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Sun Exposure and Long Term Skin Damage

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  • Sun Exposure and Long Term Skin Damage

    Hi Everybody,

    I've been looking in the forums for something about this, as sun exposure has always been a hot topic in the primal debate, but couldn't find anything specific to my problems. I think there should really be a Dear Mark... on the topic!

    Being brought up in the dreary north of the UK, lack of sun exposure was probably a problem for me during my childhood, teenage years, but when I reached 18, I started travelling, spending loads of time in tropical parts of China and SE Asia, as well as lots of time at high altitude in west China.

    Never wearing sunscreen, loving swimming, spending time outdoors and feeling a constant thirst for sunlight, I have been sunburnt regularly, quite a few times every year.

    I obviously realise now, being caucasian, this was not a wise thing to do, not taking into account my ancestral heritage, and it is obvious looking at my skin, face and shoulders especially, which are covered in brown-black sun-spots, looking generally damaged. Understandably, I've been thinking about long term skin damage, skin cancer risk etc.

    I'm guessing this is probably going to be a problem for loads of white people of northern European heritage in the southern US, Australia etc. But possibly worse for people born in places with little sun exposure, then really going over the top when living abroad.

    My question, I guess, is this: except for being more cautious about sun exposure in future, is there any tips on how to manage the problems of damaged skin and minimising future damage?


  • #2
    I'm in the same boat ... Grew up in the sun and now, pushing 40, am having some regrets. Some damage, a few crows feet around the eyes. For the last couple of years I have been smarter: seeking shade, etc. I still get sun... I live in the desert ... But I try to keep it to the am hours. No more lizarding in the afternoon heat!

    I've also started vitamin E oil topically at night, on the face, neck, chest, and the backs of my hands, with some improvement. I slather liberally with coconut oil all over, whenever I feel dry.

    Looking forward to some other advice, too ...


    • #3
      One more thing -- a lot if vitamin e oil is blended with wheat germ oil for somecreason. I bought pure (its super thick) and blended it with avocado oil myself.


      • #4
        Get your D3 blood level up with some supplementation.

        My fair British husband has been able to increase his sun exposure (even living in Santa Fe!) after he got his blood level up to 50-60 ng/ml (125-150 nmol/L) There was an article or two floating around about this, but you can Google, if you need more proof.

        Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses | Mark's Daily Apple
        Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
        Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
        Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


        • #5
          My boyfriend is from Buffalo. He said when he first arrived in Southern California he had a really hard time telling how old someone was. In Buffalo you could tell by how fat they were. After a while in So Cal her realized he could tell how old someone was by how bad their skin is.

          You should send Mark a Dear Mark because it would be nice to know, but I doubt he knows the answer. Looking at his photos, he obviously (to me) doesn't have that peaches and cream complexion of someone who lives in the north. He's got that good old So Cal leathery look.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


          • #6
            I too have had luck with vitamin E oil. My skin damage is not too bad as I live in the north of the UK plus I have always been a bit precious about my fair, soft, quite young looking skin. But I am prone to moles and scar easily (typically EDSer) and I did spend a few summers in Italy in my 20s and I get anxious about proliferating moles.

            Anyway, I bought some vitamin E oil to help with a scar on my daughet's wrist, and then speculatively started putting it on my face to try to deal with a couple of tiny scars. They have helped the scars which are now virtually invisible but what's more my skin is looking younger and a small red patch (can't remember the name for it - it looks like a spot of broken capillaries) by my nose disappeared too. After this success I have started slapping it all over everywhere - stretchmarks, scars, moles - the lot. I actually can't believe how quickly it is working.


            • #7
              Thanks guys, I'll check out the vitamin E oil, although I'm sure it will be really expensive to get it imported.

              I've sent off a dear mark, maybe we'll be able to get his expert advice some time soon!


              • #8
                Isn't animal fat high in vitamin E? I am seriously wondering if a bit of lard wouldn't do the same job cheaper?