Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why I Don't Wear Sunscreen

In a nutshell, sunscreen does more to cause cancer than it ever will to prevent it.

Yes, it goes against everything you’ve ever heard about the sun and skin cancer.

But does it surprise you that I would blog about topics that are counter to the profit-driven culture and seem a bit ‘conspiracy-theory’ in nature?

I’m just looking for the Truth.

I lived in fear of developing skin cancer my entire life. Sunscreens slathered on liberally, just like the doctors and tv commercials told me.

But then I learned the godly principles of living the way the Creator intended. True, things are not as they should be in this world--physically or spiritually. This should be painfully obvious to you, my readers, in many different ways. And, yes, we must learn to operate within these spectrums and limitations.

But what if something God created as the source of Light and Life on this earth actually isn’t the cause of scary illnesses that kill peoples’ mothers?

What if the sun actually pulled toxins out of your body and provided your body with it’s daily requirement of Vitamin D--a strong immune booster in the fight against any disease or illness?

So what would happen if we ran from the sun and holed up in our toxic houses (the air in which the EPA says is 70% more toxic than the air outdoors) and office cubicles?

Or when we did venture out into the sun, the toxic chemicals we just slathered onto our skin (in the form of sunscreens, lotions, makeup, etc.) reacted with the toxins that are being pulled out from inside our bodies?

The following is from a book called Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis:
“Synthetic chemical sunscreens may indeed help prevent a sunburn, but they do not prevent skin cancer--in fact, they may even promote it.

“Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston cite: ‘There is no substantial evidence that sunscreen protects against any of the three forms of skin cancer.’

“Robin Marks, M.B., M.P.H., a dermatologist and a professor at the University of Melbourne said: ‘Relying on synthetic chemicals to prevent cancer is laughable.’
“Arthur Rhodes, a University of Pittsburgh dermatologist, told a 1994 meeting of the American Cancer Society that sunscreens ‘appear weakly effective or ineffective.’"
And did you ever think about the people in tropical countries who basically spend their whole life outdoors in the sun?
“While public health officials have been warning that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun increases your risk of developing melanoma, an epidemic of the disease has broken out among indoor workers.
“These workers get three to nine times LESS solar UV exposure than outdoor workers get, yet only indoor workers have increasing rates of melanoma -- and the rates have been increasing since before 1940.

“There are two major factors that help explain this, and the first has to do with the type of UV exposure. There are two primary types of UV rays from sunlight, the vitamin-D-producing UVB rays and the skin-damaging UVA light.

“Both UVA and UVB can cause tanning and burning, although UVB does so far more rapidly. UVA, however, penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB, and may be a much more important factor in photoaging, wrinkles and skin cancers.

“A recent study found that indoor workers may have increased rates of melanoma because they’re exposed to sunlight through windows, and only UVA light, unlike UVB, can pass through window glass.

“At the same time, these indoor workers are missing out on exposure to the beneficial UVB rays, and have lower levels of vitamin D.”
(That came from an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola)

So what to do?

First off, just forget everything you’ve ever learned about the sun, sunscreen and skin cancer.

I mean it.

And get out in the sun! God created it to give Life and Light. And Vitamin D!

The best time is actually between 10:00a and 2:00p when the Vitamin D producing UVB rays are the most intense. You want to stay out until you turn a very light shade of pink. Fair-skinned people will probably max out after about 10-20 minutes. The darker your skin, the longer you need to stay out.

If I go to the beach or spend the whole day at the lake before I’ve had a chance to build up a good tan, I’ll use natural sunscreens like coconut oil or natural brands like Burt’s Bees or Jason.

And the biggest piece of advice?

You are what you eat.
“Watch your diet. People whose diets are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (such as sunflower, safflower and other vegetable oils) are more prone to have sun-damaged skin. Once consumed, these oils work their way to the skin surface, where sunlight oxidises them, which rapidly creates free radicals - unstable molecules that damage the cells’ DNA, leading to photoageing as well as skin cancer (Nutr Cancer, 1987; 9: 219-26).”
I like what Raymond Francis said best:
“Unless you do something foolish, the sun will not cause disease in healthy people who have adequate amounts of nutrients like carotenes, lycopene, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, E, and zinc and selenium.”


  1. Great post! I stopped wearing that stuff years ago, but to be healthier but rather I hate wearing it! It's comforting to know that science backs me up :)

    What are your thoughts on this: You mentioned that high intake of omega-6 fats cause oxidation in the skin, so do you think that this is why those who tan often may look like burlap after a few decades?

  2. Thanks Thomas!

    I definitely think an imbalance of omega-6 fats can cause a number of different skin conditions, including the burlap look you mentioned. Having too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3s also causes inflammation in your body (think conditions ending in -itis like arthritis and colitis).

  3. I've read this recently but I'm still towing the safe line on this one. I don't use sunscreen or block but I do cover up my face and head and try to be sensible about sun exposure. Both my grandfathers (one who ate mostly fish all his life) died of skin cancer. I do agree though that sunscreens and blocks can definitely be worse than tanning! Thanks so much for linking up with Simple Lives Thursday.

    Sustainable Eats

  4. You still don't want to get burned. I cover up when I am reintroducing myself to the sun after winter. I have found that eliminating all PUFA's from my diet and using coconut oil has helped tremendously.

  5. Crunchy Mom-So sorry about your grandfather. I too lost a close family member to skin cancer. I will occasionally wear some natural brands of sunscreen because, as Jenny mentioned, you don't want to get burned.

    When the sun comes out again in the Spring I will make it a point to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun each day (usually having a picnic lunch) to start building up my tan.

  6. Love this post! I don't wear sunscreen either, and I don't put it on my kids. We're fair-skinned, so I try to slowly reintroduce our bodies to the sun in the spring. And I've noticed the better we eat, the less likely we are to get burned!


Related Posts with Thumbnails