Benefits of Safe Sun Exposure for Reduced Cancer Risk (& Vitamin D)

do we have a sun deficiency epidemic- Benefits of Safe Sun Exposure

There are few topics I could write about that would be as controversial as that of safe sun exposure. Perhaps vaccines and why I don’ reduce a fever, but based on current research, this topic may be one of the most important ones that isn’t getting nearly enough attention.

Here’s why:

Sunbathing and tanning often get a bad rap in our society, but mounting evidence is revealing that moderate sun exposure at healthy levels is not only safe, but necessary. Burning and extreme sun exposure are harmful and can lead to increased cancer risk. But moderate sun exposure doesn’t increase this risk. Vitamin D (obtained from sun exposure) has been linked to a lower risk of many cancers (including skin cancer).

In fact, the most recent in-depth review found that avoiding the sun was a risk factor for all-cause mortality of the same magnitude as smoking.

In other words: avoiding the sun may be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes!

Sun Exposure…Healthy?

First, Let’s All Take a Deep Breath… As I said, this is a controversial topic. I’m sharing what I’ve found from research and blood tests on myself and my family. I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet or anywhere else. I just read a lot of studies for fun and am sharing a couple of really fascinating new ones here.

Let’s just all agree to play nice in the comments. Ok?

Even if we disagree, please comment with respect. Let’s also remember that anecdotal evidence doesn’t prove anything.

Examples of anecdotal evidence:

  1. You know someone who died from skin cancer, therefore you think all sun exposure is bad. (Even though science doesn’t back this up and that scenario doesn’t prove causation).
  2. You know someone who has been outside every day of his or her entire life and got sunburned all the time and never got cancer, therefore all sun exposure is safe. (Science also doesn’t back this up).

We all know people who have been affected by cancer and many hugs to all of you who have lost someone to this dreaded disease. That does not, however, equal a scientific study. I know someone who has never gotten sun exposure, wears a hat and sunscreen daily, and still got skin cancer on his nose. This is also not scientifically relevant.

That said, the current evidence is showing that some levels of sun exposure are safe. Ironically, some reserach indicates that some sunscreen ingredients may be increasing skin cancer.

But read on:

Sunscreen, Sunburn and Skin Cancer, Oh My

In the last several decades, the push to use sunscreen and limit exposure to the sun has gotten stronger. It is now possible to find SPF 70 or higher! Thanks to massive campaigns, most people are at least mildly aware of the “dangers” of sun exposure.

Except for sun exposure may not be as dangerous as we think! And avoiding the sun may be the dangerous part.

Despite the push for more awareness about sun exposure, and the advice to use sunscreen whenever we go outside, incidence of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is rising dramatically.

In fact, skin cancer rates are rising by 4.2% annually, despite the fact that we  spend less time outdoors and wear more sunscreen. We are doing the things we are “supposed” to do and the problem is getting worse.

But is Sun Exposure the Reason?

Here’s where things get interesting…

Perhaps the problem isn’t lack of sunscreen, or even sun exposure at all, but a deeper cause.

A recent in-depth scientific review found that while sunburn is harmful, moderate non-burning sun exposure (without sunscreen) had many benefits.

To Repeat:

Recently, however, scientific inquiry has increasingly turned to the benefits of moderate sun exposure and the public health risks of inadequate sun exposure.

In Other Words:

Not getting ENOUGH sun can be just as harmful (or more so) than too much. Like so many things in life, the dose makes the poison.

And, Sunscreen May NOT Help Avoid Cancer

The general idea is that since sunscreen prevents sunburn, it also logically prevents skin cancer. Seems logical, but science doesn’t back this up! Also, sunscreen may block some of the most beneficial aspects of sun exposure. It may slow burning but it also blocks Vitamin D, and vitamin D deficiency is epidemic.

The scientific review also found that: “We can find no consistent evidence that use of chemical sunscreens reduces the risk of melanoma.”

The review authors even went so far as to suggest that sunscreen carry a warning label!

Concluding that:

Since public health authorities recommend liberal use of sunscreens for good health, the labeling of sunscreens should contain a statement about the possibility of Vitamin D deficiency that may result from excessive use of sunscreens. Labeling should also state that sunscreens have not been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of melanoma.

Another study in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found a similar result:

Sunscreens protect against sunburn, but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Problems lie in the behavior of individuals who use sunscreens to stay out longer in the sun than they otherwise would. Vitamin D inhibition is, at this stage, unlikely due to insufficient use by individuals. Safety of sunscreens is a concern, and sunscreen companies have emotionally and inaccurately promoted the use of sunscreens.

Sunscreen DOES Block Vitamin D

Avoiding sunburn is certainly a good idea. The idea that sunscreen is the best way to do so is certainly up for debate.

We know that sunscreen inhibits Vitamin D production, especially when used regularly and that Vitamin D deficiency has been strongly linked to a variety of cancers, including two of the most common and most dangerous: breast and colon cancer.

So as a society we avoid the sun, even though we need sun exposure to help our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D. Then we put chemical laden lotions (sunscreen) on in hopes of reducing one type of cancer (skin cancer). In the process, we might make ourselves Vitamin D deficient and increase our chance of a host of other cancers, including some of the most common and dangerous ones.

And the study above showed that sunscreen doesn’t even prevent melanoma anyway!

Vitamin D: Vital for Health

In many cases we are (sometimes literally) cutting off our noses to spite our face when it comes to the sun. One study at the Oslo University Hospital in Norway found that the benefits of sun exposure far surpassed any risk:

It can be estimated that increased sun exposure to the Norwegian population might at worst result in 200-300 more cancer from malignant melanoma deaths per year, but it would elevate the vitamin D status by about 25 nmol/l (nanomoles per liter) and might result in 4,000 fewer internal cancers and about 3,000 fewer cancer deaths overall.

That’s just good math…

Sun exposure might lead to a few hundred more melanoma deaths, but would potentially stop 3,000 other deaths. That means a net of 2,700-2,800 people would get to live if they didn’t avoid the sun. I’d take those odds personally (and I do, daily).

Other studies have found links between low-vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s Disease, bone disease, blood clots, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study even found that regular sun exposure helped women to live longer. Yet another study found that regular sun exposure could cut breast cancer risk in half!

Vitamin D is Important for Pregnancy, Babies, & Kids

Vitamin D is also essential during pregnancy and nursing as adequate blood levels of Vitamin D have been linked to lower premature labor and overall complication risk. Low Vitamin D levels can put a mom at higher risk for gestational diabetes and can lead to bone or other problems for the baby. Another recent study found that pregnant women should get more sun to increase several health markers for themselves and their babies.

