Each year as we enter the summer months, we become more and more exposed to sunlight which has a myriad of health benefits but also comes with some dangers. Sun Awareness Week is all about raising awareness to prevent skin cancer and reduce the number of people being burnt each year. This year Sun Awareness Week runs from May 3rd to May 9th.
Benefits of Sunshine
There are many benefits to spending time in the sun, more than just getting a tan!
Increased Serotonin - Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the release of serotonin, a hormone which is associated with improving moods and helping to be calm and focused.
Stronger Bones - Spending time in the sunshine helps to increase your Vitamin D levels which are important for healthy, strong bone growth.
Improved Skin - Light therapy has been used to treat a number of different skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema, and there have been studies done into its benefits on the skin.
Improved Immune System - Sunlight increases Vitamin D levels which are also important to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Dangers of Sun Exposure
Whilst spending time in the sun is very important to promote vitamin D and can increase the release of serotonin it can also be dangerous. The suns ultraviolet rays are capable of seriously damaging your skin, eyes and even your immune system.
- Sunburn - Were you aware that you can be sunburnt after just 15 minutes of exposure to intense sunlight!? Although it can take 2 - 6 hours to show, the skin will redden which can be accompanied by pain and blisters, and you can even get second degree burns.
- Heat Stroke - If you are subjected to long hours of exposure to the sunshine then you could suffer from heat stroke. It can begin with heat cramps, as well as fainting and exhaustion but as it progresses you can become more dehydrated and exhausted from the heat. Your body struggles to regulate its own temperature and it can even cause damage to the brain & internal organs and it can even be fatal.
- Long-term Skin Damage - Extended exposure to the sun can accelerate you skins ageing, producing more wrinkles, dryness and sagging. Also there can be changes in the skins pigments, with age spots appearing and your skin can bruise easier. These adjustments to the skins cells can also lead to skin cancer (the most common form of cancer).
- Dehydration - This occurs when our body is lacking water. When our bodily fluids are unbalanced it leads to dehydration which can cause dizziness, fatigue, thirst, fainting, confusion, dry mouth and it can even be deadly.
This is why it is important to find a good balance of time spent in the sun and also to make sure you protect yourself.
Protect Yourself In The Sun
There are some very simple and easy ways that you can protect yourself whilst you are in the sun:
- Suncream - No doubt you are already aware of how important it is to put your suncream on when you go out for the day and it is hot & sunny. But did you know that you should really be putting suncream on all year round, even when it is cloudy? This is because UV rays can cause damage to your skin even through the clouds.
- Protect Your Lips - Did you know that it is important to protect your lips, not just your skin. You can get special lip balm with SPF
- Find Shade - A tip from Johns Hopkins Medicine is to find shade when your shadow is shorter than you. The sun is at its hottest during the summer between 10am and 4pm.
- Cover Up - Putting on protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses to protect your eyes, wearing long sleeved shirts and trousers to cover your skin. You can check your clothing is UV safe by looking for UPF (UV protection factor) in the labels or just choosing clothes made from tightly woven fabric.
- Avoid Tanning Bed - Spending a lot of time in tanning beds as well as out in the sun you greatly increase your risk of skin cancer and wrinkles.
Sun Worshipper Necklace
As ocean lovers we often find ourselves enjoying a lot of time in the sunshine, in fact I imagine many of us would consider ourselves 'sun worshippers' and as part of sun awareness week we are offering a free Sun Worshipper Necklace to all our customers!
To get your free Sun Worshipper Necklace all you need to do is spend over $20 at OceanHelper.com and the necklace will be added to your card as a free gift!
So not only will you get a free Sun Worshipper Necklace today but 10% of gross profits will be donated to Sea Turtle Conservancy PLUS as always every item purchased saves a sea turtle through the Billion Baby Turtles Project.
1] Health Line - What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?
2] Johns Hopkins Medicine - Sun Safety
3] Revere Health - 5 Dangers of Prolonged Sun Exposure, The Live Better Team (May 2nd 2016)