Spending time outdoors offers many benefits to one’s health and well-being. It promotes physical activity and has been shown to reduce stress levels. However, being outdoors exposes your skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun. These rays can be extremely harmful in large amounts. With summer quickly approaching, it’s important to understand how we can enjoy a day outside while still protecting our skin.
Sunlight And You
Benefits Of Spending Time Outdoors
While precautions should be taken in order to enjoy sunlight in a safe manner, there are many health benefits to spending time outside and absorbing sunlight. Here are 3 reasons you should go outside and safely enjoy the sun:
- Helps Improve Sleep: The reason we begin to get sleepy when it’s dark outside is because the body produces a chemical called melatonin. Research indicates that spending an hour a day in natural sunlight can help you sleep better. Sunshine plays a role in your body’s circadian rhythm by telling your body when it should increase and decrease melatonin levels. This suggests that exposing your skin to sunlight every day will help your body produce melatonin in the nighttime.
- Supports Strong Bones: The main way we get vitamin D is through sunlight. For most people, 15 minutes of sunlight is adequate time to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D. This vitamin is important to our health as it helps the body maintain calcium levels and prevents brittle, thin or misshapen bones.
- Can Help Fight Depression: It’s not a coincidence that we feel happier and rejuvenated after spending time outdoors. Sunshine increases your body’s levels of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves mood and keeps you calm. Many people suffer from seasonal depression and increased exposure to sunlight on a daily basis may help ease the symptoms. Even if you don’t suffer from any form of depression, spending time in the sun can still be beneficial by improving your overall mood.
Dangers Of Excessive Sunlight
Despite the benefits of sunlight, excessive amounts of sunlight can also be harmful. Absorbing large quantities of UV rays without the proper protection can lead to a sunburn. UV rays penetrate the outer layers of skin but can eventually reach the inner layers, causing deep, painful sunburns. Additionally, frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays over the years can lead to skin cancer which can cause serious health complications.
How To Protect Your Skin In The Sun
- Take Advantage Of Shade: Shade structures provide protection from harmful UV rays while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors. You can use an umbrella or tent to create your own shade, or find a large tree to take cover under.
- Clothing: Picking the right clothing can help protect you from the sun. The best protection is provided by long sleeve shirts or bottoms that cover most of your skin. Many sportswear companies produce light, breathable clothing that offers UV protection. It’s also essential to bring a hat and a pair of sunglasses to protect your face and vision.
- Sunscreen: If instructions are followed correctly, sunscreen can offer reliable protection under the sun for several hours. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. You want to choose a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and cover all parts of your body that will be exposed to the sun.
Facial Rejuvenation To Improve Skin
Unfortunately, people don’t always take the proper precautions when enjoying the outdoors in the summer. Over the years, this can damage skin by making it lose some of its elasticity, creating sunspots, and increasing wrinkles. This is especially prominent in places like South Florida where the sun is very strong. At BioCure, we offer facial rejuvenation with a non-surgical facelift. Our platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment for the face is one of the best skin treatments available for wrinkle reduction and scar removal. Contact us today for a renewed and more youthful appearance to your skin.