Are you a sun worshipper? Or, do you shun it completely? No matter your answer, I bet you will change your sun protection strategy after this interview with Dr. Emilia Javorsky on the Happier & Healthier Podcast. We chat about some surprising facts about sun protection and skin health. Whether you burn easily or love tanning, this episode is for anyone who encounters the sun.
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Meet Dr. Emilia Javorsky MD MPH
- How Dr. Emilia got interested in sun protection: When she got involved in dermatology, Dr. Javorsky was shocked at the amount of sun damage in her skin a UV photograph revealed. Because of this picture, she grew to appreciate the importance of sun protection. Sun protection should be a priority for everybody, regardless of skin tone. 90% of preventable aging is due to sun exposure.
- Can we be in the sun without protection, or do we always need some protection? Dr. Javorsky advises to always use sun protection if you want to prevent skin damage. Most people assume that if they’re not burning, they’re not getting skin damage – but that isn’t the case. A burn is very severe damage, but even minimal exposure throughout years of your life can contribute to gradual damage (not just beach days!). That’s why it’s important to consume a diet and/or supplements, that help protect your skin from the sun.
- How to protect your skin from the sun through diet: Traditional sun protection – sunscreen, sleeves, and hats – prevents sun from reaching our skin. However, you can protect your skin to some extent through your diet. Lycopene, which is found in tomatoes and watermelon, can increase your UV ray tolerance. Antioxidants can strengthen your skin to naturally combat sun damage as well. Sundots has extract from a fern that has been studied in 12 clinical trials and has been used widely in Europe and South America to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
- Dr. Emilia’s favorite mineral sunscreen
- Is makeup with SPF enough on our face? SPF makeup is not enough for sun protection for your face – you’d have to cake on a lot of makeup for it to be effective. It’s better to put on some sunscreen under your makeup.
- What does SPF really signify?: SPF 30-50 blocks out 97% of the sun’s rays, but, when sunscreen is tested in the lab, researchers apply a very thick layer – while we apply about 25-50% of what is actually necessary to get the SPF listed on the bottle. Which may be partly why this study found that people who wear sunscreen religiously were 23% more likely to have suffered serious burns over a one year period, compared to those who seldom use it. The belief is that they over estimate the time they can safely stay in the sun. Additionally, many sunscreens also contain vitamin A and/or its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, which, funnily enough, increase your risk of sun burn when exposed to the sun.
- Do you still need sunscreen if you have darker skin? YES – sun protection is for everyone. Skin cancer is rarer among people with dark skin, but if you want to reap the skin health and anti-aging benefits, use sunscreen. Melanin provides natural SPF, but it’s not complete protection. (I was shocked to learn that Bob Marley died of a melanoma under his toe nail!)
- Are we still able to get enough Vitamin D while protecting ourselves? Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immunity, so make sure you have some sort of Vitamin D supplementation even if you are getting some sun. Sundots is great because it protects your skin from the inside without interfering with Vitamin D production.
- Are there any ways to repair sun damage? Just because you had sun damage as a kid doesn’t mean you should abandon skincare as an adult! There’s no concrete science behind repairing sun damage, but preventing it is much easier in the long run. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, and protect your skin from the sun as much as you can.
Sundots Site: sundots.com
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Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutritionist and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers meal plans, ongoing group workshops both in NYC and online, and writes healthy and delicious recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke. Praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazine, it was a #1 new release on Amazon.