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How to get a tan, not a cancer?

20 минути за четене

20 минути за четене

How to get a tan, not a cancer?

It's summer - the season of high temperatures and the hot sun. As soon as this time approaches, we are massively reaching for vials of sunscreen. However, we have been convinced of their effectiveness for years. But do we have all the facts? And again, does anyone mislead us into wanting to justify our business interests? Today we will share with you our analysis on this topic.


The connection between beauty and skin

Over the centuries, the appearance of the skin has been an integral part of a well-maintained look.

For example, in the 17th century, white leather became actual in England. The idea of ​​it captures the minds of people. Just like in our day, the pursuit of sunburn has dawned on us. Women in the past have whitened their face and body with a mixture of lead and vinegar to make their skin whiter. And today we are all looking for ways to blacken faster.

It seems that the skin type is an active participant and a constant factor of attractiveness in the changing standards of beauty.

Is sunbathing only a consequence of using cosmetic products? Or is it rather born of leading a healthy lifestyle?

We'll see what the dermatologists say about it. We will also look at proven research in the field. And through them we will come to the truth about what place sunscreens occupy when getting a tan.


Dermatologists' advice

Whether you visit your dermatologist today, after six months or after a year, what you learn from him about sunscreen and summer tan remains the same. This has been the practice for years. You will be explained how sunscreen is an important part of protecting your skin from burning; how with the use of sunscreen ointments do you protect yourself from skin cancer, etc. In short, the message of all dermatologists and рand advertising campaigns is that the more you apply sunblock, the longer you can stay in the sun.

How healthy this long stay in the sun is, however, remains to be learned by the end of this article.

More interesting is the question "Why do dermatologists always advise the same thing?"

There should be other perspectives along the path of logic. For example, new, up-to-date studies on the effects of sunlight on the skin and updated information on melanoma disease. It turns out that there are indeed such studies. Have any of you heard about them from your dermatologist?


Is there a link between dermatologists and the sun protection industry?

In order to get answers to the above questions, we will dig into the facts of the recent past.
The year is 1928, when news of the first sunscreens is spread for the first time. For what purpose were they created?

Massively, people began to complain of skin burns due to their prolonged stay in the sun. Unreasonable, but the fact is that instead of getting a beautiful summer tan gradually, they spent many hours in the sun and this increased the incidence of sunburn.

The first sunscreens were designed to prolong the stay of sun-breezes without causing the unpleasant symptoms of sunburn. In short - give people what they want and they will be pleased. This is how the sunscreen industry was born.

A few years after the creation of the sunscreen, the idea that the ointments in question also protect against skin cancer began to be instilled in people's minds. There is no scientific evidence for this link to this day.

It is logical, since there is no evidence of a link between sunscreen and melanoma, to stop speculation. But the sun industry is doing the opposite.

Despite the measures taken and the use of sunscreen, an increase in the incidence of skin cancer continued to be reported. And only a few years after the birth of the sun protection industry. The trend is still relevant today - with an increase of 3.7% annually among the white race and 2% globally, across all races, according to the International Journal of Cancer.

This brings us to even more curious discoveries related to the Skin Cancer Foundation [SCF].

With the creation of sunscreens and the increasing growth of those diagnosed with melanoma (the most severe form of skin cancer), it is normal to set up foundations to fight skin cancer and inform people, like the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) . So far so good. But what kind of advice is it - SCF's website.

We open one of the foundation's articles - Ask the Expert: Sunscreen and Acne. It talks about acne problems. But despite the problems involved, the authors of the article insist that sunscreen products should continue to be used. We also come across information about age spots on your hands and how to prevent them with sunscreen!

The SCF article talks about sunscreen, skin cancer and age spots on the hands. The common thing between sunscreen and aging spots, according to the foundation, is that sunscreens protect against skin aging. We are curious to know when it will spread and information that sunscreens not only protect but also cure skin cancer.

Let's get back to reality. Why are we suggesting this to you from the SCF article?

Our aim is to highlight the bankruptcy of the arguments used by the foundation in order to promote sunscreen products.

The truth about the appearance of aging spots on the hands is actually quite different - due to the oxidation of cells in the body, which Dr. Michael Gregory also talks about in Beauty is More Than Skin Deep. Also read our article "Fighting Aging: Science vs. Nature."

With the same ease with which SCF advised the use of sunscreen ointments to cope with the appearance of aging spots, today they reject one of the first discoveries since 1998, which points to the lack of connection between combustion ointments and melanoma. This is the statement of epidemiologist Marian Berwick [8] made at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In it, she claims that sunscreen ointments do not provide protection against skin cancer.

Then, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) and the American Cancer Society attack her, saying her allegations are misleading. SCF states that "sunscreens should continue to be an integral part of a comprehensive skin cancer program."

It seems SCF and other similar organizations will not fall back and admit that sunburn products do not protect against skin cancer. Otherwise, the whole industry, built up over the years, would collapse. Instead, foundations continue to emphasize more and more the benefits of sunscreen by encouraging their use and prolonged sun exposure.

