5

votes

What does being in the sun actually mean?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 01, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Hi!

This may seem like a silly question, but what does "getting sun" actually mean in the paleo sense? Sun rays directly on skin? With sunscreen? Being outside but completely covered in clothes/hat?

I really don't like being in the sun, but I do have to walk out in it a bit on most days. Just wondering if being outside yet covered up is beneficial in some way?

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on August 02, 2010
at 01:50 PM

Sunburns on the face can be extremely painful. They can also trigger cold sores in those who suffer from them. Social problems created by burns on the face can be the most painful, emotionally. Go easy, until you're sure you can lose the cap.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 01, 2010
at 06:08 PM

pfw: makes sense right? secosteroid production seems more important than preventing UV damage, hence more burning in deficient individuals. Achieve optimal plasma levels (> 30ng/dl ?) and you protect/tan faster.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:53 PM

I read somewhere that your body tans in part to regulate the amount of Vitamin D you create - so if you are flush already from oral supplementation, you may tan faster in order to regulate D production.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:18 PM

As far as I know, the only concerns for sun on the face are that it already gets more sun than the rest of the body and sun supposedly creates wrinkles and skin damage and you don't want a ton of wrinkles on your face. Personally, I am not sure how serious is the threat of moderate sun on the face though. COuld be it is much ameliorated by healthy living.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:19 PM

Very interesting!

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on August 01, 2010
at 11:38 AM

I got a good chuckle out of your "scary glowing ball in sky" tag.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 01, 2010
at 07:25 AM

Ambimorph: I got the idea from a product I saw in a tanning salon geared towards people who wanted to tan before going on vacation without burning. It seemed to just be vitamin d tablets, so I started adding about 20,000 or so IU or D3 to my coffee, and noticed quite the increase at the rate I tan.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on August 01, 2010
at 05:58 AM

I'm curious about the oft-repeated advice to protect the face... Can anyone explain the rationale behind this? Is it just because the face is more exposed anyway so is more at risk for burning, or is there something about the face that makes it less desirable to get sun on it?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:23 AM

I empathize. I have naturally creamy white skin which, offset by my dark brown hair is very striking. The last couple of years I've lived in a very sunny climate which is hurting my vanity. It's nice to hear someone who "gets it". :-)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:13 AM

Wow. Do you have any references for Vitamin D increasing one's ability to tolerate sun before burning? I'd love to learn more.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:09 AM

Thanks Melissa. The one time I don't mind the sun is when I'm in the water, so maybe I will have to try and do that more when I don't mind getting a bit of a tan :)

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:06 AM

I do burn easily but that's not my biggest issue with it. Good to know though. I take 5000IU D3, and have been eating pretty fully paleo for about two months now.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:04 AM

I'm pretty legit tactilely sensitive (asperger's) but I'm not philosophically opposed to the sun or anything... just really don't like it and wasn't sure what "being in the sun" actually meant here.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:02 AM

I guess it's a combination of things: I really hate the feeling of wind/sun on skin (I wear pants/long sleeves even in the summer), or the feeling I get afterwards, plus I really don't like tans (pale brunette ftw).

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

11 Answers

best answer

5
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 01, 2010
at 01:33 AM

No sunscreen. As little clothing as possible. Sun directly overhead.

If you burn easily, the following two things increase the duration you can spend exposed to the sun without burning:

  • Supplementing with around 4000-10,000IU vitamin D3
  • Eliminating excess PUFA (industrial oils)

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:06 AM

I do burn easily but that's not my biggest issue with it. Good to know though. I take 5000IU D3, and have been eating pretty fully paleo for about two months now.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 01, 2010
at 07:25 AM

Ambimorph: I got the idea from a product I saw in a tanning salon geared towards people who wanted to tan before going on vacation without burning. It seemed to just be vitamin d tablets, so I started adding about 20,000 or so IU or D3 to my coffee, and noticed quite the increase at the rate I tan.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:19 PM

Very interesting!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:13 AM

Wow. Do you have any references for Vitamin D increasing one's ability to tolerate sun before burning? I'd love to learn more.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:53 PM

I read somewhere that your body tans in part to regulate the amount of Vitamin D you create - so if you are flush already from oral supplementation, you may tan faster in order to regulate D production.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 01, 2010
at 06:08 PM

pfw: makes sense right? secosteroid production seems more important than preventing UV damage, hence more burning in deficient individuals. Achieve optimal plasma levels (> 30ng/dl ?) and you protect/tan faster.

3
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:37 PM

Peek sun season in the mid Atlantic states ( much of the US in fact) is from blossoms to leaves turning color- before and after that, the needed wave length for Vit D is too low.

I do not use sunscreen and this year - and a good 18+ months Paleo - I hardly even got a tan.

Our diet is our sun suncreen

Even my left arm on the car window is not nearly as dark as in previous years.

Got to love how we eat.

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 01, 2010
at 04:22 AM

If you are in the water, then the UVB rays will not penetrate the water and the only part that will be 'getting sun' is your face or whatever part is sticking out of the water. Plus there is some concern by some researchers that body oils washed off by water may be part of the mechanism by which you synthesize and absorb vitamin D. So having body oils washed off might not be conducive to optimal vit D synthesis and absorption. Only getting sun while in the water may not be so good if that turns out to be true. However, much is still a mystery as per the entire process.

Also consider that the lighter skinned you are, the less sun you will probably need, which might be a more useful piece of information if we really knew how much any of us really need in the first place. And you do want to make sure you do not burn, only tan. If you burn and are still red the next day, then back off on the sun exposure a bit.

