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Thursday, July 11

walking "in" sunshine

This morning while trolling through my Facebook feed, I felt like I was having my own thoughts read back to me from one of my favorite fashion/pop culture sites. It was a post about Gwyneth Paltrow. It appears that she and I agree on something - the sun and it's benefits. Read about it here.

How can the sun be bad for you?  It is certainly more intense that ever given the effects of global warming, the hole in the ozone layer, climate change, etc. But if you asked me (and you did by reading this page - ha, ha) skin problems related to the sun have more to do with the personal care products and lotions we "bake" on our skin than it does simple sun exposure.  

OK, I admit, I'm no doctor. And I don't even get to play one on TV. But like my friend G-Pal says, we are humans, and the sun is the sun. How can it be that bad for you? We were CREATED to be together - for literally thousands and thousands of years. It's like saying that we should not drink water because it's bad for us. Can't wait for some corporate sports drink to launch that ad campaign. Oh wait, it's called Vitamin Water (and wasn't there some lawsuit pending? hmm). Our bodies are designed to need sun. Sun block is called sun block for a reason. It blocks the sun. I'm tired of skin care companies trying to sell you more products by telling you how bad the sun is for you. They are trying to break a thousand-year old relationship with humans and the sun. If you only knew what was ACTUALLY in your skin care products, you'd want to vomit. But I'll save that post for another day since most of us just had lunch.

Suffice it to say, I think the sun gets a bad rap. For our entire lives, us humans wake up in the morning and shower, slathering ourselves with countless soaps, shampoos, conditioners. Then we dry off and add on shaving cream, lotions, deodorant, perfume, makeup, sunscreen, etc. When we go outside, this stuff bakes into our skin. All those chemicals just cooking in the sun into the largest organ on our body. Do this for countless number of years and tell me again it's the sun's fault. I don't buy it. Its a fact, skin cancer exists, and long term exposure to the sun creates problems, but blaming the sun is a cop-out. Wearing skin products in the sun is like adding gasoline to a fire. But feel free to believe what the skin care companies are telling you. I mean, it's not like they are in it for the money or anything. 

I'm all for sun protection. Believe me, just ask my husband about how neurotic I am about putting sunscreen on our children (natural, toxic-free sunscreen like Badger is our fav) when we go out to the beach or the zoo. If we are going to be outside for long period of time, we use sunscreen, period. The sun is an intense thing and you need to respect it or you'll end up with a bad burn that can and does invite proven skin problems. But the sun by itself isn't the problem. It's what we choose to put on our bodies. Avoiding sun isn't the answer & neither is slathering yourself in SPF 800.

If you want to be your healthiest, select natural body products for you and your family and try to spend some quality time out in the sun - sunscreen free. And relax people! I'm not suggesting laying out in the yard at noon in your swimsuit for an hour. We all know by now that extended sun exposure can cause sun damage to skin. But go for a bike ride for a half hour, take a walk to the mailbox, visit the park, eat outside. Moderation, people.

Do something for a little while outside everyday without a skin barrier, soak up some rays, boost your mood & your health. And feel free to hum "walking on sunshine" while you do.

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