It can be difficult to find the appropriate balance between sun exposure and sun protection. Our body’s natural circadian rhythms are dependent on the daily cycle of light and dark. There are several benefits to appropriately timed exposure to sunlight, such as a healthy mood state and better sleep. Of course, sunlight also allows the skin to produce vitamin D. On the other hand, excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun causes skin damage, increases skin cancer risk, and damages the eyes. Starting from childhood, every single sunburn you’ve ever had has increased your risk of skin cancer a little more. To limit your risk, it’s important to prevent future sunburns from occurring.
Recent research has raised concerns about certain sunscreen ingredients. In this position paper, Dr. Fuhrman explains the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens and how to choose a safe and effective sunscreen.
In addition to shade, protective clothing, and sunscreen, high-nutrient foods can provide some extra protection against the UV damage that leads to wrinkling and skin cancer. Certain classes of phytochemicals have been found to prevent DNA damage in skin cells due to sun exposure.
Preventing skin cancer is the most important issue when it comes to sun protection, but there are cosmetic advantages to limiting sun exposure too; UV rays promote skin aging and wrinkling. Being safe about sun exposure will keep your skin healthier and looking younger.