Pregnancy & Vitamin D

This article from the Vitamin D council explains the importance of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Optimal levels are above 30 ng/mL during pregnancy. Some doctors even recommend levels above 60 ng/mL for best health, especially during pregnancy.

But women aren’t even close to those levels:

  • Dr. Joyce Lee and her colleagues at the University of Michigan found that 37 of 40 pregnant women had levels below 40 ng/mL, and the majority had levels below 20 ng/mL. More than 25% had levels below 10 ng/mL.
  • Dr. Lisa Bodnar, a prolific Vitamin D researcher, found that of 400 pregnant Pennsylvania women; 63% had levels below 30 ng/mL and 44% of the black women in the study had levels below 15 ng/mL. Prenatal vitamins had little effect on the incidence of deficiency.
  • Dr. Dijkstra and colleagues studied 70 pregnant women in the Netherlands, none had levels above 40 ng/mL and 50% had levels below 10 ng/mL. Again, prenatal vitamins appeared to have little effect on 25(OH)D levels, as you might expect since prenatal vitamins only contain 400 IU of Vitamin D.

They concluded that:

More than 95% of pregnant women have 25(OH)D levels below 50 ng/mL, the level that may indicate chronic substrate starvation. That is, they are using up any Vitamin D they have very quickly and do not have enough to store for future use. Pretty scary.

These chronic low Vitamin D levels during pregnancy can lead to increased risk of cesarean, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and vaginal infection in the mother, and a higher risk of autism, mental disorders, infection, low birth weight, and heart/lung/brain problems among others.

Vitamin D for Babies & Kids

Babies and kids may also be suffering from vitamin D and sun deficiency. Adequate vitamin D levels are really important for growing children, and not just to avoid rickets. A lot of research links adequate Vitamin D levels in children to better mental and physical health.

As a rule, in the absence of significant sun exposure, we believe that most healthy children need about 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily per 11 kg (25 lb) of body weight to obtain levels greater than 50 ng/mL. Some will need more, and others less. In our opinion, children with chronic illnesses such as autism, diabetes, and/or frequent infections should be supplemented with higher doses of sunshine or vitamin D3, doses adequate to maintain their 25(OH)D levels in the mid-normal of the reference range (65 ng/mL) — and should be so supplemented year-round (p. 868).”

Many kids aren’t even getting 1/4 of that on a good day, and when they do, it often comes from the less useable Vitamin D2.

Our whole family has tested our Vitamin D levels (including me during pregnancy and after) and even with moderate daily sun exposure, we were all low (in the high 20s or 30s). I work with a doctor to test and supplement (while still getting sun exposure) if it is necessary.

Why Safe Sun Exposure May REDUCE Cancer Risk

The most comprehensive current studies don’t recommend avoiding the sun. To the contrary, the recent review (read the full review here) concluded:

In this paper we review the current state of the science of the risks and benefits of sun exposure and suggest that public health advice be changed to recommend that all men, women and children accumulate sufficient non-burning sun exposure to maintain their serum 25hydroxyvitaminD [25(OH)D] levels at 30 ng/mL or more year-round.

The Review Also Found:

  • Sunbathing without burning reduced the risk of melanoma. Non-burning sun exposure is associated with a reduced risk of melanoma. Sunburns are associated with a doubling of the risk of melanoma. This means that while we should avoid sunburn, sun exposure itself is associated with less risk of melanoma!
  • Long term exposure may also protect the skin. “With respect to chronic non-burning sun exposure, it is thought that protection against sunburn and development of melanoma derives from photo-adaptation (increased melanisation and epidermal thickening) or from the induction of higher levels of vitamin D, or possibly both.”
  • Vitamin D reduces cancer risk. Science already knew this, but the study specifically found that…”Vitamin D produced by UVB exposure is converted to the active form of vitamin D by its sequential metabolism in the liver to form the major circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. Evidence suggests that vitamin D that is produced in the skin can also be converted in the skin to its active form 1,25(OH)2D, thereby enhancing DNA repair and lowering cancer risk.”
  • Lack of sun exposure may be driving the rising melanoma rates. The review found that sun exposure is not likely the cause of rising melanoma rates. In fact, the opposite may be true. Declining sun exposure may be to blame: “A more plausible explanation for the rise in melanoma incidence since 1935 may be the continually-increasing insufficient non-burning sun exposure and related increasing vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency, and the increasing sunburn prevalence experienced by the American public over the same time period.”

Vitamin D Deficient = More Likely to Die?

The scientific review also found a relevant link between Vitamin D and reduced risk of death. Basically, the higher a person’s Vitamin D levels,  the less likely that person was to die. The review noted that those with adequate Vitamin D had less risk of death from heart disease and certain cancers.

Inadequate sun exposure was also linked to higher rates of dental cavities, eye problems, obesity, skin problems and more.

Does Diet Impact Sun Exposure Risk?

In the quest for an easy (and profitable) solution to skin cancer, mainstream medicine and media have recommended sunscreen and limiting sun exposure. At the same time, they’ve ignored any potential role diet can play in skin cancer formation or prevention.

Perhaps, since skin cancer rates are rising despite the highest rates of sunscreen use in history… it is time to look at alternative explanations.

In the same past few decades that skin cancer (and other cancer) rates have risen, some dietary factors have also changed, including: increased use of Omega-6 vegetable oils, higher consumption of processed foods, more chemical additives in foods, reduced consumption of saturated fats, increased grain consumption, etc.

Increased Omega-6 Vegetable Oil Consumption

Omega-6 oils like canola, cottonseed, vegetable, soybean, etc., are a very new addition to our diets. There is no biological need to consume oils in this state. Some evidence also shows that when these oils are consumed, they can be used in place of the saturated and monounsaturated fats the body needs for skin formation and actually lead to skin cancer.

In fact, some studies have shown that the high linoleic acid content in vegetable oils increases the instance of skin cancer and other cancers, and lowers the body’s ability to fight cancer. As the article explains:

Thus, the amount of linoleic acid in the diet as well as the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 determine the susceptibility of the skin to damage from UV rays. This is a very straightforward explanation for the beautiful skin of people eating traditional fats like butter and coconut oil. It’s also a straightforward explanation for the poor skin and sharply rising melanoma incidence of Western nations (source). Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer.

