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Exposition au soleil : risques/bénéfices ? 4 grandes idées reçues et la façon de les corriger

The sun and natural light are absolutely essential to all life on our beautiful planet. The light and colors of its spectrum have real healing powers. However, for a good decade, these natural elements have been presented to us as factors that are harmful to health.

So what is it really?

It is high time to readjust things, to try to find common sense and to erase some major preconceived ideas about the sun.

Progressive and intelligent acclimatization

It is obvious that if you expose yourself for too long and thoughtlessly, you can get sunburned. It is a reaction of the skin that has been attacked. This phenomenon can be avoided if you start by exposing yourself for short periods to the soft spring light. This will give our skin time to acclimate to the sun's rays. It will thus secrete melanin. This pigment which gives the tanned appearance to our tanned skin is in fact a biological protection mechanism to allow humans to live in harmony with the sun.

Melanin transforms almost all UV radiation into heat, which is easily dissipated by the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms, thus avoiding aggression to the skin.

It is best to avoid exposure at times when the sun is too hot. The best time slots are from early morning until noon (sun time, not watch time). By exposing at least your arms and legs without sunscreen for 15 to 45 minutes, your skin will adapt without inconvenience.


Especially avoid sunscreens

The creams form a synthetic sunscreen. Not only do they prevent the beneficial effects of the sun, but they also contain potentially dangerous synthetic molecules. By disabling the natural biological protection system, they prevent our bodies from warning us when we reach the limits of sun exposure.

These sunscreens mainly stop the UVB rays, which are useful for the production of vitamin D by our body. This long underestimated vitamin is beginning to be recognized by the scientific world as absolutely vital. It is known that currently nearly half of our populations are deficient in it, regardless of age.

If you need to expose yourself a little longer for whatever reason and protect your skin, turn to natural vegetable oils that are safe.

Sunglasses, yes, but not too much!

We notice that sunglasses have currently become a fashion accessory rather than a really useful protection object.

However, your eyes also need sunlight, as they are the most direct route of light to the brain. Thus, when the retina is in contact with the entire light spectrum, it triggers certain hormone and neurotransmitter secretions in the brain. Our moods and sleep-wake cycles depend largely on the cerebral penetration of this light.


It is known, for example, that the blue portion of the light spectrum stimulates a region of the hypothalamus and the pineal gland, the body's main clock, which consequently releases melatonin, the hormone responsible for the circadian rhythm (day-night) and which therefore affects the quality of sleep. This neurotransmitter is also a powerful immune system stimulant. It also has an "anti-aging" effect because it protects DNA from oxidation and delays neurodegeneration.

Wearing glasses prevents the proper reception of blue light and therefore reduces these hormonal secretions that are vital for health. So wear sunglasses sparingly and only in situations of intense sunlight.

Our food choices can influence our tolerance to sunlight

The antioxidant content of the food we eat also has a determining impact on the sensitivity of our skin. Unnecessary exposure of our skin generates free radicals, free radicals that are responsible for premature aging and certain cancers. Many of these free radicals can be neutralized by consuming antioxidants. A diet rich in raw, colorful and organic fruits and vegetables, the consumption of aromatic herbs and spices, sprouted seeds or seaweed will provide your skin with better resistance and adaptability to climatic conditions, including sunlight.

In conclusion, let us worship the sun God for what he brings to us, respecting these few precautions.

Carol Panne
16 May, 2014
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