Posted by: medica...the healing arts, LLC | June 23, 2019

Summer – fun in the sun

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Summer is the time to get outside.  Enjoy the sunshine.  Soak up the warmth.

Summer is not the time to neglect your skin or damage it with sunburn.

Casual exposure to the sun has a moderate beneficial impact.  This includes the production of vitamin D by the body. However, excessive exposure to UV rays has detrimental health effects.  These include possible sunburn,   skin cancer,  a depressed immune system function and increased risk of accelerated aging.

If you plan to be in the sun, please consider these health tips.

Please remember to exfoliate your skin prior to sunbathing.  You will develop a more even tan and your skin will be healthier.  Many times,  we do not exfoliate prior to tanning.  Instead, we tan over layers upon layers of dead skin cells.  This makes your tan uneven and dull. You also may not notice how quickly you are burning since the dead cells are not as translucent.

Exfoliating your skin once a week is a good practice throughout the year.  Your skin is the largest organ of your body and equally important when it comes to metabolic processes.

There are many products on the market for exfoliating.

However, you can  make your own at home.  Organic coconut oil with raw brown sugar is the easiest.  Simply mix both parts into a fluid paste.  You will not want the mixture to be too dry, because it will be too harsh to your skin.  You will also not want the mixture to be extremely fluid, because then it will not be caustic enough to remove multiple layers of dead skin.  The mixture should be paste-like, formed,  but still have a sheen from the oil.  Sugar is much less caustic to the skin than dead sea salt, but you will still want to follow immediately with a ph toner spritz and a generous layer of coconut oil to hydrate.

It is very important to repeat this process throughout the Summer.  At times, we do not like to exfoliate while tanning.  However, you are setting yourself up for dry, itchy, flaky, dull skin come September.

To exfoliate while you tan also keeps your immune system healthy.

When we tan our skin, we also kill and harden the first layers of the dermis.  After a short time, this will act like a shell.  Your immune system excretes metabolic toxins through your skin each day.  As you tan and make the skin tougher, your skin becomes less efficient at excreting the toxins.  Therefore, your immune system begins to work harder and harder to diminish the toxins.  By September, your fatigued immune system fails against seasonal viruses.

What can you do to tan and keep healthy?

First, respect the Sun’s affect on your skin.  Whether you are a user of sunscreens, cover your skin for protection or sit under shade — you must always be aware of how much you are over-exposing your skin to harmful UV rays.  I do not promote one protection agenda  over any other.  Use whatever you think best for your health, but please protect your skin from burning.  Sunburn is a serious matter to both young and old.  Skin cancers can be avoided by protecting and caring for your skin while outside. And as discussed earlier, do not over-tan your skin so as to lessen it’s ability to promote your wellness.

Second, exfoliate your skin every week.  I know this is not popular to some because it will diminish your tan.  But in the long run, you will be healthier and your skin will stay younger-looking.  Nothing makes you look older than over-tanned skin.  Over the years, it becomes very hard, leathery and dull in color.  And it should.  That is the skin’s  natural defense to tanning.  It darkens as the melanin rises to protect from the UV rays.  The pores diminish and collapse from dehydration.  This makes your skin lose it elasticity and it looks leather-like in appearance.  The more years you tan, the harder it is to regain a supple skin appearance and it’s ability to maintain a healthy immune system.

Lastly, remember to hydrate.  If you plan to be outside and in the sun, don’t forget water.  Not soda, not alcohol, not caffeine drinks — water.  Water is the only thing that hydrates your skin efficiently.  Not even juice helps as much as water.  So if you plan to be by the pool with a “little umbrella drink” or at a BBQ for some sun in the sun, please remember to drink 8 0z of water for every 4 oz of alcohol or caffeinated beverage.  Coconut water is extremely hydrating , but not very tasty by itself.   You will want to mix it with some berries or fruit pulp for taste.

Recipes for infused water:

Infused water with herbs:

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