While vegetable oil consumption has risen, saturated fat and Omega-3 fat consumption has dropped.

Reduced Saturated Fat and Omega-3 Fat Consumption

As Omega-6 oil consumption has risen, consumption of saturated fats and Omega-3 fats has declined. We’ve seen how well that’s worked out for us, but it turns out that it could have a pretty big impact on skin health, too.

The body needs healthy fats, including saturated fats and Omega-3 fats, to regenerate skin tissue. The body prefers these types of fats. If the body doesn’t get these fats (and many people don’t these days), it will use whatever it has available. It may even use Omega-6 fats, which are not the preferred fat for building skin and collagen.

Bottom Line: Time to Rethink Sun Exposure

Based on the largest review of evidence we have to date, it is time to re-think sun exposure. The idea that the sun causes skin cancer isn’t the full story. Believing that for the past 70+ years may be doing much more harm than good.

While we’ve avoided the sun to hopefully avoid skin cancer, our rates of other cancers are going up. Our rates of all-cause mortality are going up. And this review found that a lack of sun may be the reason.

Sun Exposure: What I Do

In light of this, and so much other evidence, I don’t personally avoid the sun. In fact, I make it a point to spend some time in the sun daily. I also test my Vitamin D levels, take supplemental Vitamin D too and don’t use harmful sunscreens.

I get out of the sun before I get close to burning. If I get enough sun exposure and want to stay outside, I just cover up and wear a hat. And for the first time in my adult life, my Vitamin D levels are in the healthy range. I also “eat my sunscreen” by eating a real food diet and taking specific supplements that help protect the body from the inside out.

Your turn: What do you do when it comes to sun exposure?

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Reader Comments

  1. I have found that my skin has a much higher tolerance to the sun since going grain free and eating healthy fats. 

    • I work outside. Have for 25 + year’s. Since eating more fruit and veggies, cutting back on meats and breads, adding exercise and supplementing D3, E, and B complex (all vegan certified) I have not burned from the sun. Again, I am in the sun a lot. No sunscreen.
      The old saying about “an apple a day”, should be an avocado a day.

  2. I have eczema, and zinc oxide based sunscreen does wonders for my skin irritation derived from sun exposure. Only zinc oxide based ones, though. Actually, my skin seems to like zinc oxide a lot, so I am known to put zinc oxide based makeup (mineral foundations of the simplest sort, with only Z.O. and iron oxides), or zinc oxide based sunscreen, or zinc oxide + fish oil based nappy cream on my face whenever I have bad eczema days.

    I can also tell that ever since I increased my fish consumption and added some fish oil to my diet (like my grandmother used to do) my reactions to sun exposure became less severe (I’ve gone a full year without getting red and bumpy skin, which I used to get, almost like a rash, not really like sunburn).

    I am not doing a grain-free diet, but I did decrease my grain consumption (my nutritionist advised me to fill most of my plate with salad/cooked non-grainy vegetables, then protein and just a little of grains, and I seem to be thriving on that 🙂 even though I am not getting thinner, but I do feel much healthier and more productive 🙂 )

    • Also, chemical sunscreens make my skin itch a lot, so at least in my case I simply cannot do any other kind than pure physical barrier ones…

    • Just for the record, my wife and I were pale skinned fair Caucasians twelve months ago. We have since gone full LCHF. We both swim daily in strong sun and have great tans now. I can spend hours in the sun without any burning whatsoever, I used to be a red head before greying.
      Given the other comments supporting this phenomena I think more research is deserved; might make another blockbuster best seller.

      • Chris, what is LCHF?

        • low carb high fat diet.

    • Thanks for bringing this up Tarocha, as I have been dealing with itchy, welt-covered elbows for much of my adult life. However, it has gotten MUCH worse lately, to the point I have been using sun sleeves and a hat, which also coincides with me moving inland, away from all the seafood I used to enjoy almost daily!

      Thank you again, since as a VERY outdoorsy person, I find it quite hard to stay out of the sun (nor do I want to, much to Katie’s points in her excellent post), and I since I also seem to have an allergy to my own perspiration which is triggered with tight-fitting clothing (ala sun sleeves), this is something which has been driving me NUTS!

      Now, I’m off to find some good seafood here in Colorado:)!

  3. Awesome article! I agree with all the points you have made here. Surprise! Lol

    I can honestly say that I am less suspect to get sunburn these days. I tan easily however. I got one major burn in April while in California. I suspect that was from not being in the sun for months since I live in Michigan. I have not gotten burnt since then but have built up a nice tan instead. It’s awesome to say the least!

  4. Very nice article!

  5. Wonderful and informative article! Looking forward to sharing it on our FB page -Medicine Mama’s Apothecary- and following your blog in the future! Thanks!! 

  6. AWESOME article!! You’re probably going to see my name pop up under the comments of a bajillion of your posts – I’m in love! (And I found the 101 uses for coconut oil…) Haha 🙂 This is so great though, I’ve been trying to explain that I don’t want my kids using sunscreen and I get that look like I’ve beaten them. I just printed this up AND shared it on my Facebook page! You are a rock star!!

  7. I have always burned, peeled, burned since I became an adult and work inside all day. Since going Paleo and taking Vitamin D, I barely burned, even at the beach. I can actually still see a faintl
    y hint of tan from last summer on my feet, and that is saying alot living in Upstate N.Y.

  8. What a phenomenal article!! I tend to not burn as badly anymore… But I do still burn. I wish I could just tan, but that’s just not in the cards for me, ha! Although ever since I started eating FAR HEALTHIER than I was (10 years ago) my skin pigment has changed colors, I am slightly orange thanks to the beta carotene, but I am okay with that!

  9. I definitely noticed this. I started eating Primal Sept 2011 and had no issue with sunburn (and never used sunscreen) last summer.
    I used to wear the second lightest shade in foundation formulas and would burn in about 5 minutes without SPF in the past. Now I am on the lighter end of medium shades (when I actually wear my mineral makeup) and don’t own any SPF.
    We just had our first 70+ degree days last week. I spent both days gardening in my bikini. I DID feel a little toasty at the end of the second day (Pacific NW winter=zero chance for sun for a LONG time, so no base tan) and I was red and tingly, but it calmed down overnight and I am now just tanned for April! Weird!
    Also, I take my Fermented Cod Liver Oil, 1 teaspoon daily. It has high vitamin D and is Omega 3-rich and highly anti-inflammatory, so I’m sure that helps from the inside…
    So glad I found your blog!

