Hot Summer days are almost here and I couldn't be more excited. Achieving healthy skin is a task that should be a priority all year but is most important in the Summer.
It is estimated that in 2018 there could be up to 91,270 new cases of Melanoma in the United States with 9,320 cases being fatal.
The first thing most people think to prevent any type of skin cancer would be to slather on sunscreen repeatedly right?
Well....not so fast, most sunscreens that fly off the shelves come Summer are full of harmful additives and toxins that could actually do more harm than good.
Did you know that the skin naturally produces Melanin to protect your skin from UV damage? It's true! Our bodies are magnificent at adapting, protecting and renewing our skin cells and the rest of our body all on its own.
Here's the catch though.....
You have to fuel it with the right support system! Unfortunately living in the beautiful Northwest, most of us are somewhat deficient in Vitamin D. That is a problem! there are actually more cases of skin cancer in places that have shorter summers and less Sun exposure than in places where the sun is shining year round. How does that make sense? If Sun exposure is the cause of skin cancer, then that really shouldn't be the case.
Proper Vitamin D absorption is actually a very important key ingredient in preventing Melanoma and other skin cancers.
Keeping your Skin's natural barrier as healthy as possible is another key factor in preventing any type of cellular damage. To keep skin in the best possible condition, avoid harsh soaps that contain detergents, heavily perfumed lotions and most anything loaded with alcohol. These products are marketed to give you a squeaky clean feeling and to moisturize without feeling oily. However, a dirty little secret that the average consumer doesn't know is that some of these products have to be used in conjunction with each other. Have you ever used a bar soap from the drug store on your legs and forget to put lotion on afterwards? Most people will feel a dry, tight uncomfortable sensation that requires a lotion or moisturizer to remedy. Lotions are primarily water, so initially you feel like your skin is moisturized and hydrated but after your next shower with the same soap, you will need to use it again.
These products are designed to be addictive so you continue to buy them. Unfortunately, not much that is on the ingredient list is any good for your skin. Most are even downright terrible for you and your skin.
Try to stick with skincare products that are natural and contain plant phytochemicals that help support antioxidants which in turn, keep cells healthy. Choose skincare products that use essential oils, botanicals and herbs that will improve skin health (note: some essentials oils, mainly citrus can react with sun exposure and put you at a greater risk for sunburn).
Antioxidants are extremely important (if not, the most important) in preventing cellular damage. They not only actively fight free radicals that are the #1 cause of cell damage but they also go straight to work to repair any damage done.
The best way to ensure you are doing your best to avoid skin cancer (or any type of cancer) is to nourish your body with a whole foods plant based diet focusing on mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding dairy, sugar and alcohol and to keep meats in moderation. Drink tons of water and herbal teas to ensure your system stays hydrated at all times.
Antioxidant power foods to include often:
Turmeric and many more.
Beta Cartotene rich foods like these can protect against and decrease sunburns when eaten regularly.
Not all sunscreens are toxic, if you are going to be spending long periods of time in the sun products made with natural ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide will act as a physical barrier to ensure you don't get too much UV exposure.
Most of all enjoy the sunshine responsibly, too much of anything is never a good idea. Our bodies need some unprotected sun exposure daily to stay healthy. If you nourish your body and treat your skin right, you have the best fighting chance at preventing not only skin cancer but a host of other diseases and disorders.
I am not a Doctor, this information is for educational purposes only, it is not to be used or deemed as medical advice. Please contact your Doctor or Dermatologist if you are concerned or suspect you may be suffering from any skin related diseases.