimming in the pool, or tanning at the beach, the day before is a great time to stay out of the sun and take care of our skin.
We should know by now the importance of protecting ourselves from the sun. There are various health and beauty concerns from being out in the sun without protection. From freckles to moles that can change the appearance of our face, to serious health issues, such as skin cancer, it’s important to educate ourselves about staying sun safe.
If you want to prevent skin cancer, you don’t have to stay completely out of the sun. In fact, we do need daily exposure to sunlight to get our daily dose of Vitamin D, which improves our immune system and prevents osteoporosis by helping us absorb calcium better. According to WebMD, there may be many other benefits from Vitamin D that are currently being studied, such as lowering blood pressure and possibly preventing certain types of cancers. While it is possible to get a required dose by taking liquid supplements of Vitamin D3 (doses vary upon age and geographic location), the best way to get is through direct exposure from the sun. This is no way promotes tanning for long periods of time, but being outside for a short duration such as fifteen minutes, to soak up the sun’s rays will definitely increase the levels of Vitamin D in our bodies. Other than that short timeframe, it is wise to protect yourself from the ultraviolet rays of the sun with these tips:
- Wear Protective Clothing – The worst time to be outside is roughly between 10am and 4pm, when the sun is right above us. If you don’t want to stay indoors, make sure to wear protective clothing to shield your face and skin from the sun. Necessities are a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB rays, and long-sleeve shirts or rash guards.
- Use Sunscreen – Other than the fifteen minutes you need to adjust your Vitamin D levels, you should wear a broad-spectrum, waterproof sunblock to protect yourself from skin cancer. Research has shown that some popular sunscreen brands actually contain dangerous toxins, so do your research before applying. Most sunscreens absorb the chemicals into your skin, spreading it to other organs. However, sunblock with zinc oxide don’t get penetrated into the skin, while still protecting us from the sun. Choose a brand that is SPF 30 or higher!
- Eat a Healthy Diet – Certain foods can actually either prevent or help you heal a sunburn. For example, “pomegranates are a rich source of ellagic acid, which can help protect your skin from UVA- and UVB-induced cell damage, according to research from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University,” reports Prevention.com. Other healthy alternatives include green tea, guavas and tomatoes.
- Use Caution – Aside from staying in the shade whenever possible, and staying indoors during the times that the sun’s rays are the strongest, use caution when you are around water, snow or sand. These light surfaces actually reflect the sun, and will significantly increase your chances of getting burned.
- Use Aloe Vera – If you failed to protect yourself and got sunburned, help your skin recover by applying natural substances, such as Dr. Willard’s Aloe Vera Gel. Consider using Dr. Willard’s Aloe Gel after a bad burn to help your skin revive, revitalize, and get moisturized. Many people have reported seeing faster recovery with the use of this product, made with all natural ingredients.
Dr. Willard’s urges you to have a happy Fourth of July, while staying sun smart. Protect yourself and your family members by seeking shade when possible, or otherwise using sunblock and protective clothing.