  10. I gave up grains 2 years ago to treat some gynaecological problems – and that, along with cutting out dairy, refined sugar, and caffeine worked a treat. It was bonus when I went away to a hot climate on holiday last year and discovered that I didn’t burn all week and started tanning immediately – which was particularly surprising as I’m also a redhead and normally used to burn before going a pale golden colour.

  11. I broadly agree with much of the above, but it may be wise to consider the effect(s) of pollution ozone, CO2, atmospheric conditions, etc may have a bearing on the rise in the incidence of cancer(s). Diet is probably a factor, but not the only one – although it is one over which we have [personal] control.

  12. i have had the same experience. through clean eating my sun tolerance has increased and burns have been nonexistent. i would take any sunburning as a sign to get out of the sun. i dose high on D3 during winter months but have always discontinued in the summer and now i’ll try the fermented oil/butter oil blend. thanks for such a great post, packed with information and solid common sense.

  13. I am sure eating healthy is optimal for everything. But my BF is a “red head” who eats an amazing diet vegan/raw very healthy and she is prone to sun burn. My son is part latino and he does not burn we eat the same diet (relatively healthy whole foods) and I am blue eyes and fair skin and i burn. I think skin tone plays a big part… None of the articles on this subject site any references to this information ?

    • To clarify- a “amazing vegan/raw diet” will definitely not help prevent burning as it lacks a lot of the needed animal fats that are so protective… the nutrients in certain levels are also very important. Certainly, genetics play a role (my italian in laws can eat junk and not burn) but this regimen helps me (pale, irish) not burn…

      • My son also extremely fair and a redhead burns extremely fast! We eat organically,gluten free and grass fed antibiotic free meat from farm and my son still burns so I don’t see the choice of foods always the case! I do not burn quickly,so I would think that being redheaded with fair skin has nothing to do with the food choices!

        • Note: gluten free is not the same as grain free.
          An organic gluten free diet did not help my health.
          However, a clean, organic, grain free, healthy fats, organic meat, no added sugar of any kind, only organic grass grazed butter no other dairy, lots of veggies, some fruits lower in sugar, high doses of vit D3 life style of eating has very much improved my health and even tho I have very fair skin I have not burned since eating this way.

      • My husband and I both live a vegan lifestyle…not raw so definitely not as healthy as Lisa and her family, but my husband who is naturally” caramel” has always tanned wonderfully, i on the other hand, being half ginger, have always had to “burn once to get it out of the way” and then lay or play in the sun for 5x as long as him to get half the tan. Since going vegan, I tan very very easily, and on the rare occasion i do get a little pink i heal at a much faster rate. There is a lot of bad press about vegan diets and also a lot of myths about “needing” animal products. Kinda like how people believe that sunscreen will prevent cancer, but we know better, dont we 😉 very informative article, but i do ask that you do a little more digging into the benefits of a plant based diet, or even take a thirty day challenge to see for yourself, before perpetrating the myths that the vegan community works really hard to combat <3 keep being awesome ,girlfriend!

        • I am a new vegan (for health and environmental reasons) and I am in the same boat. I’ve been trying to increase my coconut and olive oil consumption quite a bit but I’m afraid that won’t be enough of a natural sun buffer. Are there any other plant based foods (I know of tomato paste) that can help prevent sunburn?

  14. Recently I have been recieving comments on how nice my tan is (as I have noticed that it is a nice bronze and very even). I am on a raw vegan food diet and use coconut oil as sunscreen. My friends and family are horrified when I apply coconut oil to my skin as though I am a sun worshiping valley girl with my baby oil and sun reflector; I try to explain the benefits of coconut oil but mainstream has planted a very deep seed. I am so glad I came across this article, it helps support my argument and makes me think I am not crazy for not wearing sunscreen.

    • Same here with the coconut oil. I’ve read it offers a natural SPF of 4. I also make sure to lie in the sun as close to solar noon as possible to get the UVB rays. 20 min front and 20 min back and that’s it. Works beautifully for me. Also, I do use a mineral sunscreen on my face with SPF 50 to prevent wrinkles.

  15. I have noticed this, too! My son & I are very fair, but we tend not to burn when we’re eating “clean” now. I do use a bit of Badger sun block on him when we’ll be out extensively, but we rarely need it.

  16. Interesting 🙂 I’m in Australia so it’s winter here, but I will be interested to see how I go next summer, now that I’m eating better. We also have higher exposure to UV radiation here because of the hole in the ozone layer which makes me nervous about going without sunscreen completely. I figure the body can cope with normal radiation, but not the amount that now comes through because of man-made problems. I think I will give your natural sunscreen a go for when I’m spending a while in the sun.

  17. A great article for the right time of year! However the NOW vitamin C/Ascorbic acid link that you posted raises a question. I’ve seen you post that link before and I thought that most ascorbic acid/vitamin C was genetically modified. Is this true? Is this a verified brand? Or do you feel that the benefits outweigh the risks? I’d love to hear your well-researched response! Thanks again for all your info!

  18. I was diagnosed with a nonspecific autoimmune disease about 6 months ago (a week before my 16th birthday) and immediately cut out all grains and processed food. Though I chose the other end of the diet spectrum (raw vegan), I am so grateful for your blog! I have used tons of your advice and herbal remedies to overcome various physical ailments. Since my diet and lifestyle change, my blood tests have improved, I can walk without intense joint pain, I don’t roll in agony each time I eat, and I don’t get sunburns. Also, I pointed a friend recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease toward your blog and she has since switched to a Primal diet with great success. I have no doubt that Primal/Paleo works miracles, but my body has never digested meat well. Your motherly advice is amazing and I think your kids are so lucky!!!

  19. I’ve been eating a ridiculous amount of tomatoes in the form of tomato paste in chili, and the result has been insane sun protection. I was out in the noon sun from 10am-4pm in New Orleans and I, the girl who used to get burned after 30 minutes in the sun, just tanned.
    Also, a random tidbit. This hot weather has me bathing in lukewarm-cold water. My skin has definitely improved despite the supposed pore clogging effects of a hot, sweaty, oily face. No soap. I just wash up with cold water to rinse the sweaty gunk off. I theorized that hot water is a major skin irritant and that it strips the skin.

    • I totally agree about the tomatoes! I read somewhere about lycopene being a sunscreen when eaten internally, and I ate tomatoes pretty much every day that I was in Italy. I didn’t burn at all in the hot Italian sun…definitely worth looking into I think!

