Is sunlight or sun exposure good or bad for you ?


Increasingly, people are getting more conscious about their skin care. They are turning to natural and organic products that come from the earth instead of synthetic products that are difficult to cleanse out of the body.

A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology found that people who get more sunlight also have significantly higher levels of vitamin D. This is because vitamin D is produced in your body when exposed to sunlight.

Experts say that 1hr in the sun can provide your skin with enough vitamin D to make up for a whole day. So if you want to reap all the benefits, it’s important to be outside as often as possible in order to get a dose of sunshine.

Sunlight has countless benefits, from providing you with Vitamin D, which helps your immune system, and reducing inflammation to improving mood.

However, exposing yourself to sunlight in a reckless way or without the appropriate knowledge and protection can also have huge risks that could affect your health in the worst possible ways:

Risks of too much sun exposure:

There are many benefits of sunlight on the body, but it is important to be mindful of potential risks as well. In fact, it has been found that sun exposure can result in a number of health risks. For example, UV light leads to skin cancer.

Uv light is the main culprit for skin damage and sunburns. UVB rays have been shown to cause DNA mutations that lead to the development of skin cancer. UVA rays are less intense but more prevalent in sunlight, which can cause photoaging.

Photoageing on the other hand is the premature or early ageing of your skin that can be caused by different factors. However, it can also be caused by the repetitive and continuous exposure to the sun without taking any preventative measures like sunscreen, or wearing hats, etc.

Check out our article about the early ageing of skin and how to combat it in different ways if that’s one of your daily struggles and worries.

Another one of the most critical risks of UV light is sunburn which reduces your lifespan in a way that you cannot see until it’s too late. The other risks of UV light from sunlight are cataracts, which can be caused after long exposure to the sun or even blue light from electronic devices.

Either way, the darker your tan is, the longer you can spend outside without worrying about sunburns and sun damage.

Ways we can Benefit From Sunlight:

Regardless of all the risks listed above, it is important that you make sure your body gets enough sun exposure each day and that would be 1 hour a day to be safe. This is because it can help with things like mood regulation, fatigue management, pain relief, sleep improvements and more.

Below is a list of important benefits we can get and absorb thanks to a moderate and protected exposure to sunlight:

1) UV-B rays – Helps kill acne-causing bacteria and slows down aging by preventing wrinkles and fine lines.

2) Vitamin D – Helps with bones, immunity, cancer prevention and blood sugar regulation.

3) Beta-Carotene – It helps protect against cancer because it converts in to vitamin A which is a potent antioxidant in the body.

4) Vitamin E – It helps protect against heart disease, build up tissue elasticity and reduces redness or skin irritation.

More benefits:

In a recent study, researchers from Uppsala University found that low doses of UVB radiation can increase levels of serotonin in mice brains. It also causes an increase in production of endorphins in the brain which are associated with happiness and contentment.

The study further found that these benefits were linked to increased expression of genes for receptors for dopamine, which also leads to increased expression levels in various brain areas involved with regulating positive emotions such as pleasure and reward.

This means that you’re more likely to become a high-functioning, positive and optimistic individual in your day-to-day life by exposing your self to sunlight, when done properly and in moderate amounts of time. There is even a hypothesis that the sun-induced vitamin D could lower the risk of developing depression and dementia.

The right amount of time to spend in the sun:

Like explained before; the way to expose yourself to sunlight should not be reckless. You should make sure you stay hydrated to avoid the dangerous effects of dehydration on your health, put on sunscreen and stay no longer than 1 hour but definitely more than 10 minutes in the sun.

People that stay indoors all day and each day have a higher risk for depression compared to those who get over 10 minutes of sun exposure per day.

Bottom line:

The benefits of sunlight for the body are well-documented, but many people still don’t get enough exposure to it. The key is not to be in the sun for more than 1 hour at a time and to use a sunscreen when you’re in the sun, especially if you have fair or sensitive skin 

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