Well, yes and no.
Yes if you are fair skinned and have had repeated burning by the sun over the years you will be at higher risk for benign skin cancer.
No as the sun is very beneficial. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps us to feel calm and happy, is boosted by exposure to sunlight. Getting sun can have a similar positive effect as an antidepressant.
When you are in the sun during the day you will actually sleep better at night because melatonin production relies on sunlight to trigger its release as the light of day fades to night.
The sun also provides the best form of Vitamin D. As the UVB rays hit the skin a chemical reaction takes place by converting a prohormone to Vitamin D, which, among many things, is cancer protective.
But what about Melanoma? Sam Shuster, a consultant dermatologist at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says that sun exposure is the major cause of the common forms of skin cancer, which are often benign, but not the rarer, truly malignant melanoma. He goes on to say that common skin cancers develop in pale, sun exposed skin and are less frequent in people who avoid the sun and use protection. In contrast, melanoma is related to ethnicity rather than pigmentation and in 75% of cases occurs on relatively unexposed sites, especially on the feet of Africans. Melanoma decreases with greater sun exposure and can be increased by sunscreens. (Source: Science Daily 2008)
Dr. Mercola states that the epidemic of melanoma is more common in 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.
Seven things you can do to protect your skin from damage by taking in rich antioxidant foods or supplements that offset free radical damage from sun exposure.
- Drink green or black tea. They are rich in polyphenols and are powerful botanical antioxidants protecting the skin from free radical damage.
- Carotenoids. Antioxidants that reduce the damaging effects of UCB radiation. It is no accident that God provides these brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the summer thereby providing us with protection.
- Lycopene. Commonly found in tomatoes, another summer food, protects the skin from sunburn and skin cancer. Watermelon is also high in lycopene.
- Tocotrienols. A group of compounds that belong to the Vitamin E family. They are 30-60 times more potent than tocopherols and can quickly disarm free radical activity by reducing the penetration of UV radiation.
- Vitamin C. Prevents premature aging of the skin by supporting and making healthy collagen of the skin.
- Vitamin D. Protects against many types of cancer including skin cancer. I believe everyone benefits from a daily dose of Cod Liver Oil.
- Omega 3 fatty acids. Reduces inflammation and protect your skin from sunburn and melanoma.
You can also provide these nutrients in supplements form if you believe, as I do, that you need added protection. These products can be obtained from NeoLife.
- Carotenoid Complex-contains carotenoids and lycopene
- Vitamin E Plus-contains tocotrienols
- Salmon Oil Plus-contains omega 3 fatty acids and has all 8 master molecules of the Omega 3 chain
- Cod Liver oil in a Capsule form. Or if you prefer a liquid, purchase Nordic Naturals or Carlson Cod Liver oil from your local health food store.
What do I do if I need to use sunscreen because I will be in the sun for an extended period of time?
My recommendation is to either purchase SPF clothing, there are a number of companies that sell this type of clothing.
Sunscreens are so toxic and should be carefully researched before purchasing, as many of the ingredients are endocrine disrupters, meaning they disrupt your body’s hormones. Please follow this link for information on the toxic ingredients of sunscreen. Also check out the Environmental Working Group website and click on their sunscreen page to locate the safest sunscreens and how to purchase them.
You can also give this Home Made Sunscreen Recipe recipe a try if you want to be super natural.
By taking the right precautions and fortifying your body with the nutrients designed by God to protect our skin, you can enjoy the summer months enjoying the many benefits of being in the sunshine.