  20. I’ve definitely noticed this. We were out on the lake all day this weekend without sunscreen. My husband had slightly pinker cheeks by the end of the day, but you couldn’t tell my fair-skinned boys had been out at all. I used to fry anytime I was in the sun, but had hardly even a tan.

    We eat a lot of healthy fats, fruits and veggies and avoid processed sugar. However, we are not grain-free. We eat a good amount of soaked/sourdough whole grains (1-3 servings a day, on average), and we still are in great health and don’t burn. So it’s not all grain’s fault. 😉

  21. Hi Kate- I really like this article a lot, and I can’t get enough of your blog! One question though; the Amazon Fish/butter oil says is contains Omega 6 oils, which are the ones the article says to avoid. Just wondering if in the fish oil they are the safe ones? Thanks

  22. Very nice article!!!

    To add up a few things, which has changed for me, after i went Paleo, is as follows:

    I have become faster in every way.
    The reflexes are insane.
    Stamina is crazy.
    Since my early teens, i suffered daily from heart cramps, i don’t get that anymore.
    I also ended up having some breathing issues, that wen’t away as well.
    Both my knees and my back, have been painful since my teens, due to sports related injuries, but after ditching the sugar and starch, it is like it all just healed up!
    I’m stronger.
    I don’t get heartburn anymore!
    Blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, is perfect!
    Tastebuds is enhanced, as are my scent sanses.
    I am more observant, and my concentration is better.
    I never feel hungry, and oh my the weight loss!
    My immunesystem is good ( I used to get sick 2 – 4 times a year, now i haven’t been sick once over 2 years ), i feel more on top, way more energy throughout the day!
    Flexibility has become better, and i don’t get muscle cramps, not even after walking for hours.
    I’ve always been weak with my left arm, but that has somehow equaled out, so body arms throw a punch now.
    I used to get these sand-like corns in the palms of my hands, and so did my mom, it went on for years, but that is also gone now ( Sugar crystalizes in the body, causing THAT, as well as kidney stones etc, you get the idea ).
    Even my handwriting, has now become better!

    Other friends, who has cut sugar and starch out of their diet, and gotten cured includes:

    Asthma, Diabetes, ADHD, PCOS…

    I hope more people soon get their eyes opened, and that the food industry stop selling crap products to ignorant people, by hiding their bad products in a lot of different names and descriptions!!!

    • I’m 50 and live in New Zealand. Years of harsh sun and insulin resistance from a diet fearful of fats. After reading Diet for a Small Planet I thought I didn’t need much protein. So my skin is very damaged, liver spotted. If only I knew this in my early 20’s when I read that damn book. Since going paleo, (and for me it needs to be quite low carb due to the metabolic damage), I have had a lessening of the liver spots on my hands and some large flat rough patches on my face have done a healing thing …the 1cm wide brown mark flares up red and raw, worries me enough to go to the Dr, she says, lets wait till it heals and see, and it disappears altogether. I don’t know if this is due to the healthier diet or if this would happen on my old wheat/vege oil/sugar ridden diet, but I suspect not. Have other people had this happen?

      • yes

      • I am 53, grew up doing a lot of beach time in California, am blonde and fair-skinned and have had some scary rough spots show up on my face a few years ago. My doctor panicked and wanted them burned off. I decided to try a natural approach. I bought some aloe vera plants and every night, put fresh aloe on my face. The biggest spots disappeared, but I still had a couple left. I have been treating those with a nightly application of castor oil. The spots are almost gone now! These were some pretty serious spots that were peeling so deeply that they would cause my skin to bleed, but now they’re just about gone.

        I would say to anybody before disfiguring their skin by having these patches burnt off, ask if your doctor would hold off and give this a try.

        • how did you apply the castor oil and for how long?

          • I apply a liberal amount to problem spots, gently rub it in and leave the excess on overnight. I started treating the biggest spot that would bleed with fresh aloe vera from the plant for a couple of months, probably. When it was almost better is when I started using the castor oil and after a few weeks of that, it was gone. I’ve had a few other patches get better just from the castor oil. But I have to be consistent. It probably also helps that I only use natural moisturizers and products now (no parabens, etc.). Who knows that it wasn’t the years of sun exposure, but the applying of carcinogen-containing products that wrecked havoc with my skin?

  23. Why do you suggest Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend vs. just cod liver oil? And what is the difference.

    • It is more absorbable with the butter oil which contains Vitamin K

  24. One quick point, a sunburn and a tan both cause skin damage. In fact a tan is your skin saying it is being injured…

  25. so when you say grains does that include chick peas, lentils, quinoa etc? and if yes, why because they are said to be the healthiest proteins. thx!!

  26. Since taking 10,000 IU vitamin D per day for some years and a blood level of 85 nanograms/mililiter of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, it may be a phenomena but I have not sun burned when exposed to the tropical sun for 4-6 hours. I no longer use sun screen. Could higher blood levels of 25 hydroxy actually prevent sunburn? Being a blond guy, I used to have to slather on the sun screen prior to taking vitamin D.

    • Please be careful with the amount of Vitamin D you take daily! 10,000 IU is really high, that’s the sort of dose you would give to someone with a severe Vitamin D deficiency and you would usually only take such a high dose for a short amount of time, maybe a few months. Your Vitamin D levels should be around 75, a little higher than this is not usually a problem but taking supplements of 10,000 IU daily would probably eventually bring your Vitamin D level up to a dangerous amount. Having too much Vitamin D in your blood can cause side effects like irregular heart beats and high levels of calcium in the blood which can lead to many health problems including kidney damage.
      Obviously if you have been told to take that amount of Vitamin D by a doctor who has been regularly testing your blood and overall health then what I said doesn’t need to bother you! But I would hate for someone to read your comment and end up making themselves ill by taking a Vitamin D supplement that was far too high!

      • Sam, I’ve read that sitting in the sun for just 15 minutes will make the body produce something like 5000 to 7000 IU of vitamin D, maybe even more? If true then taking 10,000 IU a day is not insane, imo, but I’d make sure it’s a good quality D3 supplement.

  27. OMG. I am so excited for summer now! It’s so weird how things are making more sense: when we were young (up until college) my sister and I would tan gorgeously. We also ate our of our parents vegetable garden year round and had very little refined foods (country folk). Now we are in our 30s (spending our adult life eating the SAD) and get a sunburn just THINKING about it. I’ve been AIP Paleo for 43 days (hooray!) and cannot WAIT to see how I do in the sun come May-June. So freaking glad I found your site 🙂 Thanks!

