Sun: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Even with the abundance of knowledge on the effects of the sun on our skin, many are still guilty of not protecting their skin from the sun. It’s truly astonishing how smart people can knowingly be harming themselves, their body, and health. You can say the same thing for people who are obese but can’t stop eating even though they know that they are only killing themselves faster.

 

The sun can do a number on our skin. The worst and most feared is skin cancer. There are a few different kinds, but the worst is malignant melanoma. It may be the least common but it can appear anywhere on your body. It has the ability to spread to your organs and lymph nodes. Your liver, lungs, and brain can all be at risk. It should be diagnosed as early as possible so the tumor doesn’t have as much time to get bigger or spread. Sunlight is also a major cause of signs of aging, like wrinkles. You don’t have to be old to have wrinkles, you just need to have enough UV ray exposure. The best way to prevent the damage is by covering up and wearing a wide-brimmed hat but since that isn’t always possible, you should wear sunscreen every day, even if it’s not sunny. The best way to make sunscreen a part of your routine is by buying makeup with SPF already in it. By doing this, you won’t need to add an extra step to your routine every morning. If you don’t usually wear any makeup, then you should apply a moisturizer with SPF.

 

Now that we spoke about the worst-case scenario, we can discuss why the sun is also good for us. The sun is a free mood enhancer, being outdoors in the sunlight can boost your mood since sunlights increases serotonin levels. Seratonin is associated with an improved mood, so more serotonin, therefore, means happier days. Getting outside may also be able to relieve stress. Simply walking your dog in the sun can almost be therapeutic and calm your nerves.

Sunlight also improved your quality of sleep because the amount of sunlight you get during the day directly correlates with how much melatonin your brain produces at night. Think about the days spent on the beach or outside. Don’t you usually sleep very well those nights? That’s because the sunlight allowed your brain to produce a lot of melatonin which helped you sleep better.

 

The most subtle benefit from sunlight is vitamin D. You only need about 15 minutes in the sun each day to get your daily amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. If you don’t want to go outside or there’s not much sun, I recommend taking a vitamin D supplement. I recommend them to most people that I meet with. It’s important for you to protect your skin. Most of the damage can be prevented by applying sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapplied after 2 hours.

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