With a week of summer under our belts, and July 4th celebrations just around the corner, we wanted to bring you a combined piece on the most important thing when it comes to summer fun: staying safe, and stylish, in the sun. This week we’ve got our Sunshine Style Guide to help you pack your bags for Summer holidays, but before we go over the best beach wear, we want to discuss why you shouldn’t shy away from some sun exposure. It’s a delicate balance between getting too much sun and not enough – and it all comes down to the ever-elusive Vitamin D.
One reason why it’s hard to understand how we get Vitamin D is because it doesn’t work like normal vitamins – because it’s already present in our bodies, just not in the form we need it in. That’s where sunshine comes in – it helps our bodies convert the precursor of Vitamin D into a form that our body can use and benefit from.
So what are the benefits of Vitamin D?
Here are the top 5 benefits of maintaining healthy Vitamin D levels – and some of them may surprise you!
- Reduce pregnancy-related risks – this goes for you and for baby! Low levels of Vitamin D are associated with higher risks of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and bacteria vaginosis for you, and a higher risk of asthma and eczema in newborns who did not receive sufficient Vitamin D while in the womb.
- Help the future health of your pelvic floor – it’s true that good pelvic floor muscle strength is positively linked to Vitamin D levels, however this tends to be more prominent in post-menopausal women. By paying attention to your Vitamin D intake now, you can reduce your risk of pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence, later on.
- Get a natural mood boost – while the linkage between Vitamin D and mood is not fully understood, it is believed that Vitamin D receptors in the brain are closely located to receptors associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure. It also plays a role in the regulation of dopamine and serotonin, which are those feel-good neurotransmitters. While research is still working out the direct link, you can experience it yourself – spend a few minutes spent out in the sunshine (if you can find it here in the UK!), and we guarantee you’ll feel a bit better in no time.
- Improve your sleep patterns – not only does sunlight help regulate our circadian rhythm and promote better sleep patterns, it’s also believed that a deficiency in Vitamin D can affect both the quantity and quality of sleep at night. In a recent research study at LSU on daytime sleepiness, over 50% of the participants who experienced regular fatigue were deficient in this vitamin.
- Promote weight loss – there are actually several important ways that Vitamin D helps you maintain a healthier weight.
- Vitamin D receptors on fat cells act as signals for storing or burning fat – basically, healthy Vitamin D levels will help you burn fat, where as low levels will lead to greater storage
- Its receptors in the brain help regulate hunger and high-caloric cravings
- It also helps with the absorption of Calcium – a mineral that’s been shown to effectively aid weight loss when following a healthy diet
- Vitamin D also promotes the release of leptin – the hormone that lets your body know you’ve sated your hunger – helping you to not overeat
- Lastly, it decreases cortisol levels (the well-known stress hormone), which when high, lead to increased abdominal fat storage.
Now the reason why we’re talking about Vitamin D is because the summer sun can give your full daily dose in less than 5 minutes of exposure. However, we don’t recommend staying inside all day and only stepping out for a few minutes to get the good stuff. That’s why we’re bringing you our Sunshine Style Guide – so you can stay safe in the sun, and produce healthy levels of Vitamin D while you’re at it.
The Sunshine Style Guide
Maxi coverup – This lightweight coverup is not only super chic, the rayon fabric works to reflect UV rays, and the darker colour will help protect you from the sun’s rays as well – so you can enjoy more time outside.
Denim shirt – If your arms need some protection too – a light coloured denim top will be the perfect pop-on option. Denim offers a high amount of UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) and the white-washed look is classic for summer.
Floppy hat – A beachside look is never complete without the quintessential floppy hat – and it’s perfect for some added face protection. We love the pop of brilliant blue in this one – guaranteed to brighten up any outfit.
Sexy swimwear – We love this one-piece from Athena because it provides coverage where you want it, while showing just enough skin to spice things up. The supportive cut will be effortlessly flattering and perfect for all of your seaside holidays.
The classic aviator – It’s one of those frames that’s flattering on almost every face shape – and we love the timeless look. Make sure to invest in polarized lenses, as they’ll provide the most protection for your eyes and the delicate skin around them!
The beach bag – Of course you need something to through all of your sunshine style gear into – and this ombre bag is the perfect size and the perfect colour. We can’t say no pink.
Make sure your bag is also packed with a good quality SPF – we love this one from La Roche-Posay that’s perfect for face and body – and a hydrating lip balm so you can look and feel your best when you’re lounging in the summer sun.
What does your sunshine style look like? Share your favorite summer wear in the comments below!