View Full Version : What are your thoughts on sunscreen & skin cancer?
06-07-2011, 10:18 PM
I grew up in Florida and spent a majority of my time in the sun, not using sunscreen and building up quite a nice healthy tan. I've always eaten a pretty clean diet and have been off and on raw for about 5 yrs now. I can stay out in the sun for hours without sunscreen and have never gotten burned. My skin might get a bit redder than normal, but it fades quickly to tan within a day.
I mention my diet because I have read that skin cancer is cause by internal factors, such a toxic buildup in the body coming to the surface as opposed to external factors such as the sun. After reading the ingredients in sunscreen, I'm beginning to believe that the aweful, toxic chemicals they put in it probably also contributes to skin cancer. When the skin absorbs sunscreen, I can't help believing that those chemical are damaging the skin far more than the UVA/UVB rays from the sun.
However, my dear b/f is very fair skinned and has already had skin cancer once. He also does not, nor has he ever really eaten a clean diet. He rarely eats vegetable, hates berries of all kinds, greens of any sort, or any kind of cruciferous veggies. His idea of a salad is a whole bag of chopped iceburg lettuce, a whole tub of cottage cheese and a big handful of grapes or raisins topped with half a bottle of French dressing.:eek: And he guzzles diet soda by the gallons
He, also uses tons of sunscreen before he goes out in the sun for fear of skin cancer.
I can't help believing that his diet and excessive sunscreen use led to the skin cancer.
So I will ask all of you good people: What to think of using sunscreen? Do you think that using sunscreen is helpful or harmful in preventing skin cancer? Am I correct in believing that skin cancer is more of a toxic buildup internally that gets forced to the surface by getting heated in the sun?
06-08-2011, 12:56 AM
I spent the entirety of last summer without a single dollop of sunscreen. I've read that having a high-fruit-based raw diet naturally protects against sunburn. I went to the beach quite a bit last year, spending upwards of 4 hours in full sun, and didn't get burned - although I made a bit of effort to gradually increase sun exposure so as not to overdo it too soon.
One side of the coin is that humans have only had access to sunscreens for a fraction of our history, so why is it suddenly so necessary? Well, sun protection might be 'necessary' because many humans have deviated from their natural diets, and dead, processed foods can't keep immune systems functioning optimally. Another point is that in western society we (probably!) spend a lot less time outside in the sun than in millennia past, and therefore our bodies don't create natural immunity (through tanning) from the sun as well as we once did. Also, it seems humans originated in the tropics, where sun exposure would have been plentiful - a lot different from living in more northern climes as we now choose to do.
The other side of the debate is that some say the sun's rays are much more intense than decades past, and sun protection (sunscreen) is necessary in this day and age. I don't have much opinion on this; I can't prove it or refute it.
I think the best, most natural option would be to nourish our bodies with juicy, living foods, and spend lots of time outdoors, allowing natural sun protection to develop. If this isn't feasible, then I suppose natural, organic sunscreens would be the next best thing. But lately I've been turned off by the idea of applying store-bought products onto my skin to be absorbed into my body. If I can't pronounce it (or eat it!), I won't apply it.
I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this!
06-08-2011, 02:55 AM
Well plants convert chlorphyll into chemical energy for growth so perhaps just maybe if our diets are high in greens we may see similar results. We are of the same earth after all...
Raw Angel Mom
06-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Our family don't use suncreen neither we wear sunglasses.
I don't go in the sun when it is peak though, i will seek the shade if this is like lunch.
I used to burn in the old days but not anymore.
I believe also that the raw food is very helpful especially leafy greens.
06-11-2011, 08:49 AM
I know people who've burned badly thinking that eating raw will protect them from hours in the sun.
I've been reading lately about "all natural" sunblocks. I rarely use them unless I go to the beach and know I'll be out in it for quite some time. Mostly though, I go out and "bathe" whenever it's out. I wear a cap instead of sunglasses.
I have read that pure shea butter is used where it's grown as a protection from the sun. I've used it but not for long periods out.
06-15-2011, 07:59 AM
I recently went on a 2-day camping/tubing trip and was out in the sun for long periods of time. I did not use any sunscreen or sunglasses (used hat instead) and I did not burn. I used SHEA BUTTER on my skin and it gave me a nice tan on the second day. I will continue to use it as my 'sunscreen'. :)
06-15-2011, 11:21 AM
I think a lot of it depends on your family and personal health history. I'm raw and still burn if I am out in the sun for even 30 minutes so I don't think I can escape sunscreen. I am jealous of those who can!! I really don't enjoy putting it on or letting it seep into my skin, seems to contradictory to my lifestyle, but I've already had skin cancer once and the repeat risk just isn't worth it to me. I was about 90% raw at the time and being sick is actually what boosted me into 100% raw with very minimal sugar, which greatly enhanced my recovery.
