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  1. #1
    echoyjeff222's Avatar
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    Sunlight

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    I was just wondering - if I'm planning on going to be outside this summer for hours at a time, do you think I should first get the 15-20 minutes of full sun exposure WITHOUT sunscreen, then put some on? Or do you think I should just wait for another time to get the unadulterated exposure?

    Also, have any of you guys tried Mercola's natural sunscreen?
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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    I would start building up gradually now. That's what I'm doing. I burn VERY easily, but I have been trying to be brave lately and take my kid to park on sunny days, and soak up some Vitamin D while she plays. I want to build up where I can be out in the sun for a couple hours at a time without turning into toast.
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    Same here, every sunny day I drag all the kiddo's toys and we sit on the porch and play.

    I would start building up now, especially if you burn easily.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaylee99 View Post
    Same here, every sunny day I drag all the kiddo's toys and we sit on the porch and play.

    I would start building up now, especially if you burn easily.
    I was as white as a wall (read or critique how you want) last late summer and I would walk 1 hour in the sun sleeveless and get red (slightly burnt but not really) and after several weeks I was fine (pre-primal and all) so I'd suggest going w/o sunscreen for bits of time first and see how your body reacts?
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  5. #5
    breadsauce's Avatar
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    Without sunscreen. All those creepy chemicals leaching in through your skin - yuk. Start now exposing your skin to the sun and it'll build up a colour, so you won't burn in the stronger sun to come.

  6. #6
    Alex Good's Avatar
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    I don't burn, but my mom (white as a ghost) prefers the woods because you get a second here and there of sun between the trees. People are so anal about that white stuff (sunscreen, pun intended).

  7. #7
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    I am very pale, but I can go in the sun for 20-30 min without burning in the spring. Mind you, I live pretty far north, so we are not getting as much exposure as someone further south. Unless you are an ultraburner (if this is even a word) you are probably ok.

    All last summer I let my kids and me out without sunscreen because it felt like the right thing to do. They tanned to a beautiful brown (wish I could!). I am glad to know that there is some good reasons for my instinctual response last summer.
    Last edited by JKC; 04-09-2011 at 01:03 PM. Reason: added comment
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  8. #8
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    I recommend NOT using sunscreen and laying out with as much as your body exposed as possible midday. Limit TIME so that you don't burn. Even if you can only be out for 10 minutes at first, you'll build up protective melanin and get the most vitamin D this way. Tanning is a very good thing; melanin production means your body is protecting you. If you are going to be out for a long enough time where you would burn, go 'naked' as long as you can before you get any pink and then for the remaining time cover yourself with clothes, hats, etc. (ideal) or use a sunscreen that ONLY contains NON-MICRONIZED zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients (less ideal and often looks white on your skin and washes off if you play in water but better than commercial sunscreen--all other sunscreens have been found to be hazardous by the EWG). I don't know what the ingredients are in Mercola's.

    Some people in this site have had success not burning as quickly by using coconut oil externally.

    Eating lots of carotenoids and cutting your PUFA consumption down as much as possible should help.

    Also, vitamin C serums have been found to prevent sun damage. The C won't wash off because it is absorbed by the skin, so theoretically you could apply the vitamin C to your whole body and go to the beach and be fine. The half-life is something like 4 days. Only thing is that C (once in an aqueous solution) is very unstable and therefore all the good serums are formulated with a specific amount of stabilizing anti-oxidants (best are vitamin E and ferulic acid together) and are manufactured in specific packaging, have a SHORT shelf-life... aaaand cost up to $150/oz. I'm working on making my own (mixing it right before I use it to prevent oxidation) for vanity reasons (anti-sun damage=anti-aging) and because I have a family history of skin cancer (both parents affected, melanoma). I'm more than positive that I can make some to take care of my whole body (if need be, though I tan pretty well so I won't use it much) for a year for about $40. Quite possibly even less and maybe even half that amount. If you're into DIY kind of stuff, this might be worth looking into rather than buying sunscreen.

    And non-micronized zinc oxide/titanium dioxide also come in powder form. Although it's the purest form of sunscreen (liquid bases are full of nasty ingredients), it covers your skin like a barrier so it's either WHITE and looks semi-ridiculous or is tinted with other minerals which qualify it as makeup.
    Last edited by ZoŽ; 04-09-2011 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
    echoyjeff222's Avatar
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    okay - mercola's is made of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide so i think i should be fine ... i'll try my best to simply cover up though.
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  10. #10
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    This is a very timely post - I just booked the trip of a lifetime - a 9-day Grand Canyon rafting trip this summer. Ideally, I'd be able to do it without sunscreen, but of course, that means building up to it over the course of the summer. I live in Northern California so should have time to do so.

    I've definitely noticed that since I've been aggressively supplementing with Vitamin D that I'm less likely to burn, so I'm hopeful that I can build up a decent base over the summer before my trip in August. It's funny to think back - when I was a little kid, I never ever burned - I'd go straight from winter white to golden brown child ... but then again, I was also spending hours every day at the pool all summer. It was only when I stopped playing on sports leagues, and stopped going to the pool, and in the process went from a chubby child to an obese teen that I also became very sensitive to the sun and likely to burn. I'd never really put two and two together, but I suspect that my generally more active lifestyle as a child that had me getting gently and partially exposed to the sun during spring sports leagues set me up well for the greater/longer exposure that would come in the summer.

    At the same time, I worry because my dad has been fighting pre-cancerous lesions for probably 20+ years now (he's in his 70s) and I definitely take after him (fair skin, light hair). So I want to be thoughtful about my exposure, but I also like the idea of minimizing my exposure to sunscreen chemicals.
    Last edited by ennasirk; 04-09-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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