With rising temperatures and the sun lingering on longer, our behavior starts shifting. We begin rolling up our sleeves, opting for skirts or shorts instead of our pants and start spending more time outside. The park becomes our friend, outdoor cafés, rooftop bars, kids’ playground… Basically anywhere and everywhere we can peel away those layers of clothing and enjoy some of those long-awaited sun rays we’ve been longing for all winter.
During the last couple of decades there has been some expert disagreement as to how much we should protect our skin from the sun. Some experts encourage you to block the skin completely from the sun, others say using excessive sunblock might have negative effects on your health, decreasing production and absorption of vitamin-D. Vitamin-D is a fat-soluble vitamin vital for healthy bones, good mental health and judging by recent research, essential for healthy arteries and weight stability. Some research also shows that people with low vitamin-D levels have an increased risk of developing Type II Diabetes.
According to experts, bare face, arms and legs exposed for 7 minutes 2x a week in the sun should be enough for the skin to produce sufficient vitamin-D to keep up with the body’s needs.
Let’ s face it, most of us might only get that sun exposure for 1-2 months a year, maybe. So apart from the “sun-protection vs. no-sun-protection dispute” I suggest you supplement with some vitamin-D on a regular basis, especially during the winter months.
The sun can act as our friend, encouraging our skin to produce essential vitamin- D and the health benefits that follow, but it can also cause damage to our skin if we’re not careful.
Environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoke, pollution as well as extreme weather conditions can cause oxidative stress to the body, resulting in (amongst other things) premature aging.
Giving your skin a little TLC is important all-year-round but especially during those summer months. Yes, a little sun is healthy for the skin, but it’s important to remember the potentially damaging and irreversible effects it has.
Bare face, arms and legs exposed for 7 minutes 2x a week in the sun. Fine, but for our skin’s sake, we’re going to add some sunscreen to the equation and supplement with some daily vitamin-D.
There are also some excellent ways to protect the skin from within by e.g. adding some curcuma (or turmeric) as well as astaxanthin to our diet.
Curcuma has been long known for its anti-inflammatory effects and for being a potent anti-carcinogenic agent. It has also been used for centuries as a natural sun protector. There are different ways of adding curcuma to your diet e.g. by preparing some fresh juice at home with some curcuma root, fresh ginger, lemon, apples and some fresh cantaloupe for a glowing skin juice that you will surely get addicted to. Curcuma powder as well as capsules, are available at most health food stores.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment found in red algae, thought to support joint and skeletal health as well as acting as an antioxidant, strengthening the skin’s barriers and protecting our skin from within. Adding astaxanthin supplements to your diet a month before and then during sun exposure will give your skin better resistance as well as giving your complexion a beautiful glow.
My favorite Skyn Iceland product this summer is Icelandic Moisture SPF 30. From a nutritionist’s and a skincare enthusiast’s point a view, not all sunscreen is created equal. Skyn Iceland’s Icelandic Moisture SPF 30 protects the skin from sun exposure, pollution, smoke and harsh weather conditions whilst hydrating and treating stressed skin. This deeply nourishing daily moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 30 also contains a hefty dose of age-fighting organic extracts to help repair and minimize signs of accelerated aging, without the compromising ingredients so many sunscreens contain. I won’t be leaving the house without it this summer.
Just add sunglasses (supporting eye health as well as keeping your eyes from peering, adding to those pesky crow’s feet) and you’re ready to play it safe in the sun!
Rakel is a nutritionist and health educator, focusing on individual consultation, public lectures on nutrition and health as well as health promotion in the workplace. She also teaches pilates, studies psychology and practices mindful meditation for a balanced body & mind.
Rakel is also a bit of a skincare nut and would only ever recommend products that she believes in and would use herself. Having tried a million different products throughout her life Skyn Iceland is absolutely one of her favorites. Rakel believes that your beauty and true awesomeness will shine through if you keep your nutrition balanced, have an optimal fitness level, be true to your values and do what makes you happy. A little Skyncare will just add to that beauty coming from within.