  28. Is Astaxanthin safe while pregnant? Should I still take the extra vitamin c and d if taking raw prenatal?

  29. I always burned – no sunscreen in my childhood. About 30 years ago, I read a book called “The Natural Way To Beauty” that started me on good vitamin intake. The burning threshold went way down – noticeable & surprising. Then in 1999, I started a low carb diet that I have done since, greatly reducing grains & increasing good fats & vegetables. Now I tan in what seems like no time at all. I can take a 40 min nap in the hammock after 4:00 pm & see dramatic color increase. I just thought old skin must tan faster. I realize now there may be a diet connection.

  30. funny i just finished whiiping a batch of your sunscreen recipe up and then i saw this article pop up………… was wondering what oil you would use for frying and/or mayo besides coconut or olive oil. my husband doesn’t like the subtle taste of coconut that coconut oil leaves … i dont mind it but id like for us both to enjoy our food . i use olive for every other application pretty much.

    • I do everything in your protocol except the Fermented Fish Oil. I’ve been holding out but with your prompting I’m finally taking the plunge and adding that to my regimen. I read the Fermentd Fish Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend has Vit K for absorbtion. The Vit D3 I take has vit K2 (1100 mcg) in it as well. Will there be a problem with too much vit K?

  31. I was wondering about if wearing sunglasses has negative or neutral effects to the eyes/ body.
    I live where it snows and when the sun is out it can be blinding. Plus I’ve heard that people with lighter colored eyes are more sensitive to the sun. However, I’ve read that wearing sunglasses inhibits the “good” cellular reactions to the sun.
    Any ideas?

  32. I notice on Amazon the Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil is $52 a bottle, can you recommend anything cheaper? Would just plain Fermented Cod Liver oil do the same job. Thanks

  33. Black Seed Oil – Egyptian Secret listed in the Bible as “Herb that cures all but death”.

  34. Love your blog! Just curious why you don’t give Astaxanthin to your kiddos? I was thinking of getting it to give my kids, but now I’m not so sure….Any advice?

  35. Great article… can you comment on sun exposure and wrinkling?… 🙂 does sun exposure cause premature aging in skin? (or is that a myth promoted by the skincare industry), and do you have any recommendations for products, that in addition to a diet as described above, could help with the aging effects of sun exposure for those of us fair-skinned folks?

    Thanks!

    • I’ve read that vitamin C is good for collagen production, thus helping skin not wrinkle. Also coconut oil has collagen in it, and I’m sure many other foods out there. When melanin is built up to high amounts, I think this will help the skin from wrinkling as well, but probably not the only thing that is needed, as mentioned before: the foods with collagen in them also help!

      I had a few creases in my forehead from raising my brows for the years that I used to pluck my brows and then I read one day about coconut oil, rubbing it into those creases vigorously for 30 seconds to 45 seconds and I actually saw a difference after just one try. They suggested to keep it up daily for weeks, if memory is correct, but I am not that worried about it, so I just did it like 3-4 more times and left it as is. lol

  36. Why do you say that the fermented cod liver oil is probably the most important supplement for preventing skin damage? Does it have something to do with the vitamin A content?

  37. Everyone is talking about getting tans instead of sunburns. You do realize tanning is still causing skin damage, right? A “base tan” does not protect you.

  38. Our diet also affects the make up of our sweat. The sun’s reaction with our sweat may have a lot to do with the incidence of skin problems too. Since I have been taking zinc supplements I have noticed that any skin blemishes (perhaps sun damage as I’m 56) have all but disappeared or at least not deteriorated.

  39. I gave up sugar about 10 days ago and by day 5 I started getting really scaley skin which has now turned into something like sunburn. The strange thing is that the sunburn took 2 days to manifest (it rained the day before it flared up, but I had been in the sun 48 hours before). I wonder whether my body is reacting to the lack of sugar… any ideas?

  40. Katie,
    I gave up sunscreen ever since reading Andreas Moritz’ book, “Timeless Secrets to Health and Healing” years ago… so I’m right on board with everything you’re saying. HOWEVER, I’m a bit confused now about linoleic acid. Do you think this connection between linoleic acid in vegetable oils and cancer could be considering only refined linoleic acid? What about the raw linoleic acid found in raw, cold-pressed hemp oil? Hemp oil is the only oil with a perfect ratio of EFAs, and it is great used externally and taken internally for skin (our sebum is comprised primarily of linoleic acid, so taking hemp oil helps keep the sebum healthy by not allowing our bodies to resort to using oleic acid, which leads to blackheads and acne). Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Very interested in figuring this out! Thanks!
    Desi

    • I have Hemp oil in the refrigerator. Guess I’ll try using that more often too. 🙂

      There is a bit of confusion between the overly processed, overly used and concentrated junk that is mainstream, as compared to the unrefined, raw types that you speak of, imo. There’s always a balance that must be made though, especially now that we can buy such concentrated forms of these things, like the healthy balance of omega fatty acids. Omega 6 is not bad, but too much of omega 6 without omega 3 (and other thing, I’m sure) to balance is bad.

  41. Hi, im not sure if you can answer this but ill give it a go. I have a lot of red hyperpigmentation from acne (still have a few breakouts) since i started tanning a couple years ago. I was very pale and had a bad diet including smoking but i always had a few breakouts that did not scar, jawline and chin. Since ive changed my diet and quit smoking i have a little better skin. I just started the fermented cod liver oil. Even though i go use sunbeds now and only use some mineral powder on my face for sunscreen, my body gets a nice tan but my face and neck wont tan. So i tried to use self tanning on my face and neck (good quality stuff and organic) but my face then turn to a strange orange color. Im just about to give up on ever having Nice skin and tan and just be pale. I would love to get some advice from you!

  42. Diet definitely makes a huge difference. I am very interested and very glad that the news is getting out! I have been listening to a lot of interviews and lectures by Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute and the patients they see are usually terminally ill cancer patients with only months left to live, sent home to die by doctors as medicine can do nothing for them anymore. By CHANGING THEIR DIET most of these patients are COMPLETELY HEALED by following the Gerson Therapy but the medical profession at large won’t accept it. I wish that everyone would know this and not wait until its too late to find out how good the body is at healing itself if we feed it the right nutrients that promote an immune system that can fight disease.

