Let's shed some light with the sun, since it’s one of the most misperceived medicines out there. Sun beams shine down in rays that give gleam to every living thing. We have been conditioned (mostly socially) to fear the power of the sun~ told to avoid or cover up, shield & spray sun block to protect from the star that comes up each & every day. But like all living things, our body vessels are intelligently designed to utilize elements of the natural environment & convert them to nourishment necessary for functions & body processes.
Many only recognize the power of the sun in being a source for our much-needed vitamin D, and some are convinced that we can substitute this with a synthetic supplement component to receive the same benefit. However, Vitamin D supplements are not the same as if we were to sit in the sun and soak in the rays! The most beneficial and effective form of Vitamin D is received when our skin is soaking in the sun without any sunscreen. When our skin experiences this direct contact, it can convert sunbeams to nutrients that our bodies require to function optimally. Substances we receive in this process include: melanin, sulfur, & vitamin D, which is a hormone that influences every cell in our body & is necessary for cellular function, regeneration, & free radical oxidation protection.
So, listen to the warming sensation & soak it in, because our skin needs the sun! Among many other things, sunlight also activates the body’s electrons & secretions for the immune, digestive, respiratory & endocrine systems.
Our society promotes the deprivation of the sun & what has become, is actually opposite to what we think we are protecting ourselves from. Interestingly enough, sunscreen & vitamin D deficiency make our bodies more susceptible to sickness, diseases, & skin abnormalities. Our vitamin D receptors are like intelligent antennas which capture sunlight in our cells & translate it into energy via our mitochondria. To put it simply, we are charging our battery when we give our skin uncovered time in the sunlight.
It is true that too much of a good thing can become detrimental & this is recognized with over exposure to anything. However, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with sun exposure & increase with use of sunscreen!
*Sunscreen can prevent sunburns, but let’s see how this is achieved:
Sunscreens only block UVB rays, which do cause burns after extensive exposure. These same UVB rays, which are blocked by sunscreen, are the same rays which propel the production of vitamin D in the body! Interestingly, UVA rays need these complementary UVB rays for the skin to produce vitamin D & thus utilize the suns energy beneficially. UVA rays become harmful when they are separated from UVBs by sunscreen. Current studies show that UVA rays in isolation actually damage DNA.
So slathering sunscreen seems to inhibit Vitamin D production & blocks UVB, which prevents temporary burns, but exposes the skin to isolated UVA rays, which is more harmful to the skin!
I should also mention the other unnecessary carcinogenic ingredients found in mainstream sunscreen, such as: oxybenzone, petroleums, & parabens- some of which are free radical generators & accumulate in our lipid layers, preventing the skin from breathing.
Aside from our own detriment in the use of synthetic sunscreens, marine life also suffers when we lather up & dip in the ocean. Scientific studies have shown that chemicals in sunscreen such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, benzophenone, & butylparabens easily slip off our skin & into the ocean, where they wreak havoc on coral reefs, bleaching & killing them. So, it gleams that sunscreen seems to be doing more harm than its intended purpose of blocking the suns’ beams.
Knowing this, what can you do to save your skin & the sea if you’re out in the heat, sun sensitive, & think you need sunscreen?
Simplicity has some keys:
First off, begin tanning in the spring months to build melanin in the skin, which is your body’s natural sun protection from within. This will further protect it once rays intensify in summer months.
•The best time of the day to absorb the sun’s rays is morning time to solar noon~ afterwards the rays become more intense & ultraviolet light more present.
•Limit your exposure & listen to your body when your skin is becoming hot~ find cover in shade & with hats, scarfs & garments (preferably cotton clothing if you can!)
•Eat organic fresh fruits & vegetables, plus harness hydration with fresh spring or filtered water. Foods have superpower nutrients that prep skin to have a harmonious interaction with the sun. Well-nourished skin starts from within & when we are eating foods that are full of simple sustenance, we build a natural SPF defense internally. Organic fruits, vegetables & leafy greens contain antioxidants among other things that strengthen & protect the skin, & give to our intestinal integrity, nourishing us from within.
•Do not overexpose yourself, & utilize botanical oils as a natural alternative to mainstream sunscreen.
