Sun Isn’t The Enemy

Science | | 6 minute read.

How To Reap the Benefits of Sunlight, Without Damage to Your Skin

Sun isn’t the enemy; over-exposure without sunscreen is. 

As your skincare guru, you’re probably expecting me to tell you to stay far away from the sun; seek the shade; keep your face hidden from the glorious beams until summer passes and winter comes our way. But you’d be wrong. Because the sun isn’t the enemy. In fact, the sun is incredible for us in so many ways. We just don’t always protect from it very well. 

In this blog, I’m going to share with you the beautiful ways that exposure to sunlight can benefit you – from your skin health to your mental health. But because I’m a responsible skincare Queen, and I really do care about what happens to your skin, I’ll be clueing you in on how to protect your skin from harmful rays, while still reaping the sun’s rewards. 

 

Great skincare IS great suncare

Enjoying the sun is much the same as enjoying healthy fats. Okay, hear me out.

Eating a whole heap of avocados – and nothing but avocados – isn’t a good idea, even though they’re good for your health. There’s a lot of scaremongering around foods containing fats, but if you incorporate healthy fats into a balanced diet, you’re going to see the benefits. It’s all about balance and approaching things in the right way, and it’s the same with sun exposure. 

Heading into the sun sans SPF is exceedingly dangerous (which is where the scaremongering about the sun comes from, and rightly so), but if your skincare also includes suncare (which it absolutely should, even on dull, cloudy days), and you’re applying and reapplying it responsibly, there’s no need to fear the sun. 

In fact, there’s a pretty overwhelming argument to embrace it.

Shop my two favourite and most popular SPF products.

 

Why sunlight is great for your health

Human biologist and bio hacker Gary Brecka (y’know, the guy who helps people to live longer) recommends exposing yourself to natural sunlight first thing in the morning, for the first 45 minutes of the day.

There is no UVA or UVB rays in ‘first light’, so you can soak up that all important vitamin D3, without risk of harm.

This is also the best way to reset your circadian rhythm. 

 

Safe exposure to sunlight can also help with:

Stress Reduction:
Sunlight exposure can help to reduce your stress hormone (cortisol), induce relaxation, and decrease levels of tension and anxiety. This is great for your complexion because high cortisol can make you puffy. E
xcess cortisol encourages the body to store extra fat on the sides of the face; it can also cause water retention – which adds to the appearance of puffiness. If you need a little more stress reduction in your life, have a listen to the world’s most relaxing song (Weightless Part 1) on our specially curated playlist.

Better Sleep:
Getting out into natural daylight regulates our circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock). This helps to promote better sleep quality, alleviate insomnia, and give our skin the rest it needs to rejuvenate.


Improved Mood:

Being exposed to sunlight triggers the release of serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone), which can improve your mood and sense of wellbeing.
Morning light in particular sets off a whole host of hormones and neurotransmitters that make you feel good.


Vitamin D Synthesis:

Vitamin D is crucial for strong bones and a healthy immune function, but our bodies can’t produce it without exposure to sunlight. A vitamin D deficiency can also cause your skin to sweat all over your body, including your face – leading to dryness and irritation.


Connection to Nature:

Sunlight is an important part of our natural environment, which is why spending time outdoors in sunlight can make us feel closer to nature, inspire gratitude, and evoke a sense of connection with the world around us. This is so important for our wellbeing!


Skin Health:

Safe exposure to sunlight can help to improve certain skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. But it’s not only the antibacterial properties of the sun that are at play here: the equilibrium of our bodily elements (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is also impacted in fascinating ways.

 

The sun and the elements 

Whenever my clients go on holiday, they always notice that their skin improves. And they almost always put this down to the sunlight drying out their spots, and the salty tears of the sea preventing any breakouts. But it goes much deeper than that.

What happens when you’re on holiday? What are you doing? How do you feel?

You’re less stressed for one thing. You’re also connecting with family and friends, giving yourself permission to rest and relax, and allowing balance to enter your body. In other words, your bodily elements become aligned:

 

  • Mental: You allow your mind to switch off from daily stressors 
  • Emotional: You feel calmer and less reactive 
  • Spiritual: You’re far more at peace than in your everyday life
  • Physical: Your body finally receives the rest it craves

 

But you don’t have to be on holiday to enjoy the sun’s full benefits. Meditating outside in nature, with direct exposure to daylight, can really help with grounding (a type of meditation that focuses your attention on the physical world around you to reconnect you with the present moment). Even better if you can do it barefoot – because earthing is incredibly good for our health.

 

Join the earthing revolution 

With a virtually limitless supply of mobile electrons, the earth’s surface has a natural negative electric charge. So when your bare feet (or any other part of your body) are on the ground, this dissipates any static electricity and environmental electrical charges that may be on your body. You also receive a charge of energy in the form of free electrons, allowing your body to synchronise with the natural frequencies of the earth. Read more about earthing at Earthing Revolution.

Better still, having your bare feet on the earth can actually ease inflammation, thanks to the antioxidant properties of earth’s electrons, which can neutralize damaging free radicals. This has even been shown in imaging techniques.

When you’re surrounded by fresh air, natural light, and the calming sounds of the outdoors, your meditation can deepen your connection with your inner and outer world, and make you feel more energised and grounded. 

 

How to get your daily dose of sunshine, safely 

If I’ve done my job properly, you should feel confident that the sun isn’t the enemy, and it can actually be hugely beneficial if we approach it in the right way. Here’s a quick recap:

 

  • Sun isn’t the enemy; over-exposure without sunscreen is. 
  • If you’re applying and reapplying sunscreen responsibly, there’s no need to fear the sun. 
  • Getting out into first light (the first 45 minutes of the day) can reset our circadian rhythm, and because there are no UVA or UVB rays in ‘first light’, it won’t cause harm.
  • Safe exposure to the sun helps to reduce puffiness from cortisol, increase vitamin D absorption, aid sleep, boost mood, and improve the skin.   
  • Meditating outdoors, with direct exposure to sunlight, can help to ground us, while earthing can reduce the body’s inflammation. 

 

For a deeper insight into the best sun practices for your unique skin type, book a consultation with me at my North London clinic. You can see me virtually or in person, and together we’ll create the perfect routine for YOU. 


Ingrid Raphael