Now that it’s summertime, we here in NYC have been reacquainted with our old elusive friend: the sun. The winter seemed to drag on forever, but now we’re reunited and it feels so good. Or does it? Every summer seems to inspire a new onslaught of scary articles and news stories about how the sun can ruin your skin and cause cancer. But how can something we love so much be so bad for us? Other experts say the sun is, in fact, beneficial for weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and increasing overall happiness. Should you slather on that SPF and buy a bigger sunhat or soak up the sun is the question…
We can say with authority that after a harsh winter, the warmth and brightness the sun has brought definitely makes us happier. Who could possibly disagree? The sun is out and closer to us also means trips to the beach, the pool, bikinis, barbecues, fireworks, and all of the other amazing spoils of summer. Turns out it’s not just us: scientists say that sun exposure boosts serotonin levels–a.k.a. the “happy hormone.” It’s also been proven that the sunshine can alleviate depression. We also suggest working out in the sun, as it will produce more endorphins than getting physical indoors.
It gets even better: the sun accounts for the majority of our intake of Vitamin D, which helps our bones absorb calcium, boost the metabolism, and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. A lack of Vitamin D can cause depression, weight gain, diabetes, MS, and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Many doctors say these benefits far outweigh the risk of getting skin cancer. Doctors suggest getting at least ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure–SPF free–three times a week in the Spring and Summer. Without SPF? Yes, otherwise your skin won’t absorb the beneficial rays properly. If it’s only for a few minutes, you won’t burn. Sun exposure has also been found to increase fertility, relieve aches and pains, and boost energy levels.
So what’s the dilemma? Well, we all know excessive sun exposure can potentially result in skin cancer. It can also cause premature wrinkles and aging, sunspots, burns, etc. Despite all of the health benefits the sun can provide us, it’s true that too much of a good thing ceases to be good. The number of sunburns someone sustains throughout their life could determine whether or not they get sun cancer. People with blond or red hair, as well as freckles, fair skin, and males, tend to be more prone to sun cancer than others. Whether or not you fit the physical description, it’s still important to protect yourself with broad spectrum SPF. If you’re fair and very prone to sunburn, ensure you will not be vulnerable to the negative effects of the sun by wearing a floppy hat and a long beach cover up to protect your skin. Wear an SPF of 30 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection.
SPF is critical not only for preventing cancer but also for delaying signs of aging. While this is nowhere near as important as preventing skin cancer, it is nevertheless important to care for your skin, as it is the biggest organ in your body. While freckles can be cute, they can be a precursor to cancer in rare cases or give way to age spots, which are incredibly difficult to get rid of. We recommend that if you spent too much time in the sun and are just now seeing the effects of it; schedule an appointment for a skin rejuvenation treatment. Our eTwo machine will reduce fine lines and age spots in just one session.
So, is the sun a friend or foe to skincare? The truth is, probably a little bit of both, but more of a friend in the end. Just keep in mind that if you’re going through laser hair removal treatments, you must limit your exposure to the sun so you won’t tan. Otherwise, try to get some sunshine for a little bit every day (weather permitting) if you can. Not only will it reduce the probability of heart disease, MS, diabetes, depression, and obesity, but it will boost your energy and make you happier. It’s no wonder that we feel better in the summer–turns out it’s not just the beach, beautiful sunsets, or cotton candy–the sun really does boost those happy hormones. So be smart and wear your SPF and protect your skin as much as you can without sacrificing a beautiful day.