  43. I might have missed this in the article, but what affect does this diet have on long-term problems associated with sun exposure, such as premature skin ageing and wrinkling?

  44. Are there foods for the reverse? Thus keeping a pale complexion o.O

  45. My wife and I went LCHF about 18 months ago. We both have fair skin and burned easily in the past. Now we swim daily for around an hour in full sun and never burn, in fact we have great tans now. Not sure if there’s a connection but my numerous small solar keratoses on arms and back have completely dissapeared! My skin specialist is mysterfied and sad to loose my custom. We do not eat seed oils but use a lot of coconut oil, butter, cream, cheese and avocado. I’m seventy next b’ day and at my lowest weight since puberty, have robust good health and a blood picture that bewilders my GP, who pestered me to use statins in the past to control my high cholesterol. I spent almost forty years eating a fanatically “healthy” vegetarian diet. Things change slowly in human nutrition land unfortunately.

  46. wondering why my d3 supplement says to take 1 even 2 days its 5000 ui

  47. In Australia there seems to be a trend towards doctors prescribing vit D after noting low blood levels. This may be because so many people are on statins now. These compounds do lower blood D and Coenzyme Q10. Wonder why the GP’s aren’t pushing them too? The statin manufacturers originally recommended supplementation with statins but dropped the idea because it brought unwanted attention to the side effects of these insidious and largely unnecessary drugs. Taking vitamin supplements to compensate for an inadequate diet is now regarded as an act of dangerous oversimplification and at best, placebo theropy.

  48. My face and chest area used to burn badly after only 10-15 minutes in the sun. I no longer burn on my chest from such short exposure since going paleo.

    I continue to tweak my diet, mainly lowering overall carbs and sugars, and continue to see improvements in my overall health. The crushing, daily fatigue that I used to experience on a daily basis is gone. The “brain fog” is gone. My skin is looking clearer and younger, in my opinion. The lingering vertigo from an onset years ago is nearly gone. I no longer have intestinal issues as long as I stay away from grains/legumes and limit beans. Overall, not a bad trade for giving up some foods that I like!

    I’ll be taking a trip to Maui and will find out how I’m doing lately with sun exposure, but I already know that I don’t burn as easily as I used to.

  49. Its so funny that I just now came across this article. We just moved to Miami and this past summer we were at the beach and pool almost everyday. I never once put sunscreen on my kids, partly bc I didn’t believe in it, and partly bc I was lazy. We eat a pretty clean diet, all organics, home made food and my kids take FCLO every day. We eat a lot of coconut oil as well. Not one of my 5 kids got burned the entire summer, and I kept wondering why! This is a new concept for me that I never even thought about, so Im happy I chanced upon it as we are getting ready for pool days again here in Miami!

  50. What do you recommend for a child who has photosensitivity issues? My daughter has Vitiligo on one eyelid and possible cutaneous lupus (not in blood)- a ring shaped lesion on her cheek that comes on with sun exposure. I have taken her to a nutritionist and have eliminated gluten, dairy and processed sugars. She is on a lot of supplements – vitamin D, vitamin C, multi-vitamins, fish oil, turmeric etc. But, after 3 months on this protocol her rash is coming out again slightly 🙁 with the warmer weather. I currently use Badger sunscreen whenever she is outdoors for her face whenever she is outside more than 2 minutes.

  51. Hi, im not sure if you can answer this but ill give it a go. I have a lot of red hyperpigmentation from acne (still have a few breakouts) since i started tanning a couple years ago. I was very pale and had a bad diet including smoking but i always had a few breakouts that did not scar, jawline and chin. Since ive changed my diet and quit smoking i have a little better skin. I just started the fermented cod liver oil. Even though i go use sunbeds now and only use some mineral powder on my face for sunscreen, my body gets a nice tan but my face and neck wont tan. So i tried to use self tanning on my face and neck (good quality stuff and organic) but my face then turn to a strange orange color. Im just about to give up on ever having Nice skin and tan and just be pale. I would love to get some advice from you!

  52. Love your site! I was looking at family supplements of cod liver oil, but while looking up some info, I came across this site by Dr Mercola, which states the supplements available today do more harm than good, which made me rethink my decision. I am pretty ignorant on supplements, but it seemed to make sense. I was wondering your take on it, as you seem to have a pretty level head about this type of thing. I’d love to hear what you think!

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/23/important-cod-liver-oil-update.aspx

    • He’s talking about plain cod liver oil, which is unbalanced. What Katie recommends here is a fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil blend. As the Mercola article notes, K2 balances the toxicity of high levels of vitamin D. Butter (or in this case, butter oil) is a potent source of K2.

  53. Just like Eli said in earlier replyt: Eat tomatoes! But you have to cook them in order for the lycopene to ‘work’. Tomatoes will block UV-light – not necessarily protect you from sunburn, but it will help.

    So…organic tomato and garlic sauce with whole grain pasta before venturing out into the sun, yum!

  54. Hello, Katie!

    How is your day, hope it’s going well for ya! Anyway I was wondering since Omega 6 fatty acids are bad for consumption, is it still okay to use it for the skin and body for it’s moisturizing effects? For example, I found Hemp Seed oil to be high in linoleic acid and I heard that it’s great for acne-prone skin because it has comedogenic rating of 0, so I’ve been using it recently and I think it has helped me quite a bit but I still had one little pimple here and there however I think that is caused by other factors like diet, but yeah, it’s been a couple weeks and I haven’t had a very a huge breakout.. So I think it’s helping. I also used it on my hands too and it has done a great job of moisturizing.. hands don’t feel so dry anymore; so now since I’ve found and read this blog randomly from a Yahoo search, yikes!! It causes cancer? Does this mean I should seriously quit using Hemp seed oil for my face and body? Especially when I’m out in the sun?

    If you can respond, I’d greatly appreciate it! 🙂 Thanks, Katie! Have a awesome day.

    -William

    • Omega 6 isn’t bad, it’s just overused in our diets! It’s quite healthy, it’s just more prevalent. If you are going to use it topically, there is a chance you may absorb some, so you could just increase your omega 3 intake to balance it out!

  55. I found this article on Google after searching, We just spent the entire day at the zoo with my little ones and none of us burned … including my red headed husband who used to burn easily. We didn’t use any sunscreen at all, but did take care to go in buildings at times. We do all this art5 suggests except a couple of the supplements and I don’t think our cod liver oil is fermented. My friend mentioned yesterday my 2 year old has only ever burned once and we are outside a lot. She turns really red in the heat but isn’t ever burned and it goes away as soon as she child’s down. Of course we still must always be vigilant about over exposure, but I’ve always wondered how people in the old days didn’t fry in the fields.

