Out in the sun, on a “Spring” day

We’re heading towards having the hottest winter’s day on record this week here in the UK.

With this, many are flocking outside to soak up some sun, some with protection, and some will go without and will perhaps regret it later when they find they’ve gotten burnt.

Is climate change to blame? Who knows.

The problem is many are simply not used to such levels of sunshine, not since last summer. For myself I’m out on my bike most days for an hour or more so I think I have built a greater level of natural protection than those who have been in full hibernation. This isn’t to to say I shouldn’t take care, or that my skin won’t catch the sun if I spend ‘too long’ outside.

But how should we protect ourselves?

1) We could simply not over-do it; have time outside in small doses based on the levels of sunshine and how much sun we are used to.

2) We could keep covered up; don’t dive into the sleeveless clothing just yet; wear a sun hat or sunglasses to protect the eyes.

3) We could slap on sun cream/screen, as has been the advice in the media today.

But is this all good advice?

I prefer to keep myself used to the outdoors by spending some time outside all year round, this not only helps with the sun, but allergies too.

The problem with covering up, either with hats, sunglasses, clothing or sun cream, is that doing so limits our own bodies’ ability to increase its own protection. Vitamin D absorption will be reduced by covering up in any form or staying indoors, and from my understanding it is Vitamin D that is responsible for our natural protection.

Some have even gone as far as to say that suncream is responsible for skin cancer, due to the chemicals used in it, aluminium being one of them.

I have also heard it said that sun glasses limit our body’s response to the sun; not only does the brain receive less of a signal that there is bright sun because our eyes are shaded, but that the eyes would naturally absorb Vitamin D.

Below I’ll list a couple of Youtube videos you might want to watch in order to understand the various points of view a little better.

By keeping our Vitamin D levels “topped up” we can help our body throughout the winter months when many of us are prone to the “winter blues”, due in part, I believe, to levels running low.

I’ve seen some others talking about this topic but I no longer have the links.

4 comments

  1. For some balance consider reputable organisations who follow current medical studies and provide references:
    https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/10-myths-about-sun-protection.html
    You may have mixed up your metals, as sunscreen typically has titanium or zinc which continues to be assessed for safety:
    https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/nanoparticles-and-sunscreen.html
    Aluminium is more often associated with deodorants, again current evidence supports their safe use:
    https://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk/science-and-research/background-briefings/aluminium-salts/
    https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/cancermyths/deodorants-breast-myth/
    Even so, being cautious, deodorant is much less essential than sunscreen and we have choice to avoid it.

    Getting enough vitamin D requires only small amounts of sun exposure, incidental exposure is enough and typically only a worry for people who don’t go outside during the day.

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