If you know us, you know that we are obsessed with the sun. In Portuguese, our name “Sol de Janeiro” directly translates to “Sun of January” which is when summer is at its peak in Brazil. Most of us admittedly (and a little shamefully) love the sun for its transforming properties - nothing can turn us into gorgeous bronzed goddesses quite like the Sol can, but there are SO many more reasons to worship the sun beyond its skin-bronzing powers.
In between our three daily showers (which is our #1 favorite pastime), you can find us basking in the sun or daydreaming of summertime. There’s something about sunshine that’s so life-giving beyond the literal sense (shoutout to you, photosynthesis) and we’re sure you’ve seen it too. Everyone simply feels better when the sun’s out, and not just because it also means bum bums out.
It’s 2020, and by now all of us know better than to underestimate the sun’s powers. There’s a right and smart way to enjoy the sun’s magic because we want to prolong our time in the sun and the well-being of our skin! Proper sun-indulgence requires SPF 100% of the time. No excuses!
So, get ready to slather yourself in some sun protection. In honor of National Sunscreen Day today (aka “Don’t Fry Day”), we’re giving you five reasons why you should be out in the sun right now.
Sunny Days = Sunny Mood
The sun doesn’t just lift your mood because it makes you feel “warm and fuzzy”. When you’re out in the sun, the sunlight cues special areas of your retinas which trigger the release of serotonin in the brain, also known as the happy-hormone. Those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) in the winter use lightboxes that mimic the sun’s joyful beam during the shorter and colder days.
Daily Vitamin D
Would you believe us if we said that getting 5-15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week can strengthen your bones and boost your immune system?
It’s true! UV-B rays cause your skin to create Vitamin D, which plays a role in bone health. Of course, having a healthy and well-rounded diet should be your primary source of Vitamin D, but a little sunshine won’t hurt. Make sure you’re staying well hydrated and consuming a lot of healthy fats in your diet to get the most out of it!
In addition to strengthening your bones, the Vitamin D benefits from the sun also promote heart health. A lack of vitamin D results in an increase of the parathyroid hormone, which causes calcium to seep out of the bones and also raise blood pressure. (That’s why people tend to have higher blood pressure in the winter than in the summer - less sun-time, more stress!)
The combination of lowered stress levels and increased vitamin D absorption from walking on sunshine for a few minutes a day can lower your blood pressure for a happy, healthy heart.
Zap Away Germs
#TBT to the days of pre-quarantine *silent tear* we could all go to the nail salon. Do you remember seeing the metal boxes with a funky bluish-purple light that stored the fancy steel cuticle clippers and pushers? That box emitted ultraviolet rays to sterilize the tools - yep, the same UV the sun emits.
How is UV light an invisible sterilizing agent? In science terms, UV is so powerful, it can penetrate cells and alter the DNA/RNA of the cell and damage the amino acids and proteins that viruses and other germs contain, essentially disarming its ability to infect a host cell and multiply (resulting in infections and illness).
However, this is also the same reason we need sun protection every day because our good cells aren’t invincible to the UV rays, in the same way viruses and germs aren’t. The alteration of the DNA/RNA of our good cells is what leads to skin cancer, so put on that sunscreen to protect the good guys!
Tip: In Brazil, the sun plays a big part in doing laundry! Sometimes if there isn’t hot water readily available, putting a bucket of soapy water out in the sun to heat up is the easiest way to go (not to mention much more environmentally friendly!). After washing and wringing them out, hang them on a clothesline to dry outside in the sun - not only does it speed up the drying process, but any residual germs or bacteria will get zapped away.
Sunbathing Detox > Celery Juice Detox
Would you rather: Drink a glass of the ever-famous celery juice detox OR Step out into some warm, delicious sunshine?
Our pick? Always the latter.
Gentle sunbathing is actually a great way for your body to detox with that vitamin D coming in to play again. Not only that, but sweating is also one of the first things your body does to push out toxins from your body, so embrace the heat of the sun! Elevate your ‘tox by incorporating some exercise you love into the mix - go for a run, or roll your mat out in the sun for an at-home hot yoga practice.
So what are you waiting for? Dedicate some time to have a transcendent moment with the sun today to nourish your mind, body, and soul. If you’re working from home, try rearranging the orientation of your work desk to face a window to ensure you get your daily dose of sunshine. Just make sure you’re equipped with your SPF, whether you’re enjoying the warm rays indoors or outdoors.
Some more great news? SPF is no longer a chore for us - say “tchau” to the days of endlessly rubbing in that old-school white-cast sunscreen for good. Here are our faves:
For body: Bum Bum Sol Oil SPF 30 protects you from the sun while making your skin glisten and glow without any white-cast. The Cheirosa ‘62 scent (same as Brazilian Bum Bum Cream) makes applying sun protection a little aromatherapy session too. Skin-softening ingredients that make up our signature Brazilian Beauty Blend make applying sunscreen an absolute treat.
For face: My Sol Stick SPF 50 is perfect for more delicate areas that need extra protection - face, lips, and tattoos, just to name a few. The convenient portable stick makes it easy to bring around everywhere, and the delicious Doce de Leite scent is SO delicious that we find ourselves reapplying after just 5 minutes of being out. (Easy AND yummy? This one is great for kids too!)
Where’s your favorite spot to lay out in the Sol?