The human form is similar to the botanical realm in many ways. Plants, like people, are structured in a physical body and depend on environmental homeostasis to survive and grow. A plant needs soil, water, sunlight, & air to perform complex chemical activities. Humans also need nutrients and the like to operate and evolve. Unlike humans, plants are stationary in their growth and can’t remove themselves from wherever they are planted. Therefore, they have inherent within their biology, mechanisms of interacting with the sun to harness it as energy and protect themselves from damage in potential overexposure. Given this, many botanical oils offer some degree of ultraviolet protection to both ours & their own tissues. Utilizing plant extractions upon our own skin when interacting with the sun, does the same thing in protecting us from sun damage. Several botanical oils harness SPF powers that we can utilize in replacement of mainstream sunscreen.
Officially, the term “SPF” can only really be used in the conversation of synthetic sunscreens, but plant oils offer a range of sun protection that can uplift the skins’ integrity and interaction with the sun, extending our time to be in the heat. Oils like virgin coconut oil, jojoba, olive, sea buckthorn, & red raspberry seed harness a broad range of sun protection. “Under a spectrometer, raspberry seed oil absorbed both UVB & UVC rays, while scattering UVA rays; it may provide a botanical equivalent of SPF-25.”
Essential oils are also adept to harmonize the sun’s rays with our skin, when added to the base of one of the lipid oils listed above. Essential oils are the extracts of plants and contain antioxidants and cell rejuvenating components which assist to soothe and protect the delicate layers of our skin as the sun light absorbs in. Different essential oils have unique properties and chemical components which are important to note in utilizing them~ for example, some essential oils, especially citrus oils, are phototoxic, which make the skin more sensitive to the sun and can cause burns if applied prior to sun exposure. Think of essential oils as potent amplifiers, which can greatly affect our skin’s reaction and interaction with the sun.
Avoid citrus oils applied topically before sun exposure and instead go for oils such as: Carrot seed, Sandalwood, Immortelle (also known as Helichrysum), Peppermint, Geranium, Turmeric, and Frankincense. When utilizing essential oils, it is of most importance to use a trusted brand that is organic, pure, undiluted, and therapeutic grade. Non-organic or synthetic oils are basically condensed chemicals and pesticides that you do not want on or in your body, doing more harm than good.
MyApothekeri has created a Sun Shimmer serum which contains a blend of essential & carrier oils which assist in harmonizing the skin for sun exposure. It contains elements that nourish and regenerate skin and allow plant protections as the sun seeps in. This serum doubles as a bronzer, adding a subtle glow to amplify the skins natural radiance, which shines and sparkles in the sunshine. This serum works wonderfully on arms, shoulders and legs and adds a layer of protection, while also brightening and bronzing.
Made in love with pure & organic sun harmonizing ingredients: Red Raspberry seed, Sea buckthorn, Rose petal infused MCT oil, Golden Jojoba oil, Apricot kernel oil, Golden mica powder, & Essential oils of: Turmeric, Carrot seed oil, Frankincense, & Geranium.
“Glow On~ Sun Shimmer Serum”
If you must apply a more potent form of sun protection, which effectively block the rays, then opt for a natural and organic sun block that contains zinc oxide as the active blocking ingredient. “Uncoated, non-nanoparticle zinc oxide effectively blocks and reflects, rather than absorbs, the sun’s rays.”
For a simple and gentle sun protectant that many can make from home, mix pure vitamin C powder with water (10 percent dilution vitamin C to water) and spray directly onto skin before sun exposure.
Here is a simple recipe that I made from my personal apothecary goodies at home~
This Vita-C Sun Ray Spray is designed to harmonize skin with time in the sun’s rays. Not meant to be a sunscreen, but rather a complimentary component to the skin in its’ interaction under the sun.
~Equal parts of Immortelle hydrosol, Rose Water, & Distilled water,
~Vitamin C powder (10 % dilution)
~Essential oils of: Frankincense, Geranium, Carrot seed, & Sandalwood (about 10-25 drops each).
Mix together & spray skin generously.
Remember to listen to your body’s signals of over exposure when out in the direct sun for extended periods of time, this is your ultimate indicator and simple method of sun protection. Seek shade when your skin becomes hot and have no fear for the sun, she is the star that lights up the world and gives life to every living thing! Her precise position in the sky allows for life on this planet, and we are designed to be beneath her light.
Reference: Artemis, Nadine. (2017). Renegade Beauty. North Atlantic Books.
This book is extremely helpful in topics of clean and natural living and provides ways to live harmoniously within nature while maintaining optimal health in a world of synthetics and quick fixes. It addresses care in all parts of ones’ body and simple recipes that include natural and highly available ingredients that are accessible to all.