I have always known that the medical hysteria about sunlight exposure and skin cancer was a hoax. I mean come on, it just didn’t make any sense. Humans have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, continually exposed to sunshine and until just recently, little or no skin cancer problems. Now all of a sudden literally everyone has got it or is at risk of getting it with virtually any sun exposure.
Turns out that if you check the rates of skin cancer, the countries that have less sun (northern latitudes) or have official “stay out of the sun” medical policies (like the US) have far greater rates. Also turns out that southern climes and areas where people are out in the sun a lot, have much lower rates. And not just skin cancer, but they have lower rates of all cancers and just about any degenerative disease. This is confirmed by study after study. So what gives?
Unless you are living under a rock, most likely you know that sun exposure is the primary way humans get (or were intended to get) sufficient vitamin D. Vitamin D (not really a vitamin, but a hormone) as it turns out is involved, to some degree, in a wide array of bodily functions, including protecting your skin against cancer. Most people are aware of the connection between lack of sunlight and increased rates of depression. The list goes on and on of the many ways vitamin D is essential to good health. There is just no getting around it, if you want to be healthy, you have to get enough vitamin D and the most efficient, inexpensive, safe, and healthy way to accomplish this, is through sun exposure.
Having said that there are a few common sense guidelines to follow. Pick a consistent time to start so that you can gauge and monitor your progress. Initially only stay out until you skin just turns pink, which is right before you would burn. For most this would be 20-30 minutes depending on skin type. Gradually work the time up as you can tolerate, without burning, to at least an hour each session. Expose as much of your body as possible without getting arrested. Get in 4 or more of these sessions per week and your vitamin D levels should be nicely optimized. When you know you have had enough, the best protection is to cover up with clothing as most commercial sun blocks are toxic.
Hopefully this makes sense and is not a big surprise to you. As usual it turns out that what nature provides is best for you, as long as you don’t do weird stuff and mess it up.
So get out there and catch some rays!