Recent medical studies have demonstrated the benefit of moderate sun exposure on overall health.  Vitamin D receptors in cells, receptors in the epidermis as well as the role Vitamin D plays in immune system health and gene expression, it is obvious that having adequate amounts of Vitamin D is important to our health.  However, the primary source of Vitamin D for humans (and the most effective) is exposure to sunlight.

There are several issues associated with this (over-exposure which we’ll discuss today) and under exposure which we’ll discuss another time.
We have all seen them.  Active, healthy, outdoor enthusiasts who have the body of a 25 year old and the skin of a 65 year old!  So how, do we, as outdoor loving adventure enthusiasts prevent ourselves from looking like a baseball glove?  There are two key aspects to limiting and dealing with sun damage: moderation and supplementation.
The best and most natural method to dealing with sun exposure is to limit exposure to the sun during times when the sun is the strongest, either by covering up or by shortening exposure time (or a combination of both).  Spending most of your outdoor time in the early to mid morning and evening to dusk will allow you to forgo sunscreen and enjoy the suns rays and absorb vitamin D.  Alternatively during high-sun times, the judicious use of lightweight long sleeve cover ups, a hat and sunglasses will do wonders to protect your skin.
Two types of supplementation will allow us to effectively deal with sun exposure, oral supplementation and dermal supplementation (I.e., sunscreen).  The use of oral supplementation such as taking fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) drinking tea (anti-oxidants) allows our bodies to deal with increased oxidative stress, free radicals and DNA da,age that go along with over-exposure to sunlight.  Studies have shown that the ingestion of lycopene (found in tomatoes) provides significant protection against sun burn and sun damage (try 3 tablespoons of tomato paste daily in one of your meals).
The use of sunscreen is important.  The most important use of sunscreen is likely in your daily facial moisturizer, shoot for an SPF of 20-25 in your daily face product.  For beach days SPF 30 applied every 2-hours should do the trick.
The use of these methods should keep your face and skin looking as good as your body.  Please remember to visit the dermatologist regularly and have your moles checked for early signs of skin cancer, as early detection leads to substantially increased survival rates
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