Smarter Sun Protection

Clarice Beckett - Sunny Day

Clarice Beckett – Sunny Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So should you use sunscreen, or not?

Something is dreadfully wrong. We’ve been told to slather on the sunscreen, yet skin cancer and other cancers are still on the rise.

Sunlight is by far the optimal way to produce your vitamin D. Blocking UVB rays may inadvertently be increasing your cancer risk by blocking vitamin D absorption. Plus, sunscreen may cause cancer through carcinogenic ingredients that are absorbed into your skin.

The sunscreens widely credited as preventative cures for skin cancer are also the root cause of a widespread vitamin D deficiency – a vitamin shown to slash flu risk and fight cancer. There has also been a connection made between vitamin D and weight loss. Vitamin D production is extremely limited when sunscreen is used to protect the body from natural sunlight.

You may have heard the advice to spend 20 minutes a day out in the sun unprotected to boost your Vitamin D. However, one size does not fit all. For some very fair people, 20 minutes might be too long. For darker skinned people, its not nearly enough. The darker your skin, the more sun exposure your body needs to produce enough Vitamin D.

The whole secret is to not burn. Spend as much time as you can unprotected without burning.

If you are going to be out in the sun for a long time, you may want to put protection on right away since most sunscreen does not block all of the rays.

While SPF 85 may sound like a lot more protection than SPF 30, the higher the number doesn’t always offer a higher return. Studies show that sunscreen with SPF 15 can block about 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98%. The protective factors plateau from there.

“A product with SPF 100+ blocks about 99.1 percent of the UVB rays. You don’t really need a high number. They end up being expensive and don’t offer more protection than SPF 50. Keep in mind, SPF protects only against UVB rays.”

Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UBV rays are blocked. How many people know that SPF ratings do not indicate any protection from the highly damaging UVA rays?

There are two types of UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are primarily responsible for skin damage from excessive sun exposure that can lead to cancer and skin aging. However, although UVB rays can also cause damage and sunburn, they are necessary for your body to produce its own cancer protective vitamin D via the skin.

Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut Oil, explains that coconut oil applied on the skin protects against sunburn and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays that are necessary for vitamin D synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues from damage excessive exposure can cause. Instead of burning or turning red, it produces a light tan, depending on the length of time you spend in the sun.

I have also found that it is a good idea to bring a t-shirt to cover your shoulders if they start to burn. You don’t want to continue to expose skin that is starting to burn, but if you are out on a boat, there is not a heck of a lot you can do. Even with sunscreen you may still burn. Having a t-shirt has been a godsend on more than one occasion.

There are also foods you can eat to protect your skin from the inside out –

Researchers found that people who ate at least three servings of spinach (or similar greens) each week saw a reduced risk of skin cancer recurrence by about 50%. Three servings a week isn’t much. If you eat three dark-green salads a week (and you should), you meet the requirements.

Melon découpé

Melon découpé (Photo credit: zigazou76)

Red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, which help reduce sunburn, a factor in skin cancer. Protection from the inside!

Cantaloupe has more protective Vitamin A than most vegetables, and its a favorite summer treat.  Melons also contain silicon which stimulates collagen production for healthy bones and great looking skin.

Watermelon is another great choice. It has a lot Vitamins A & C, and this is a great skin care food, giving you great looking skin from the inside out. Watermelon helps you keep cool and avoid heatstroke in hot summer weather. And it just plain tastes good!

Or make a great cool, delicious, green smoothie loaded with your favorite anti-cancer berries. You won’t even taste the spinach.


2 thoughts on “Smarter Sun Protection

  1. Pingback: Skin Types, Sunscreen Products & SPF | Clearer Skin

  2. Sure Fit Inc.

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