Embrace the Benefits of the Sun

woman on beach with towel

Embrace the benefits of the sun while protecting your skin

Here at janegee, we have a unique philosophy on sun care. We believe in embracing the incredible benefits of the sun, rather than living in fear of it. Please don’t get us wrong, it is imperative we protect our bodies from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure, but it is also beneficial to give your skin short amounts of time to soak up the good. 

You might notice that our products do not contain SPF protection, that is because we don’t believe it is necessary to have sun protection on at all times. Along with all the nasties found in commercial sunscreens, we also think they create a false sense of security. People tend to stay out in the sun far longer than is safe because the sunscreens mask our body’s natural warning mechanism. We’ll get into some of the ways you can protect your skin later in the blog but first, let’s dive into a few of the ways mother nature has provided us nourishment from the sun. 

The Benefits of the Sun

Improved Immunity 

Our approach centers around the simple fact that our body needs sunlight. The most crucial thing our body uses sunlight for is Vitamin D. We specifically use UVB rays to create Vitamin D. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, facilitates normal immune system function, aids in the growth and development of bones and teeth, and improves resistance against certain diseases. Your body loves and needs Vitamin D!

Improve Sleep Hygiene 

Did you know sunlight is even linked to a better night's sleep? Our body's natural clock, or circadian rhythm, is what helps you fall asleep at night and wake you up in the morning. If possible, begin your morning with a few minutes in bright sunlight. This is shown to help your body produce melatonin, which in turn, helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, allowing you to fall asleep quicker at night. 

Boost Mood 

People who live in northern parts of the country, like us here in New England, have probably heard the term seasonal depression. This is something that more often occurs in the winter months when there is less sunlight. Less time in the sun can lead to lower serotonin levels which are known to contribute to depression. Increasing your time in the sun can not only benefit your physical health but also your mental health. 

Please note: If you feel you are experiencing any form of depression, it is important to speak with your medical provider. 

Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

With all of the above benefits of the sun, it is not lost on us that there can be harmful effects on your skin and the surrounding tissue from UV rays. Overexposure to the sun can increase your chances of skin cancer, one of the leading forms of cancer in the US. So how can you protect yourself? 

Limit your time in the sun

When getting your fix of sunlight, only spend 10-15 minutes in the sun. If you are fairer and tend to burn quickly, limit that time even more

Cover your skin

If you will be spending more than a few minutes in the sun, wear protective clothing. A hat and a long sleeve shirt can do wonders for protecting your skin in the short term. 

Apply a natural sunscreen

Apply sunscreen when spending extended periods of time in the sun. However, we want to encourage you to choose sunscreens that have clean and natural ingredients. There are a few truly clean sunscreens on the market that we love here at janegee. These include Avocado Zinc, Raw Elements, and First Aid Beauty. All are made with no synthetic chemicals, ensuring you are not adding to your toxic load when applying to your skin.

The FDA currently only recognizes two ingredients as GRASE (Generally Regarded as Safe and Effective) Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. All other synthetic chemicals are still under evaluation and testing and require further information. Here is a list of the synthetic ingredients commonly found in commercial sunscreens that are under evaluation.

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate 
  • Octinoxate 

Change your diet

What if we told you that you could build your own natural sunscreen just by changing your diet? Your skin already has a natural SPF, but you can make it even stronger. It’s best to start doing this a few months before summer but it’s better late than never! You want to start eating food rich in antioxidants foods such as berries, watermelon, green tea, turmeric, red, green, and yellow peppers, and tomatoes. Your skin cells will become nourished and stronger.

Slow exposure

Exposing your skin to the sun little by little every day will help build your sun tolerance. Building the melanin in your skin can help prevent burning in the summer. 

Sunburn Remedies

Many of us have unfortunately spent too much time unprotected in the sun. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of a hot sunburn. Jane has put together some of her favorite sunburn remedies to help you soothe a burn. 

After Sun - Whether trying to soothe skin that has seen a bit too much exposure to the sun, this Body Oil is for you! After Sun’s hero ingredient Tomato Lycopene, is a soothing active, and powerful antioxidant that improves skin texture, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and reduces redness. This ingredient is incredible on skin that has experienced UV damage.

Tip: Keep a bottle of After Sun in your fridge. It’ll feel so refreshing on your sun-kissed skin.

Tomato - If you don’t have our After Sun on hand, another great remedy is simply to use a tomato. All you have to do is cut a tomato in half and rub it on your sunburn, the lycopene in the tomato will soothe the burn immediately. 

Apple Cider Vinegar - Apple cider vinegar works great at balancing the pH of your skin and allowing it to repair itself faster. We recommend filling a spray bottle with water and adding 1-2 capfuls of vinegar. Spray the solution on your burn to soothe the irritation. 

Black Tea - Black tea contains tannic acid and theobromine which helps remove heat from a sunburn. Steep the tea in a pitcher then use a rag to apply it to your skin. 

Stay Hydrated - Add a janegee Floral Water to your daily routine to add moisture and minerals to your skin.

Embracing the sun in your daily life

Now that we’ve talked about all of the incredible benefits of the sun and ways to protect yourself from overexposure, let’s talk about a few ways you can incorporate a bit of sunshine into your daily life. 

  1. Take your lunch break outside
  2. Go for a walk or run outdoors
  3. Pack a picnic on the weekend
  4. For the WFH community, take a virtual meeting outside
  5. Spend some time in the garden
  6. Create arts and crafts with the kids outside 

Remember, the sun isn’t your enemy! It plays a crucial role in your overall well-being. Embrace the benefits of the sun and protect your skin when necessary!