I like to rock a St. Tropez tan in the Summer. In fact, I like to get it started with a trip to the Caribbean in the Spring. If you're wondering why in the age of rampant skin cancer a health nut like me would do such a thing, allow me to explain.
1. SUNSHINE IS A POWERFUL DETOXIFIER
When exposed to the sun's rays, your body produces compounds that kill off parasites, microbes, fungi and bacteria. It's called oxidation. You know that yummy smell of sheets hung out on the clothesline? That's the smell of clean.
The sun is hot and makes me sweat. Sweating is a great way to detoxify. I also use an infrared sauna for the same reason: to warm my body through and through and expel what needs to go.
2. I LOVE IT
It makes me happy to feel the warmth of the sun. Maybe it's the impact of bright light on my psyche or maybe it's just really relaxing because 30-60 minutes in the sun most days is my meditation. It silences and grounds me, especially lying directly in the sand or on the grass.
3. I LOOK BETTER WITH A TAN
But what about the wrinkles, you say? Well, most of my wrinkles (so far) seem to be from squinting and laughing - pretty unavoidable after a near half-century of such things. Loss of elasticity, on the other hand, is a result of nutrient deficiency so eating lots of eggs, cucumbers and collagen-rich bone broth helps keep my skin pretty tight. Besides, I'd rather be healthy and look "wise" than be sick with fewer wrinkles.
4. SUNSCREENS ARE TOXIC
Seriously. I challenge you to swallow some sunscreen with all the parabens, fragrances, aluminum and mercury. I don't think you would. So why eat them through your skin? I liberally use organic skin cream made with natural shea butter, jojoba and coconut oils year round.
Chronic exposure to the aluminum in sunscreen inhibits the body's natural ability to produce melanin, making you extra-sensitive to skin damage. And sunscreen fools you to stay in the sun too long with a false sense of "protection". Meanwhile, as Dr. Stephanie Seneff points out "melanoma rates have gone up in step with the increased use of sunscreens in the last 20 years", so there's that.
When I get too much sun and my skin gets pink, I use aloe gel and lavender essential oil to soothe it. I've made friends with (most of) my freckles and I cover up or seek shade when I've had enough.
There is a caveat to this approach though. If you're eating GMO food you are more vulnerable to skin cancer.
I learned this also from Dr. Stephanie Seneff in her interview with Dave Asprey. Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup, the chemical used on GMO food crops) interrupts the skin's natural ability to protect itself from the sun.
How to avoid GMO food? Buy organic. Avoid all processed food made with corn and soy or the oils of these. Look for the NON GMO Project label on anything you buy in a package.
5. THE SUN PROVIDES VITAL NUTRITION
True. Not only the well-publicized vitamin D but also the essential sulfate, key to vibrant health. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body produces in response to sun exposure, by the way, and it is very important to maintain good health, physically and mentally.
A tan means that your body used the sun's energy to produce melanin in your skin which will soak up the UV light and actually protect you from cancer. If you do not tan, that may indicate nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed. We can do that together.
Then you can get out there and soak up the sun with all of its benefits!