If you like that light skinned look, one option might be to get sun on arms and legs but cover the face, thereby letting the lighter parts of the body catch up to the usually more tanned face. I do think it's wise to try to get a bit of sun (directly touching skin with no sunscreen) even if you also do supplements. THere is much we don't know about the benefits of the sun and it may go beyond just vitamin D. Getting sun is the more natural process and IMO, is more likely to be the best mechanism. Taking supplements is much less natural, but of course, still better than being D deficient.
-Eva

3
Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on August 01, 2010
at 12:53 AM

It means skin directly exposed to the sun. Sunscreen as little as SPF 5 has been shown to decrease Vitamin D synthesis by 90%. Here are two very good articles by Dr. Eades you can read to learn more about the myths of sun-exposure:

Heliophobe Madness

Sunshine Superman

2
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on August 01, 2010
at 01:29 AM

Why don't you like being exposed to the sun? The easiest way to get a goodly amount is to take your shirt off while exercising or working, preferably around noontime.

Here's a link from PaNu on sun exposure.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:23 AM

I empathize. I have naturally creamy white skin which, offset by my dark brown hair is very striking. The last couple of years I've lived in a very sunny climate which is hurting my vanity. It's nice to hear someone who "gets it". :-)

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:02 AM

I guess it's a combination of things: I really hate the feeling of wind/sun on skin (I wear pants/long sleeves even in the summer), or the feeling I get afterwards, plus I really don't like tans (pale brunette ftw).

1
D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on August 01, 2010
at 05:37 AM

I agree with all of the advice given, but I just want to warm people about protecting the head and face, especially if you are not used to the sun.

Try to go topless and without as much clothing as possible, but if it is really hot at mid-day (like this time of year), consider wearing a cap with a visor, at least at first.

Also, be sure to carry plenty of water.

Everyone is entitled to their day in the sun!

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on August 02, 2010
at 01:50 PM

Sunburns on the face can be extremely painful. They can also trigger cold sores in those who suffer from them. Social problems created by burns on the face can be the most painful, emotionally. Go easy, until you're sure you can lose the cap.

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on August 01, 2010
at 05:58 AM

I'm curious about the oft-repeated advice to protect the face... Can anyone explain the rationale behind this? Is it just because the face is more exposed anyway so is more at risk for burning, or is there something about the face that makes it less desirable to get sun on it?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:18 PM

As far as I know, the only concerns for sun on the face are that it already gets more sun than the rest of the body and sun supposedly creates wrinkles and skin damage and you don't want a ton of wrinkles on your face. Personally, I am not sure how serious is the threat of moderate sun on the face though. COuld be it is much ameliorated by healthy living.

1
F4f39a8343c9b3ddf646b6eb73512671

on August 01, 2010
at 02:31 AM

I used to not really enjoy being outdoors in the sun, as well, but it was mainly because I grew up in cold climates (northern Canada) and was never used to the heat. After moving to the Okanagan Valley in Canada (known as the California of Canada), I had to adjust my thinking because there was going to be no avoiding the sun down here.

I started doing walks outdoors in the early afternoon in April, and built up a tolerance to the heat enough that doing an hour walk in 35C (95F) feels quite normal.

I'm hoping next summer, I can be one of the "crazies" I see doing jogs up hills at noon.

I would say start off slowly and build up tolerance to it. Get outside in a t-shirt/tanktop for 10 minutes for several days, then 20 mins, 30, etc.

1
424563ee2575f0620ea221badabb40d7

(272)

on August 01, 2010
at 01:38 AM

if you have a legitimate sun sensitivity, that's a whole other situation

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:04 AM

I'm pretty legit tactilely sensitive (asperger's) but I'm not philosophically opposed to the sun or anything... just really don't like it and wasn't sure what "being in the sun" actually meant here.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:22 PM

This is what it means for me right now in August in NYC:

get out on to my balcony in direct sun, with no shirt, and just lay out for about 20-25 minutes once/day with no sunscreen or sunblock or oil or anything on my skin (im only wearing shorts so my legs, upper body, and face are completely exposed).

I built up to this, though. I started in the beginning of the summer with the exact same scenario but only for ten minutes each day until i noticed a slight overall tan on my skin. Once i noticed the tan, i started increasing my daily exposure time. I suppose i added about 3-5 minutes per day.

Now im at 20-25 minutes full exposure every day that the weather permits. I have never once burned. I have a tan.

The doctors Eades recommend essentially the same thing in their Protein Power Life Plan book.

(I still take Fermented cod liver oil daily by the way.)

And, no, im not really sure what im going to do this winter:/

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on August 01, 2010
at 06:03 AM

Our bodies need Vitamin D. You can either get it from supplements or the Sun. Diet alone is not a good source. I don't think we should fear the Sun that humans evolved under with minimal clothing. That means we were under the UV a lot. It's good marketing to tell people they will get skin cancer from the Sun because people buy sunscreen. The truth is, there is more to skin cancer than just UV over-exposure.

Big Dairy thinks without 100% RDA of calcium our bones will be brittle and our teeth will decay. The truth is these illnesses are caused by Vitamin D deficiency mainly because Vitamin D helps regulate calcium (and prevent its excretion in the urine). Also a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in general due to a diet high in processed junk food.

0
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 01, 2010
at 01:48 AM

I'm kind of an indoor gal too. But lately I've been getting sun without sunscreen in my bikini and it actually feels awesome and improves my mood sooo much!

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 01, 2010
at 02:09 AM

Thanks Melissa. The one time I don't mind the sun is when I'm in the water, so maybe I will have to try and do that more when I don't mind getting a bit of a tan :)

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!