Protecting Your Skin


Summer Sun

When we think of sun damage, we immediately think of summer and extreme tanning sessions. But what most of us forget is that our skin is under attack from the sun’s damaging rays even when we’re shoveling snow in winter, raking up leaves in autumn or taking a morning walk in spring. Only the intensity changes, but the dangers remain. With our ozone layer becoming thinner and thinner, each year the sun becomes more of a threat to our skin.

Radiation from the sun comes in 2 forms; visible (UVB) and invisible (UVA). Both cause UV damage that continues long after your tan fades. Harmful UV rays are intensified by higher altitudes, wind, reflection off the water, sand or snow. One severe sunburn early in life can double your risk of skin cancer.

Over-exposure to UV rays is the major cause of all three types of skin cancer, or melanoma. The rays disrupt the genetic material in the skin cells, causing tissue damage. They also disrupt the skin’s normal ability to repair itself. This is the mechanism that “tells” the damaged cells to cease producing, die, and be sloughed off (peeling after burning) so they can be replaced by new, healthy skin cells. After a serious burn, this mechanism is seriously impaired and your skin becomes increasingly vulnerable to further damage in a shorter period of exposure.

There are vitamins and minerals you can take daily to help minimize some of the sun’s effects as none of us want to stay indoors all year round. Choose a vitamin combination of Vitamin A-C-E-Zinc. This combination is known as an antioxidant grouping necessary for fighting free radicals. Also important to this grouping is CoEnzyme Q10, potassium (lost through sunburn) and tea tree extract (to promote healing).

Air Conditioners

When it’s hot outside, people tend to migrate into areas that are artificially cooled but this comfort comes at a price. The most obvious problem with air conditioners are that they dry out the air they’re supposed to be “conditioning” for you. Also, this same air is recycled over and over because very little of it is pulled in from the outside. This is already a problem in office buildings that have to recycle their air due to a lack of functioning windows. This situation is exacerbated when the air conditioning gets turned on. Pay special attention to your eating habits to help you stay healthy and ward off sickness from breathing in recycled germs!

The dreaded end-product of dry air and environmental pollution is wrinkles. Wrinkles form when the skin thins, dries and loses its elasticity. Keeping the skin supple wards off the prospect of acquiring wrinkles. Lifestyle habits such as a good diet, proper exercise, being a non-smoker and an occasionaldrinker, and a “shade sitter” helps to avoid wrinkles as well.

Staying out of direct sunlight is a non-starter. Sun exposure leads to the generation of free radicals that can damage skin cells. The effects of the sun on your skin are cumulative so it may not be obvious for years what effects the sun has had on your skin.

Choose skin care products made with natural ingredients such as vitamin A and E, aloe vera or avocado oil. Avoid toners with alcohol and choose spritzers with natural floral essences (rose water) or witch hazel. Choosing a foundation with sunscreen built in is a good choice too.

Carol Roy is a registered Natural Health Practitioner with Natural Health Practitioners Canada, who received her diploma from the Alternative Medicine College of Canada in Montreal, Quebec. With 8 years experience in her area of expertise, naturopathic medicine, Carol has also trained to become a fully qualified Reiki Master, Quantum Touch ® Practitioner and Reflexologist.

The suggestions by Nutter’s Bulk & Natural Foods and the contents of this article are recommendations only and not a substitute for any medical advice or a replacement for any prescriptions. Seek medical advice for any health concerns. Consult your health care provider before using any recommendations herein.

Share This