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Primal Sunburn Resistance

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  • Primal Sunburn Resistance

    Friday was the first warm day we've had this spring, and I was out in it working in the garden for roughly 8 hours. With no sunscreen. Hair pulled up in a ponytail, short sleeve t-shirt.

    I expected the back of my neck and my arms to be sunburned. That happens to me every spring before I get my base tan, and even in the summer, spending 8 hours without sunscreen will burn me too.

    But not this year. At bedtime I noticed that I had a bit of pink on my neck and arms, and although when scratched it felt a little tender, it didn't otherwise feel hot or uncomfortable. Saturday morning skin looked and felt completely normal - no itching or burning whatsoever.

    I remember reading here on MDA that switching from seed oils to saturated oils and animal fats may increase sunburn tolerance. Now I have experienced it. I am admittedly amazed.
    42 yo female; 5'8"
    Oct 2009: 205 lbs
    Dec 2010: 167 lbs
    Current weight: 158 lbs (first time under 160 in 17 years!!!)
    Goal weight: 145 lbs

  • #2
    As a redhead who usually burns very easily, I can definitely attest that going primal helps prevent sunburn.

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    • #3
      This may sound odd, but if you expected to get burned, why didn't you use any sunscreen?
      Norak's Primal Journal:
      2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
      2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
      2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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      • #4
        Haha - good point norak. My intention was to start working and soak up some sun (for vitamin D) and then apply sunscreen when I had gotten enough (as indicated by that prickly, hot feeling). I never felt that until late afternoon when I was heading in for the day anyway.
        42 yo female; 5'8"
        Oct 2009: 205 lbs
        Dec 2010: 167 lbs
        Current weight: 158 lbs (first time under 160 in 17 years!!!)
        Goal weight: 145 lbs

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not sure that's a good approach, as the "prickly" feeling typically comes several hours after exposure, and it usually indicates that you have had too much exposure. IMO it's better to wear sunscreen if you are not sure how long you will be out in the sun, and only skip the sunscreen in situations where you know in advance how long you will be outside.

          Anyway, I've heard people say coconut oil is a good natural sunscreen (and skin moisturizer). Maybe give that a try? At least it's more primal than commercial sunscreen.
          Norak's Primal Journal:
          2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
          2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
          2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

          Comment


          • #6
            I never got sunburns anyway. Still though, good to know I ever will now.
            In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
              I never got sunburns anyway. Still though, good to know I ever will now.
              I burn very easily. I'm very anxious to see if I'm more tolerant now that I eat Primal. Hopefully the weather here (New England) will warm up a bit more and give me the chance!
              ----------
              Primal since August 2012. CW: 317.

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              • #8
                Zinc and copper balance with vitamin e helps to prevent sunburn. Still, the UV rays are damaging in and of themselves so you should always put on coconut oil + zinc oxide when spending prolonged periods of time in the sun. Being on this diet doesn't protect against that.
                Make America Great Again

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bokbadok View Post
                  Haha - good point norak. My intention was to start working and soak up some sun (for vitamin D) and then apply sunscreen when I had gotten enough (as indicated by that prickly, hot feeling). I never felt that until late afternoon when I was heading in for the day anyway.
                  I tend to go the opposite way...put on sunscreen first thing, then get my sun exposure gradually as it wears/sweats/swims off. This works for my kids who get nice, healthy, gradual tans over the summer. We rarely reapply sunscreen, would rather monitor their time in the sun, especially during peak hours. My natural sunscreen is sun aversion, since I HATE the heat.
                  Sandra
                  *My obligatory intro

                  There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

                  DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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                  • #10
                    I'm kindof torn over this whole issue. In NZ things are a little different to the rest of the world because we've got virtually no ozone layer over us, particularly in winter there is just a big gaping hole directly above. So we burn super quick and have an extremely high incidence of skin cancer.

                    My husband is 36years old and has had two malignant malaenoma's removed already, despite his brown skin and maori heritage. This puts him and our kids in the 'high risk' category.

                    Yet, I hate the chemical crap in sunblock and have even read some reports that claim sunblock causes cancer. I also worry about not getting enough vitamin D because of excessive covering up, sunblock and avoiding the sun.

                    I don't trust that diet alone will protect my family from skin cancer, it would be stupid to put that much faith in something that hasn't been widely researched.

                    I'm very conflicted about this issue.

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                    • #11
                      Just make your own with zinc oxide and coconut oil. No chemicals, no fuss.
                      Make America Great Again

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                      • #12
                        i don't know what it is about primal/paleo/whatever eating that makes us more resistant to sunburn, but it's pretty hard to deny. it's cool too!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jakey View Post
                          i don't know what it is about primal/paleo/whatever eating that makes us more resistant to sunburn, but it's pretty hard to deny. it's cool too!
                          I'm pretty sure it's having higher quality fats like saturated and monounsaturated in the diet. Before, you probably had way less fat total, and any fat you did have was polyunsaturated or trans fat. The sun would quickly oxidize these. Saturated fat is much harder to oxidize, so your skin is protected.

                          It could also be that saturated fat is a co-factor for producing Vitamin D. I'm guessing on both of these ideas.

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                          • #14
                            It could also be the higher amounts of vitamin C along with copper and zinc which are higher in a primal diet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MorganGirl View Post
                              It could also be the higher amounts of vitamin C along with copper and zinc which are higher in a primal diet.
                              One thing I do know is that sleep has to do with sun resistance. If I'm ever short on sleep, I am waaay more sensitive to sun.

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