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How much sun exposure for those with fair skin?

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  • How much sun exposure for those with fair skin?

    Or, "How To Navigate The Pale-o Diet". Hooray for puns!!!

    I'm pretty white (not red head and freckles, but I cannot tan at all...), so more than a few minutes in the sun for me can be problematic. I do believe, of course, that sun exposure is important, not just for Vitamin D but to help wake my body up and get me rolling along.

    Since getting more sun time, though, I definitely have a more pronounced ruddy complexion. I was wondering if others have experienced this, and whether they think it's a sign of positive changes or less than positive. I'm not burnt, but, I am a little tomato-y.

    Are there any other pale PBers who can relate?

  • #2

    Viking ancestry here! Well, maybe...

    You need to make sure you have enough good fat/omega 3 BEFORE you start sun exposure (it has an effect on the skin and molecules within), and build up gradually. I still burn if I'm out in it too long, and burning is still bad!

    Going slightly pink is the most you want to get.

    A gentleman (Ted Hutchinson) on another unrelated forum sent me these links; if you want I can also put up the message he wrote for me? n#post109188

    In fact, going through these old messages, I've a lot to be grateful for from this chap, as it's from this starting point that I found MDA / primal / paleo sites


    • #3

      You can also keep your sun exposure to certain hours.

      I live in Hawaii, am pretty fair-skinned, but can go surfing after 4pm w/o worry of sunburn.

      If I went out from 10-2, I'd fry pretty fast - thus I use sunscreen and/or protective wear then.


      • #4

        The sun? What is that? There are whispers around here that it comes out in May.

        Don't be a paleotard...


        • #5

          Since I've started using Coconut Oil, both in cooking and as an after-shower skin moisturizer, I've stopped getting sunburns at all. Haven't used sunscreen since August last year.

          Granted, I do live in San Francisco, so our sunshine is somewhat attenuated---but I'm also very light-complected.

          It also seems to provide a lot of protection from wind-burn as well :-)


          • #6

            So lathering yourself up in coconut oil has uses other than having a good Friday night?



            • #7


              Aloe will help heal your skin if you're a little pinkinsh, and take the advice of the other people here. I'm fairly fair myself and try to get 20 minutes of sunshine a day (if the sun is out) by taking a walk out in the sun. But much more than that and I'd probably get burned, even though I can tan, I can burn pretty easily too. 20 minutes a day shouldn't hurt you too much.

              NM, that is very interesting how the omega-3's affect the skin/vitamin D intake.


              • #8

                I am very very pale, and think that tans are overrated (aesthetics-wise).

                In summer, if I foresee myself being exposed to the sun for too long, I wear a good 30spf sunscreen and I am usually grand. If I want to get a dose of D-3, I go out for 15 mins or so unprotected. having a fair skin helps me make D-3 with less sun that poeple with darker skin.

                “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull


                • #9

                  I'm very very fair with nearly white skin, very light blond hair and blue eyes. My skin tends towards ruddy, and I turn alarmingly red (almost purple) from endurance-type cardio.

                  I took up a plan of sunbathing last summer, and I loved it. It didn't seem like I got much color from it, but by September, I had a very obvious tan line, and now that the color is gone, I look SO PALE!

                  I would be pink-ish when I stopped, really just flushed. It went away in an hour or so, and I never burned. I started at 5 minutes per side, and by the end of summer, I was up to 15 minutes per side. I did it every sunny day, which came out to about five days a week, maybe six this summer. I did it at mid-day.

                  Gawd, I miss the sunbathing. It feels *so* nice.


                  • #10

                    Hey Spacecowboy,

                    Judging from your picture I'd say we have pretty similar skin type and I would just say make sure you've been eating a clean diet for at least a month or so before experimenting too much with sun. The last couple days I've been going out at noon (I live in Florida) and staying out for at least 30 minutes of full sun exposure with no problems, not even a little red. I do not think I could have done this before I started eating lots of beef tallow, meat, and veggies.

                    Any longer than an hour, though, and I'm sure some sunscreen would be necessary.


                    • #11
                      Hi there! If you love the sun and you're afraid to tan your skin, why don't you just put some sunblock with the right SPF level? Or better yet just be exposed to the sun on the hours that it's not skin-hurting. Maybe early hours in the morning or hours before sunset.


                      • #12
                        No doubt sun exposure is important for getting vitamin D but its also true that it can damage the skin so its important to use some precautions before exposing face to sun.