6

votes

Throw away the sunscreen?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 02, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Hi, Everyone. I'm heading to Hawaii for the first time in a few days (yay!) and I live in Seattle. So you can discern that means I'm pasty, ghost-white. :) I have some sunscreen packed and ready to go, but then got to searching Chris Kresser's website re: sunscreen exposure and found this article.

http://chriskresser.com/throw-away-the-sunscreen

What are your thoughts on how to limit my sunscreen usage and not fry to a crispy critter while I'm there? It's too hot to wear my long sleeve SPF shirts that I use when I go hiking. Thanks for your time!

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 17, 2013
at 05:34 PM

Note: If you prefer getting stuff from food sources over supplements, astaxanthin is present in salmon, rainbow trout, lobster, shrimp, and other red seafood. Might take more work to get enough into your diet (sockeye salmon is the best fish source, at 4mg of astaxanthin in roughly 1/2-3/4 pound, while artic shrimp is the best shellfish source at 3.36mg per ounce raw -- unsure about cooked) and might be more expensive, but might be more fun too :P

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on July 17, 2013
at 03:49 PM

I forgot to mention that when I used to use coconut oil on my skin everyday i'd tan really easily, but not go red & burn. Which is nice for sure, but to me tan = skin damage, no way around it, so I stopped using it

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 17, 2013
at 03:34 PM

More info here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/25/sunscreen-and-wrinkle-prevention-in-a-pill.aspx

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 17, 2013
at 03:32 PM

Start taking Astaxanthin. It's been found to help prevent sunburns. Tim Ferriss tested this to the extreme by taking 6 pills a day and spending 2+ hours a day in the sun and didn't get burned at all. Of course I don't recommend taking that much. I take just one a day and despite spending an hour a day in mid day sun, everyday, I haven't had even the slightest burn. In the past I've burned fairly easily. http://amzn.to/18nJuRv

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Thanks, Eric. I will take everyone's suggestions to take the sunscreen and enjoy my Hawaiian vacation without getting burned to a crispy critter. :) Thanks!

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on May 02, 2012
at 11:49 AM

Although I don't use it specifically before vacations, I use it in the winter to keep my vit D-levels high and don't get ghost-white after a few months without adequate sunlight.. ;) At the moment it is beautiful weather here and now I can sit 2 hours in the sunglight in my short pants with no troubles. And I have a 'type 2'-skin, I'm not completely red-headed but not far away from it either. :)

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on May 02, 2012
at 10:32 AM

I use this tactic too, and it might be a bit controversial yes. But I don't see any harm in it, like one scientist said: if I would encourage you to stay away from tanning salons, I would be saying that everyone should avoid the sun. Just make sure you don't A. overdo it (eg. no more than once a week, max, 2 times a month is enough), B. build it up with just a few minutes in the beginning, let your skin get used to it, and C. use only the ones with less strong lights, especially if you have a light skin; you shouldn't aim for an extremely tanned skin, aim for elevated protection & vitamine D.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on May 02, 2012
at 04:58 AM

"I don't wear clothes or sunscreen unless I'm going to be out for a while" - LOL. I guess that depends where you're going, too?

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on May 02, 2012
at 04:50 AM

I say keep the TiOx - your D3 status may prevent you from burning, but the fact is the UV destroys your collagen and elastin even without a burn. Cancer aside, have you looked at pictures of noted sun-worshipper Brigitte Bardot lately? Don't go there.

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13 Answers

2
8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on May 02, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Since this is probably a vacation, take it easy. I was testing my goth skin in the sunshine last year. Take it slow. Hawaii sun is much stronger. I'd hate for you to have to sick from sun poising in your room! It's not just the sunburn that's bad, I get nausea from too much sun.

Try 15 minutes and see how you do. If you do well try 30 the next day. Don't get yourself blistery and peeley by accident.

2
6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:47 AM

If your "ghost white" you might consider some protection, or gradually exposing yourself. Especially if naturally you are light skinned. For example, I am brown skinned but I do tend to get a little pale in the fall and winter. My ancestors are from the desert and tropics, so if I go to places with lots of sun I just get browner, I never burn. This may not be the case for you or it may very well be true in which case I'd say free ball it;)

I like the idea mentioned by Karen for presun tanning.

As mentioned above EWG is a great site for doing a product search. I know off hand Badger brand in a less oxic alternative.

If your looking for something that is completely natural I would try out Sea Buckthorn Oil. It's is naturally protecting with an SPF of I believe 30?!

2
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:00 AM

This is controversial, but before any sunny vacation, I visit a tanning salon for at least two weeks beforehand. A base tan is the best protection against sunburn, period. I've done the research and my anecdotal evidence (vacations both with and without pre-tanning) proves to me that this is a valid tactic.

It is not a perfect solution, but if you want to play in the sun without constantly covering up, reapplying dubious sunscreens, and seeking shade, a base tan is the best way to do it. It will also allow you to get the natural vit D you need safely.

Also, try to keep your diet free of the usual nasty vacation cheats like sugar and vegetable oils. These may contribute to collagen breakdown. In addition, foods rich in antioxidants may help with any sun damage.

Have fun!

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on May 02, 2012
at 10:32 AM

I use this tactic too, and it might be a bit controversial yes. But I don't see any harm in it, like one scientist said: if I would encourage you to stay away from tanning salons, I would be saying that everyone should avoid the sun. Just make sure you don't A. overdo it (eg. no more than once a week, max, 2 times a month is enough), B. build it up with just a few minutes in the beginning, let your skin get used to it, and C. use only the ones with less strong lights, especially if you have a light skin; you shouldn't aim for an extremely tanned skin, aim for elevated protection & vitamine D.

