The importance of sunshine in your life and why I don’t wear sunscreen daily

This post was originally posted last summer, but I updated it as of April 2016!

Quick Summary

  • Sunshine gives us life—it is not the enemy!
  • Eating enough healthy fats—butter, ghee, coconut oil, grass-fed meats, olive oil—is key to keeping your skin healthy and un-damaged from the sun.
  • Responsible sun exposure & toxic free sunscreen—your skin is your largest organ (protect and nourish it!).  My favorite toxic-free, safe sunscreen HERE (grab yours before it sells out as supplies are limited!).

Yes, I will admit I live in paradise here in Hawaii.  No it’s not everyday I get to spend at the beach or exploring remote tropical locations.  I do average life things like go to Costco, sit in traffic…ALOT, work at my desk, walk my dog and do laundry.  But I am so beyond blessed to be currently stationed here at Pearl Harbor with my husband!  All that being said, I love spending time in the sun—it makes me energized and happy.  I remember my college days spent in Michigan where it was usually gloomy and cold and on the rare occasion that the sun came out, there was this immediate switch in everyone’s personality—instant happiness and positivity! Yes, like the saying goes…sunshine and salt water do cure most things!

However, with all the time I spend in the sun, I rarely wear sunscreen and I rarely get sunburned!  It always makes me sad watching people spray on buckets of sunscreen at the beach, because oh my the toxins!  So, as you all are headed into the wild blue yonder of summer time, soaking up the fresh air and sunshine here are some helpful tips for you.

Please note: these are my personal suggestions and not medical information designed to treat or cure anything.

Why I don’t wear sunscreen daily:

  • Sunshine is the best form of the very essential & important Vitamin D, which most people are majorly deficient.  Sunshine is the bioavailable or active form of Vitamin D3 that is not toxic to your body.  Vitamin D does so much for YOU—check out Chris Kresser’s article here.
  • The skin is the body’s largest organ and very permeable.  So just like the food that you put into your body matters, what you put on your skin, eventually makes it’s way into your blood stream, potentially doing a lot of damage without you realizing it.
  • Most sunscreens are HIGHLY toxic—read more HERE.  Many sunscreen’s contain chemicals that mimic your hormones, especially estrogen in females, and can cause a host of issues especially concerning the reproductive system, thyroid and other hormones.
  • I eat a lot of good quality fats (grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats, wild caught fish, and oils) that naturally protect against sun damage. More info below.
  • Sun exposure in moderation is very healthy…and it makes me happy!

When I wear sunscreen:

  • If I have not been in the sun for a few weeks, I will limit my exposure to about 20 minutes initially and work my way up, increasing my time in direct sunlight gradually.
  • Generally, if I am going to be in the direct sunlight for more than an hour, I will apply sunscreen—although I don’t advise anyone staying in direct sunlight for hours on end.

What to avoid in sunscreen:

The EWG has great information on this topic.

Key words to avoid in sunscreens: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate), Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.

The biggest one you want to avoid is Oxybenzone.

My recommended sunscreens:

Makeup

If you are in the sun all day long, you may consider a toxic free makeup that has sun protection built in.

Ways to “EAT” your sunscreen:

There are so many foods, many of which are summer fruits and vegetables or grow in tropical areas (amazing right!), that protect and nourish our bodies.

  • Water, water, water: Drink regular water, raw coconut water and even these fun mint and lime sparkling drinks! Add unrefined salt to your diet to keep you hydrated and your electrolytes balanced. (I recommend Celtic Sea Salt.)
  • COCONUT OIL: Eat these chocolate crunch bites which are rich in healthy fats. Slather coconut oil on your skin if you are burned or before bed time.
  • Cod liver oil: I recommend Green Pastures and Rosita brands.
  • Vitamin C: The Synergy Company’s Vitamin C
  • Oily Fish and Grass-fed Meats: High in Omega 3 fatty acids and perfect for summer time grilling! Oh and lots of grass-fed butter…because YUM!
  • Tomatoes, Watermelon, Strawberries: a natural sun protectant due to high amounts of lycopene and of course they are in season in summer!
  • Almonds, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pine Nuts (pesto anyone?): high in Vitamin E which helps protect your skin and eyes
  • Leafy Greens: right in antioxidants that protect against damage

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  1. Bethany McDaniel

    May 19th, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Great post, Caroline! And amazing pictures, as always! 😉 Thanks for the shout out! <3

  2. Dana Leigh Lyons

    May 19th, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Great post! I cringe when I think of some of the sunscreens (and other products) so many people slather on their skin. Coconut oil (ingested and used topically) has been my number 1 skincare product for at least 15 years.