For most people, sunbathing is a healthy lifestyle for relaxation and taking time out from work and getting the skin bronzed. For those of us who live in temperate climates, the chance of getting sun exposure and sunbath is a luxury.
Many people today go sunbathing and sun tanning chiefly for cosmetic. The aesthetic benefits of a bronzed skin with sunglasses are universally acknowledged as looking gorgeous or having healthy looking skin.
However, recent reports of overexposure to the sun have made most people wary of sunbathing. There is no doubt that too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer, and the inappropriate/inadequate use of sunscreens can cause severe health issues.
Sun tanning is a process of exposing our skin to sunlight so as to give it a tanned or a bronzed color.
Suntan is the reaction of the skin to the sun. Typically, our skin tries to shield itself from excessive UV rays of the sun by producing higher amounts of melanin. Melanin is responsible for skin color.
People with darker skin are better protected from the sun. They usually develop a pleasant even looking suntan.
Those with a fair skin develop sunburn and uneven pigmentation instead of an even suntan. This is because their skin does not produce adequate melanin to shield itself from the sun’s rays.
Benefits Of Sunbathing And Sun Tanning
- Sunlight is vital to the body. Exposing your bare skin to sunlight is the most natural way for the body to produce vitamin D. Very low Vitamin D levels cause chronic pain. Without sunlight, there will be a deficiency of vitamin D, which may lead to chronic pain.
- Melanin also plays a vital role in shielding the body against cancer and building a healthy immune system. It also helps in the production of melatonin, a substance that controls our sleep-wake pattern. Therefore, the lack of sunlight can cause insomnia. Besides sunlight also helps produce Serotonin – the feel-good hormone.
- Sunlight improves serotonin levels, which helps reverse depression, anxiety, and phobias.
- There is now ample evidence that lack of sunshine or an indoor lifestyle is causing a higher prevalence of myopia or shortsightedness. Studies show that people who spend time outdoors and receive sunlight tend to have a much lower risk of myopia.
Side Effects Of Sunbathing
- Depression and fatigue can set in as a result of insufficient sunlight. This is because deprivation of sunlight leads to seasonal affective disorder. A sunny day makes one feel upbeat, alert and in a positive mood, but it is important to limit the amount of exposure to the sun.
- Besides its numerous benefit, the sun can be harmful to the skin. An average human needs only 20 minutes of sunlight exposure daily to meet the Vitamin D requirements. However, too much exposure to Ultraviolet rays will stress out the skin cells and damage the collagen fibers. This can lead to premature wrinkling and line formations on the face.
Side Effects Of Sun Tanning
Extreme sun exposure can cause harm, which may include premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, and several types of skin cancers (e.g. melanoma).
Tips For Proper Sunbathing
To derive the maximum benefit from sunbathing while on vacation, follow these safe steps:
- Avoid sunlight exposure during the late hours of the morning and don’t stay in the midday sun for more than 10-15 minutes.
- Drink green tea! This beverage has recently been discovered as a solution to prevent skin burns while sunbathing. It can also be applied topically to prevent sunburn.
- Eat a healthy diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables. They are good sources of minerals, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins; all are healthy antioxidants and prevent the damaging effects of the sun on the skin.
- Choose a sunscreen with added minerals and vitamins; make sure to apply it about an hour before you get exposed to sunlight and try to re-apply every 1-2 hours.
Other nutrients found to be beneficial in preventing sunburn include selenium, zinc, vitamin C, and E.
Read more: 5 Ways To Beat Morning Anxiety
Tips For Proper Sun Tanning
Tan Your Whole Body
Get a reflective blanket to lie on when you are sun tanning so that your entire body gets an even tan. The rays of the sun are directed from above, so to get an even tan. When tanning, lift your head slightly back to ensure proper tanning under your neck.
Likewise, when lying on your stomach, stretch out your arms so that your shoulders and forearms will also benefit. Make sure you flip every 15 – 30 minutes. During weekends, tan in the morning rather than the evening because the rays of the sun are more concentrated.
Shower After You Sun Tan
A quick shower is enough; don’t over shower! Don’t have a shower right away but have one towards the later part of the evening. Take note, when you shower, use a bland soap, and gently scrub the entire body. Rinse with warm water and apply a water-based moisturizer to prevent drying of the skin.
Other tips for a healthy tan include:
This article is provided by RemedyByNature.com – a health blog that provides interesting and in-depth articles on natural remedies, fitness, and healthy lifestyle from different authors.