7d3a7b532811b6cfa2de09acdf52d145

(610)

on May 02, 2012
at 11:49 AM

Although I don't use it specifically before vacations, I use it in the winter to keep my vit D-levels high and don't get ghost-white after a few months without adequate sunlight.. ;) At the moment it is beautiful weather here and now I can sit 2 hours in the sunglight in my short pants with no troubles. And I have a 'type 2'-skin, I'm not completely red-headed but not far away from it either. :)

2
Medium avatar

(2923)

on May 02, 2012
at 01:47 AM

For limiting your sunscreen usage, Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf have pretty much the same tips: make sure you're stocked up on Vitamin D (the more D your body has, the more sun resistant it is), limit your sun exposure (tan is good, burnt is not), and cover up (hat, long sleeves) rather than slather on the sunscreen.

That being said, EWG has the best resource for finding a quality sunscreen ... in general, avoid anything with oxybenzone, and old-school zinc oxide still gives the best results ...

Oh, and nothing beats aloe vera for recovery or coconut oil for keeping your skin soft :p

1
A53f1e3f9101f65d576a34918e507181

on July 17, 2013
at 02:53 PM

I don't think you should limit sunscreen usage, just buy an organic sunscreen without oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a chemical used in most sunscreen that is probably bad for you and is quickly turning into the new PABA. (Us old timers remember what PABA is ha ha). You dont have to "throw away the sunscreen" just make sure youre not absorbing chemicals constantly. go natural instead.

1
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 02, 2012
at 07:19 AM

I never use sun screen and I'm a pale skinned Brit. I start trying to get in the sun as much as possible from March on (this year March was lovely and I got a good base tan - April was so wet I'll be starting from scratch again in May!!)

And I find these

http://www.tanthrough.com/

are great. Also, knowing when to cover up is essential - neck, knees - the vulnerable bits!

Have a great holiday!

1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on May 02, 2012
at 05:18 AM

I would keep some on hand, just in case. Honestly, it's a vacation, and you want to enjoy it not be peeling and laying in an ice bath with a nasty burn because you misjudged your sun exposure. Try and buy a cheap little umbrella thing to bring with you to the beach, so you can always sit in the shade, and a hat/coverup combo is essential. I almost tossed my bottle, but then I would have a hard time playing beach volleyball, my favourite summer game, with a long sleeve shirt and hat, so I consider that trade-off worth it for me personally.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 02, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I avoid sunscreen now, and consider it to be a harmful "chemical of convenience" like diet soda. I burn much less easily and recover much faster on a paleo diet. I am careful with the first few sun exposures of the season (like now) and try to get a solid hour or so of exposure on a lot of skin, but then cover up with long clothes or stay in the shade. After a few days of this I tan pretty well and then don't wear clothes or sunscreen unless I'm going to be out for a while.

I use common sense, if i am going to be exposed to the sun for hours, i wear long sleeved clothes and a hat and drink lots of water, but am not afraid of the sun like we're taught.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on May 02, 2012
at 04:58 AM

"I don't wear clothes or sunscreen unless I'm going to be out for a while" - LOL. I guess that depends where you're going, too?

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on July 17, 2013
at 03:37 PM

Im fair skinned but can't use sunscreen as mineral ones severely dry out & burn on my skin, and chemical ones are full of chemicals

I try & stay in the shade and then get some sun in the last hour before it sets, that's when it feels nice & it's not literally sizzling my skin like the daytime sun, this builds a slight tan & then I can handle more & more of the sun, but I generally don't like it & think its overrated as I can see it damage my skin everytime I go in it, vit D or not I can't see how damaging my skin helps me to be healthy

Best tips are stay out of the strong midday sun and/or cover up, when I go on holiday I wear spf 50 t-shirts & a hat

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on July 17, 2013
at 03:49 PM

I forgot to mention that when I used to use coconut oil on my skin everyday i'd tan really easily, but not go red & burn. Which is nice for sure, but to me tan = skin damage, no way around it, so I stopped using it

0
Medium avatar

(2923)

on May 06, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Just a late addendum from a link at Mark's Daily Apple:

Dr Briffa on The dark side of sunscreens

Several relevant epidemiological studies have shown significantly higher risks for melanoma in users of sunscreens than in non-users.

In light of these findings, the Working Group concluded that sunscreens prevent sunburns and may reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, but only if they do not mislead people to extend their exposure to sunlight.

0
A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on May 02, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Not this guy - I burn way too easily and dietary changes have not helped that much, if at all. I do try to spend some time in the sun (<15 min/a time) without sunscreen, but if I spend much more than that I start to burn. I'm well cooked within 30-45 minutes without sunscreen.

I live in Florida, so our sun probably rivals Hawaii. Based on my experience, I would recommend you take the sunscreen. My feeling is that some modern things are worth the risks they potentially pose.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on May 02, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Thanks, Eric. I will take everyone's suggestions to take the sunscreen and enjoy my Hawaiian vacation without getting burned to a crispy critter. :) Thanks!

0
Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:48 PM

Since you don't have time to build up a tan gradually,I say take a natural sunscreen and slather up.After all you are going on vacation in Hawaii.Who wants to wear long sleeves and pants on the beach or anywhere for that matter.You won't get cancer from a week of sunscreen use.Astaxhantine is a good antioxidant that protects from burning,but you should take it for some time to have that effect.Don't worry and enjoy your vacation

0
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on May 02, 2012
at 01:52 AM

Robb Wolf mentioned in a podcast - clothing and hats are the best protection.

Matt Lalonde has mentioned sunscreen with certain chemicals may cause infertility:

http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/web/2012/03/Sunscreen-Compound-Linked-Endometriosis.html

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