Sun Light and Summer Skin Care

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By: Irina Segal
Sun Light and Summer Skin Care
by Irina Segal

The plant’s bright blessing springs forth
From earth’s gentle being,
And human children rise up
With grateful heart to join
The spirits of the world.
 –Rudolf Steiner

Summer... Just a thought about this season awakens in us a wonderful sense of freedom. Freedom from heavy clothing, freedom to walk barefoot on the beach, your skin in touch with sun, wind and water. What a fantastic feeling! Allowing the skin to breathe gives one a sense of freedom. Skin needs contact with the elements. Elements are life-giving. Hot summer sun encourages plants to ripen. Everything in nature is brimming with exuberant life force. We too, as humans, feel the fullness of life and the desire to embrace it. On beautiful summer days we might be more prone to act impulsively and forget about caution. Regarding sunlight and sunbathing, it usually helps to know when we need to be vigilant and why, and when we can allow ourselves to venture safely into the great outdoors without a sunscreen.

It is absolutely imperative not to sunbathe in the noonday sun. Keep in mind that ultraviolet rays can penetrate clothing and windows. Be sure to wear tightly woven clothing during the midday hours and apply sunscreen under it to increase protection.

On the other hand, “a little natural light, on arms and legs for twenty minutes a day with no sun block, may be beneficial. Caution: be sure it’s early morning or late afternoon sunlight. Studies show sunlight can be beneficial for everyone, especially for women, for the vitamin D our bodies manufacture when sunlight reacts with the cholesterol found in the skin. Cancer specialist Joanna Budwig, M.D. utilized sunlight as part of the treatment program in her Natural Cancer Clinic in Europe. Studies in the U.S. and the Soviet Union have documented that women living in areas with the most hours of sunlight have markedly lower rates of breast cancer. A study of 133 women done in 1997 at the Northern California Cancer Center found vitamin D from sun exposure linked to a reduced rate of breast cancer. Vitamin D also helps to balance blood sugar, build healthy bones and is important for preventing osteoporosis.

Skin cancer, of course, is a concern, so moderation is key. However, the increase in breast cancer and other cancers dramatically exceeds that of skin cancer.”1

We well know that oxygen, one of the most abundant materials on earth and in the atmosphere, is essential to life. Yet both the sun and oxygen are major contributors of free radical damage, the prime cause of aging and disease in the human body. Free radicals roam the body causing change, sometimes good (interfering with viruses and bacteria) and sometimes bad (disrupting our cell structures and functions). When they are working against us, free radicals have the same effect on our cells as rust has on cars. People who have been exposed to long-term sun tanning show signs of premature aging on their skin, due to the breaking down of collagen, the protein substance in the skin that gives it elasticity. Repeated sunburns and overexposure to the sun increase the risk of skin cancer, especially for those with fair coloring. The destruction of the ozone layer intensifies the negative effect of direct exposure to the sun, so, please make frequent use of hats and umbrellas, and, once again, stay away from the sun during the hottest time of the day.
Have a wonderful summer!

1.Robin Keuneke; Total Breast Health; Kensington Books, 1998, p.360.

Irina Segal is a Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Therapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. For more information, call: 310-395-4099.

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