Growing up, I was taught to fear the sun, to go to extreme measures to shield myself from its evil rays. My mom generously lathered me up with three layers of SPF 70 every time I went to the beach or a swimming party. I’ve always been the palest in my friend group and have never matched with a foundation shade darker than porcelain or fair ivory.
Since coming to VSU where one can get a sunburn in February, I learned that in moderation, sunlight doesn’t have to be feared. And although I’ll probably always look like I should be a Cullen sibling, I have found some awesome benefits of getting in my daily dose of Vitamin D.
Getting out in the sun isn’t going to change the fact that you have a major exam coming up or family troubles back home, but exposure to sunshine can trigger the release of the hormone serotonin, which in high levels is linked to happy feelings and calmness.
Spend some time on the front lawn with your friends or take a walk around your neighborhood. The sunshine can help you refocus if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you can get in some socialization or exercise if you’ve been cramming in a study room for hours.
My skin hates me during the winter. It’s dry and dull, and it costs me a fortune in skincare products to counteract my monthly period breakouts. As soon as the weather heats up, I make sure to get in small amounts of sun exposure each day to get my glow back.
The sun can dry up some of your face and body breakouts, and sweating a little in the sun can remove excess oil, clearing out your pores. Too much sunshine, however, can dry out your skin, leave you with a painful sunburn, and put you at risk for skin cancer. Neutrogena has some affordable acne-friendly sunscreens that won’t clog your pores.
While I no longer fear the sun as I used to, the harmful effects of prolonged sun exposure are still scary. Some physicians recommend only 10 to 20 minutes of daily sun exposure without sunscreen. If you’re planning on enjoying the sunshine for any longer, you should apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect you from sun damage.
As with all things, enjoy the sun in moderation. Get outside during these bright, sun-shiny days and see what a little sunshine can do for you.