Vacationing in the Sun?
Dermatologists, the media and even estheticians alike have been singing a script of “Cover up, sunscreen up and avoid the sun.” Our sunscreen obsession, my friends has NOT reduced the occurrence of melanoma. It has instead correlated with an increase of vitamin D deficient individuals which also means weakened immune systems. Here’s what I recommend instead: Prevent, Protect and Correct without sacrificing your sun time and Vitamin D levels.
- 10 minutes in the sun WITHOUT sunscreen or sunglasses– Getting unblocked sun rays for 10 minutes will give you a much needed boost of vitamin D production. When you also forego the sunglasses, your optic nerves of your eyes sense sunlight, your pituitary gland produces hormones that act as boosters for your melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color and protection against sunburn. Our pediatrician even recommended 10 minutes bare arms and legs with no sunscreen for our newborn because he sees first hand how important Vitamin D levels are for life-long health.
- Quality sunscreen with manual sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide – You definitely don’t want to slather sunscreen on your entire body that has an ingredient list a mile long. More manual blocks such as zinc oxide and less chemicals like oxybenzone are less damaging to the skin, and to your endocrine system. One of my favorites for the whole family is Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen broad spectrum SPF 50 uva + uvb.
- Boost your immune system. It is my opinion that your immune system is more important for avoiding developing melanoma, than religiously applying chemical ridden skin-damaging sunscreen. Vitamin D levels, antioxidant intake such as vitamin C, quality refrigerated probiotics and reducing sugar and processed foods are just some ways to boost your own immune system.
- Hat or visor up. Simply wearing a hat or visor will help reduce the darkening or the forming of sun damage on your face.
- Correcting Sun Damage – We’ve all done some damage in our lives to our skin. That damage surfaces as sun or age spots around 15 years after the damage has occurred, beginning to show typically in our mid-30’s. Luckily we have tools to combat this sun damage so we don’t have to cake on the foundation and powder just to leave the house. My chemical peels and professional brightening products will help lighten up sun damage to even out skin tone. For quicker results there are daily brightening serums and it is critical to use a professional daily moisturizer with SPF. I’ve been lightening sun damage professionally in Monterey since 2009! PS Please remember to see your dermatologist yearly, and should they take any biopsies, request that they go to UCSF Dermatopathology Service. Dr. Philip LeBoit is arguably the best, worldwide at diagnosing. Not all melanoma looks like melanoma.
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