Ah the sun, we either love or hate it! Some of us just can’t wait to get every inch of their bodies covered in a deep suntan – while others actively strive to avoid it by staying indoors and covering up their skin.
The ancient healing practice of sunbathing (quite different to sunbaking!) has been used to improve wellbeing, maintain high states of health and to fight common illnesses by boosting immunity. Primitive tribes recognised the power of the sun and its life giving properties.
Some benefits of sunbathing:
- It’s antiseptic and antibacterial.
- It helps to support the immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells.
- It induces sweating enabling the body to release toxins.
- It supports the circulation system, activates the production of red blood cells and enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues.
- It contributes to the production of endorphins helping us to feel happier.
- One of the biggest benefits is the Vitamin D we can produce, manufactured from cholesterol in the skin, from being in the sub, Research shows that blood levels of Vitamin D last two to three times longer if it’s imbibed from the sun.
Sunbathing needs to start slowly, then gradually increased. Just a few minutes might be enough to begin with.
Looking after your skin:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Gradually expose your skin to the sun in short bursts, morning sun is best.
- Don’t wear sunglasses, as it blocks light getting into the eyes.
- Include plenty of antioxidant rich foods in your diet.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun.
- Always wear a sun cream and moisturise after exposure.
- Practice the art of dry skin brushing.
Effects of artificial tanning
UV, or ultra violet rays are the harmful “ingredient” in sunlight, causing the skin to tan. However, they can also lead to problems such as skin cancer. Tanning beds use this type of artificial light to produce the “perfect tan”. What people fail to realise is that artificial tanning increases their chances of skin cancer and even eye damage.