I only share this because I don't want someone who is predisposed to skin cancer to think they can substitute a raw diet for sunscreen. That said, sunscreen is pretty toxic and I encourage anyone who uses it to find a brand with the lowest toxicity using the cosmetic database: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/
As with everything though, it is a personal choice and I respect everyone's opinion :-)
06-15-2011, 09:57 PM
I just spent 3 days camping in the very hot Arizona sun... i am someone who tans easily, but i still wore a big floppy hat and slathered myself in sunscreen... even still, there were spots on my shoulders that didn't get as much sunscreen as other spots and those lightly covered spots got burnt to a crisp. I guess my theory is that you need to use sunscreen at the very least on the parts of your body that are not used to seeing sun. Crispy skin is no good for anyone!
06-17-2011, 07:35 AM
Kind of going off topic here, but usually I hate summer and being out in the sun - I used to get heat stroke, feel sick after even like 30 mins in the sun and burn. But this year since being raw, I LOVE being out in the sunshine. I've spent hours on the beach without feeling ill, or burning. Could this really be because of my diet changes??
06-17-2011, 04:18 PM
Sunscreen is completely toxic and your skin drinks up every drop. We are SUPPOSED to get sun it's the only way our body can build up Vit D...30 min a day minimum without sunscreen being careful not to burn. Every living creature needs sun especially us b/c we live/work in a box all day long. It instantly calms down our nervous system and relaxes our digestion system.
I have read that eating trans fats (bad fats) and sitting in the sun causes cancer...but if you eat clean you have no problem. It's the bad fats in your system that are carcinogenic (ie: if you fry oil it turns to trans fat)
That's my 2 cents. :)
06-17-2011, 08:19 PM
LOVING this discussion, especially given the time of year - using the toxins on me and the kiddos daily when out in bathing suits all day.
I've been reading about tomatoes and their protective effects. I'm nervous to try no sunscreen (wouldn't do it this year, but if I can be raw enough over the next year, might try it next summer) because I don't want to find out that my diet did NOT help and I'm painfully burned. On SAD, burns seemed to happen easily and quickly - before I "thought" I could/would burn.
Really, I think the tomato thing is all about antioxidants and it DOES seem logical that the more alkaline we are and the more antioxidants and phytochemicals (and all the other things we have yet to even discover) in our bodies, the less likely the sun can damage us.
I'm not terribly scared of skin cancer as I do have beliefs that cancer is NOT about the "sun" or exposure to certain THINGS as much as to certain BELIEFS, but I do loathe painful burns and crispy skin. And I don't personally think tan looks all that attractive, but that might be because it's usually on SAD folks who fake-bake or bake in the sun and they end up looking wrinkly and icky. LOL!
Sugar Snap Pea
06-23-2011, 07:05 AM
Have had Melanoma x 2 now!! I'm in Fla. and love the outdoor life, not willing to give it up. I always seek shade. Check out a website called Skin Deep, which rates all cosmetics, sunscreens, etc by their chemical toxicity (I've settled on Badger brand sunscreen). Also, google Vitamin D and sun protection, a few peeps have talked about this on here. Good luck, and happy sunny days to you! :coolbanana
06-23-2011, 07:21 AM
Skin Deep is such a good site, you won't believe what's in your products. What I found interesting is that people in the northern states get more skin cancer, according to this map.
06-23-2011, 11:55 AM
I walk every morning between 8-10am now that the hot summer is here. I don't put on a sunscreen all over but I do use one on some areas of my body and I use the only one I know is not only safe and completely natural with no nano particles but doesn't leave a white film or causes me to itch so I can use it on my face. Its made by Keys called Solar RX and recognized as safe with EWG (in fact I think all of the products are and I love them).http://www.keys-soap.com/xcart41/home.php?cat=18 anne
06-23-2011, 07:11 PM
I used to have really pale skin and burn like mad and quickly even with SPF 45 sunblock. After being raw for a while I was in the Miami sun for 8 days straight with no sunblock and did not burn at all.
There is an MSM sunblock floating around the raw websites, not sure which. Not sure how effective it is.
06-23-2011, 07:25 PM
I looked up the MSM sunscreen and found these ingredients:
Deionized water, apricot oil (organic), MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), sweet almond oil (organic), usnea extract (organic), vitamin E, calendula extract (organic), coconut wax, glycerine, tea tree oil, aloe extract 200:1 (organic), vitamin A, grapefruit seed extract, vitamin D3, micronized titanium dioxide, micronized zinc oxide, essential oil of orange. SPF 30+
From what I understand, vitamin A in a sunscreen will increase skin cancer risk because it shouldn't be exposed to the sun after application. I think this info is also on the EWG Skin Deep site. Also, fruit oils can be sun sensitizers so I'm always cautious of that. (Btw-if anyone is interested to know, the Environmental Working Group promotes animal testing.) Another issue with sunscreen is micronized zinc oxide creates free radicals when exposed to the sun unless it's coated. UV Natural uses coated zinc oxide, but, personally, I don't like the texture.
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