It’s August-the hottest time of our whole year. Time to really look after our bodies’ biggest organ- the skin!

A day at the beach, a day off work lying round the pool…sounds like heaven, and we all know having that golden glow makes us feel so much better, but how much of it is actually good for us? The jury is still out on this one.

The sun gets a lot of bad press, especially with the rising numbers in skin cancer cases, baking away under the big ball of fire is definitely not good for you, however, if you are careful, a “little” sun is also good for you.

It is always a wise decision to stay out of the midday sun and in August most definitely from 12-4 try and hide in the shade as the UV rays are at their strongest, and we all know too much of the rays accelerate our ageing.

When we get burned, the skin turns red, this is literally our red blood cells response to the heat being generated on our skin, and our blood is basically trying to cool our skin down.
If you are darker your skin contains more melanin, which can reflect UV rays. People with greasy skin produce more sebum in their skin, which helps to block the UV rays hence the reason people with darker or oilier skin are able to tan better and suffer less wrinkling. The fairer we are the more easily we will burn, the faster our skin will age, and the greater the risk of developing skin cancers.

That aside, it is also good for our health to expose our skin from time to time as long as we do it carefully- having insufficient sunlight can result in a lack of vitamin D- especially D3 which is vital for healthy bones, teeth and immune functioning and it can also make the body produce less serotonin-the feel good hormone, which can trigger depression as a result. Modest sunbathing helps to lower cholesterol and increases hair and nail growth (so yes, its true, we all seem our hair grows quicker in the summer, because it actually does) but too much exposure will lower our immune function.

Keeping it safe in the sun

Try and avoid food and drinks that trigger dehydration like fizzy drinks, caffeine, and high-saturated foods.

Drink loads of water-your body will thank you for it.

Add a little extra salt to your food, especially in August, make sure its Himalayan or a good sea salt, this helps balance the minerals in the body.

Protect your skin from the inside out by eating more foods with essential fats and carotenes. Foods such as carrots, asparagus, red peppers, steamed spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes, and papaya hold a lot of carotenes whilst you will find essential fats in sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or linseeds.

Avocado and olives in your salads is perfect.

Apply your sun cream when you come out your shower, this will help it to absorb into the skin quicker, be sure to top it up throughout your day-a good organic grade factor 30 is perfect, noting more, nothing less and definitely no accelerating oils.

Good UV protected sunglasses, a hat and shade wherever possible and remember sunblock on your ears and lips.

Enjoy your August- stay hydrated and keep your beautiful skin safe…and if you still feel too white like myself, there is good old St.Tropez in a bottle get the ones with the SPFs included or a beautician somewhere willing to do a little spray tan.

Much Love Jackie x

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