There is nothing quite so rejuvenating as spending time in nature. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a world traveler, or an urban bird watcher, you already know that getting outside for a few hours can do wonders for both your mind and body. But what is not talked about as often is that it can also benefit your skin.
"My favorite thing to do on a day off is to go on a hike with my puppy and fiancé,” former Olympic figure skater Meryl Davis told Shape. “Getting grounded in nature with my little family is a great way to disconnect from technology and everyday stress and obligations. I think that's when I really feel my best.”
It is those feelings that are at the heart of nature’s benefits for your skin. As long as you adopt appropriate sun protection measures (sunscreen is still a must), getting outside can help bolster your immune system, support your microbiome, diminish stress, and increase your happiness, all things that will have ripple effects for healthy, glowing skin.
Promote Vitamin D Production
Anyone who’s experienced the winter blues knows that our bodies love the sun. When sunlight hits our skin, it sends a signal that it’s time to start producing vitamin D. While this hormone is best known for the part it plays in bone health and the absorption of calcium, vitamin D also strengthens our immune systems.
The immune system supports the skin’s protective barrier, which is what shields us from all the environmental and chemical irritants we come in contact with on a daily basis. The immune response is particularly important when we injure the skin or when something — think pimples or irritation — disrupts the protective barrier. A strong immune response prevents bacteria and viruses from entering the bloodstream, helps protect your overall health, and promotes healing of skin wounds.