“Summertime… and the livin’ is easy” are the famous lyrics of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Yes, the livin’ may be easy, but so is the danger of careless exposure to the sun’s midday rays. I recall years of slathering myself with baby oil, lying out for hours to catch those precious tanning rays. That’s what me and my friends did in our teenage years mindless of its dangers. There’s a song that teases:
“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”
That sentiment might have been uttered in jest, but these days, skin cancer and dry, wrinkled skin are no laughing matter.
Here are my suggestions for safe sunning:
1. Purchase sun protection from a Health Food store, avoiding brands from department store and pharmacies. Almost all “regular” heavily-advertised brands contain dangerous chemicals. I have NEVER used a commercial brand, choosing the less well known, chemical-free AUBREY, BADGER and those from mercola.com.
2. Always wear a hat, not just a cap. Choose a lightweight one with a brim to protect your hair, your scalp and, most importantly, your face.
3. Wear sunglasses even when you’re swimming. Eyes can be damaged permanently if not properly protected.
4. After exposure, apply the gel from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf It is a natural healer, and helps prevent burning and blistering. Purchase a whole leaf, cut away the green skin and apply the inner “guck” (Be careful, it stains badly).
5. Wear lightweight, gauzy all-cotton clothing that covers exposed skin,
6. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Apply only the finest creams, making sure they don’t contain parabens, SLS, mineral oil, or unrecognizable chemical ingredients. READ THOSE LABELS!
As a final note, Do Not avoid the sun altogether. You need Vitamin D for healthy bone marrow. Sunlight passing through the skin into the marrow is essential to produce red and white blood cells for a healthy immune system. Thus protected, go out and enjoy the beauty and renewal that the sun provides. Love the sun. But love your skin as well.