I swear that lately people are more terrified of the sun than spiders, snakes and public speaking combined.
Warnings are everywhere, including from most dermatologists, telling us to avoid direct sunlight and slather ourselves in sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.
Well, let’s look at that.
Sunscreen was first brought to market in 1936 by the founder of L'Oreal cosmetics, French chemist Eugène Schueller.
So that means that prior to 1936, people were keeling over in record numbers from skin cancer, right?
I don’t remember that in my history textbooks.
And even though we are currently avoiding the sun and using more sunscreen than ever before, our rates of skin cancer are rising!
Clearly, something is not adding up.
There’s a lot more to it!
Unfortunately, many people are grossly misinformed about skin cancer.
First of all, there are 3 types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (which are rarely fatal) and melanoma (which is the deadliest). Most skin cancer cases involve basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Basal and squamous cell cancers are related to UV exposure over a period of several years.
Melanoma, on the other hand, is associated with sunburns. But note that it often appears on areas of the body that are rarely exposed to the sun—so the puzzle is missing a few pieces.
Additionally, studies have not conclusively determined that sunscreen protects you against melanoma! Some studies suggest a positive outcome, some show no difference, and even others have shown an increased risk of melanoma with sunscreen use!
Why you should NOT avoid the sun
Your body needs UV light exposure from the sun to make vitamin D.
Vitamin D protects you against all types of cancer, so by avoiding the sun because you’re scared of skin cancer, you’re actually raising your risk of cancer! How’s that for a kicker?
In addition, vitamin D also provides these awesome health benefits:
- It helps regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, lowering your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- It prevents depression by helping to regulate your hormones.
- It protects you against cardiovascular disease.
- It protects you against autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus, and psoriasis.
- It supports healthy teeth and gums.
- It boosts your immune function and helps your body fight infections and viruses.
- It helps with learning, memory, and concentration.
Plus sunlight itself has a resume of great health effects including these:
- The sun's light kills bad bacteria.
- Sunlight helps ease skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections.
- It helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Sunlight increases oxygen content in your blood and has a positive effect on stamina, fitness and muscular development.
- Your white blood cells, which play a major role in defending your body against infections, increase with sun exposure.
Most sunscreens fall short and are toxic
Ideally, a sunscreen needs to shield you from both UVA and UVB radiation, as both of these can increase your skin cancer risk with overexposure. But many sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, which are the rays that your body uses to make vitamin D.
So you’re getting only half the protection yet at the same time shutting down your body’s vitamin D production!
Plus up to 75 percent of them are downright toxic! Products containing these poisons should be avoided at all cost:
- Para amino benzoic acid
- Octyl salicyclate
- Menthyl anthranilate
A smarter approach
Here is a smarter approach to getting healthy sun exposure, while still protecting yourself against skin cancer:
Take care of your skin from the inside out!
This means eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, getting enough omega-3 essential fatty acids (fish oil formulas like VitalMega-3 can help) and getting enough protective antioxidants, vitamin B3 and vitamin D. Super Core has health-supporting levels of all of these, plus many more vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatories.
Get 20-30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day
This will help allow your skin to naturally produce vitamin D as it was designed to.
Protect for longer exposure
If you stay in the sun for longer than 30 minutes, it’s time to protect yourself. Options include wearing light clothing, sitting under an umbrella, or wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Choose “broad protection” (UVA and UVB) mineral-based sunscreens that do not contain the toxic ingredients listed above. Good choices include Badger®, True Natural®, Kiss My Face® and Bare Belly Organics®.
Never get a sunburn
If you see your skin going from a very light pink or tan to red, get out of the sun immediately and put aloe vera or vitamin E gel on your skin.
The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.