  56. These are always such interesting discussions! I absolutely believe diet helps skin health — if I eat too much sugar or don’t get enough sleep, the first place I see it is on my face. However, I just want to toss in my own experience to help others make an informed decisions.

    I’m of strong Lithuanian and English heritage, blonde hair, always the palest makeup color, grew up in Ohio. I moved to Texas for college and, until I discovered Primal, I used a lot of sunblock to prevent myself from burning when I walked to and from classes. I even took up the hat trend and the umbrella trend. When my brother, who lives in San Francisco, and I met up for a family vacation, he was dismayed at how much more easily I tanned than he did!

    Fast forward a few years, and I ended up moving to Hawaii. It was August, we were living it up, and while I wore sunblock, I seemed unstoppable. Then I made the horrible mistake of going snorkeling without sunblock, and my pale Eastern European butt turned the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen. Hawaii has great all-natural products that helped my skin heal quickly with no damage and minimal peeling, and now when I go out for a long period of time, I have a cute, brightly colored long sleeve one-piece swimsuit with UPF 50+ so I’m not using an entire bottle of sunblock every day. But the combination of my genetics and the intense summer sun means that I have to have that extra level of protection. Diet helps me heal and recover faster, but even that is not fail-safe. I’ve been craving nothing but avocado, tomatoes, and fish for the last several weeks, but I also have to be sensitive to my body’s needs and sensitivities.

  57. My extremely fair son, the living snowflake, has aspergers. When we discovered this, we changed his diet dramatically. He doesn’t eat anything artificial unless we happen to be eating at someone else’s house who doesn’t monitor their foods as closely as we do. Since the change we have also noticed despite his being so very fair, he hasn’t been burning. We also don’t use traditional sunscreens because of the chemical effects, especially on boys.

    Nice post!

  58. Recently I was in full sun from 2PM until 5:30 doing some yard work without any type of sunscreen and wearing just a pair of shorts. While I do not burn much, it was the first time in sunlight in over 6 months, and I did not have the slightest signs of a sunburn . I noticed that I was tolerating the sun abnormally well and stayed out that long to see when I would start to turn a little red. I have added 2000 IU X 2 times daily (4000 IU per day) of vitamin D3 to my diet for about a year and I can attribute the change to nothing else.

    Jim

  59. I came across this while looking for a way to make all natural suncreen for myself and my 5 yr old. I was skeptical and decided to forgo trying this method. I burn after minutes in the sun, I’m so naturally pale, and it takes work for me to tan. Plus not knowing how much to eat of those things, and how long it takes, I was concerned to take the risk.

    Well, it was get sunscreen for one of us but not both, so ofc my son got his. I’ve been running multiple times a week, in the afternoon, in bright sun. Wearing various clothing, but nothing that would cover me completely. Despite the lack of sunscreen and not be covered up, I haven’t burned. I didn’t understand it till I remembered this article. At the same time I started running, I was eating a lot healthier. Far more natural foods, leafy greens, and fruit, instead of sugary treats, boxed pasta meals, and instant anything. Guess it worked!

    Thank you for all the informative articles. 🙂

  60. I wonder about increased sunburning while pregnant…i have been following a Weston Price diet, but with fewer grains (a few, properly prepared, but not many), for 2+ yrs. No sunburns during that time. I am a gardening loving red head who homeschools (so we’re outside a lot).Then suddenly, while pregnant, i have the worst sunburn i’ve had in yrs from a day of intermittent sun exposure. I wonder what this means…

  61. Can you take astaxanthin while pregnant?

  62. Eyes are different. Sun in eyes causes macular degeneration.

  63. I agree, but what do you do with a family trip to the beach? When you’re planning on spending the entire day building Sandcastle’s and you have very fair blonde haired children, how to avoid burn? Hats will help a bit, but they may not want to put on long sleeves and pants while going in the water. What about the all natural sunscreens from organic sources? At least during your vacation?

  64. I have become more precautions about my sun exposure and how much time I spend outside. Will use these tips and advice. Thanks for the share.

  65. Great post, and one which really has some eye-opening information in it. Clearly, if skin cancer rates are RISING by 4.2% annually, something is wrong with our current conventional wisdom!

    I have also heard information about sever sunburns early in life having a greater effect on cancer risk as an adult than mere sun exposure itself as an adult–just curious if you have gotten any similar information? I believe it was an NPR interview where I heard this, although I was not able to come up with any immediate information on it, so please forgive my lack of source here:).

    Thanks again for a very knowledgeable and well researched post!

    • I’ve heard this as well from several sources. Sunburn is definitely something to avoid, especially for children!

  66. I have been taking a high quality Astaxanthin supplement for years. The side benefit of that is sun protection! i have reddened at times, as I have very fair skin until building up sun exposure…but zero burns. I have gardened for hours with no ill-effects.
    Also, not too long ago I read somewhere that ALL natural oils have an 8spf. So, I slather on the coconut oil when I go outside. As an aside, my next pair of prescription glasses I will get will be without the coating that darkens for shading in sunlight. I learned that our eyes also need the sunlight to protect from diseases, and we effectively block our eye health by wearing sun glasses. I am now trying to get used to wearing hats with brims and caps, which I haven’t done in all my 60 years! I wish I could remember where I read it, but I dont!

  67. Grew up in Florida when we used coconut oil to GET a good tan and keep it. We also took real aspirin and showered as soon as we got home to prevent burns form developing. Wrinkles from all that sun exposure? A few. Mostly arms and legs for some strange reason. Skin cancer 40 years later? NO! I believed the lie for many years and got a pretty bad Vitamin D deficiency. So, it’s back in the sun! I may look older, but that’s better than being deficient (can also cause heart issues).

  68. Please protect your children from over exposure to the sun. Their skin is very delicate and a slight sunburn is more harmful in childhood than for adults. Hats, t-shirts, and healthy sunscreen will save them a lot of pain and agony both now and latter in life, esp if they are in or near water for more than an hour or two. Let’s also not forget that the sun is the strongest from 10-4, so morning or late afternoon sun exposure is safest. Not against getting outdoors in the sun, but wisdom still applies, esp for children.

      • Yes, and I do not disagree with much of what is written. Have concerns for children who can not take care of themselves, as so many new and informative messages can be easily misunderstood ?

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