But what is the benefit of the Skin Cancer Foundation and other skin cancer organizations protecting the manufacturers of sunscreens?

The truth is that they are all very closely linked.
For example, dermatologists get the information they need from foundations such as SCF. And the Skin Cancer Foundation is closely linked to and supported by the sun protection industry.

In that order of thought - who should we trust?

For starters, it would be best to get to know a little more about the essence of sunscreen. This requires ourselves to check the composition of the ointments used. The reason is that all the ointment ingredients we use for treatment or prevention get into our bloodstream through the skin. Once there, they reach all our bodies and systems. And that should always make us check the composition of the products used. Just as we do for food products that end up in exactly the same system and the same organs.

But are sunscreens really as harmless as they are? And is their efficiency and necessity justified at all?


What do research on the topic show?

We leave the background of dermatologists and SCF in the background to look at the facts of our research regarding sun tanning and the use of sunscreen.

You will read in the scientific paper "Skin Cancer as a Major Public Health Problem" [1] that in the last three decades more people have suffered from skin cancer than any other type of cancer.

According to a study conducted in Minnesota among young volunteers [2], despite the "precautionary measures" and the use of sunscreens, the percentage of melanoma patients is increasing by about 4% annually. Where is the logic here ?!

It is a separate issue that the lack of vitamin D, which is synthesized by our body through exposure to the sun, increases the risk of disease from all cancers [7].

The big question remains: "How do we all use 'incredibly effective' sunscreens, do we suffer from skin cancer more and more ?!".

From the scientific work "The risks and benefits of sun exposure 2016" [3] we learn some interesting facts. We'll expand them into the next lines to shed light on the problem.

The first scientific evidence to prove that sunlight is useful and treats rickets is from 1919 [4]. Subsequently, several studies in 1924 found an inactive lipid in food and the skin, which was activated by UV light and turned into an antiracial substance. In 1931, this lipid was called Vitamin D and its benefits began to come to light.

After the creation of sunscreen products and the founding of an entire industry, the benefits of getting Vitamin D and sun exposure are gradually being replaced by thunderous speeches by renowned healthcare professionals and public health authorities. They introduce us to the danger of sunlight causing melanoma, as well as the need to use sunscreens. And so to this day, where we all know how dangerous it is to stay unprotected in the sun.

According to Dr. Marian Berwick (whom we mentioned alongside her debate with SCF) and her 30 years of experience in melanoma research, sun exposure is healthy. What increases the risk of skin cancer is incorrect sun exposure. In his interview with "Three questions for skin cancer investigator Dr. Marianne Berwick ”[5] Dr. Berwick says that irregular sun exposure does not allow our skin to adapt to the harmful UV rays. Thus, the chance of contracting melanoma is increased many times over. As an example, she cites spending 5 days a week in the sun and isolating it for the remaining 2 days, which is unhealthy. In support of her claims, we also refer to a study by Vuong K, McGeechan K, Armstrong BK, AMFS Investigators., GEM Investigators., Cust AE Int J Cancer. 2014 Jun 1 [3.1], which reveals how outdoor workers are actually much more protected against skin cancer compared to office workers. Why?

We find the answer in the scientific work of the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D, Chapter 3. National Academies Press [3.2], where it is explained in detail about the natural defense mechanisms of our body against harmful sun rays. This, of course, is tied to the need to be exposed to the sun, but without allowing sunburn.


 The natural defense mechanisms of the human body and how they work

Along with all the advertising campaigns and information provided by foundations like SCF, we are aware that UVB rays damage our DNA, causing cells to mutate and contract melanoma. Do you know, however, that our body has its own ways of repairing damaged DNA through the cell cycle and growth inhibitors, decreased proliferation, increased sensitivity to apoptosis, increased cell differentiation, and anti-inflammatory effects?

If you don't understand anything, don't worry. More importantly, in order to trigger much of all of these renewal processes, our body needs Vitamin D.

However, how can the body produce Vitamin D without exposure to the sun? The answer is no. And this is why we continue with scientific evidence showing that skin cancer is not caused by sun exposure.


Melanoma and sun protection products

We are back to the topic of the sun protection industry. So far we have learned that it does not provide protection against melanoma, but only a longer stay under the sun's rays. As is known, prolonged exposure to the sun even with sunscreen results in sunburn. The series of sunburns create favorable conditions for the development of skin cancer.

According to the study "Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: II. Sun exposure. ” Gandini S, Sera F, Cattaruzza MS, Pasquini P, Picconi O, Boyle P, Melchi CF [3.3] - while sun exposure alone reduces the risk of melanoma, sunburn doubles the chance of skin cancer . [read this sentence again]

According to Dr. Berwick, the most vulnerable areas in which the insidious disease occurs are the back and neck. But it is not uncommon for a melanoma to attack areas of the body that have not been exposed to the sun before, such as the space between the toes, feet, genitals [5.1], etc.

Similar examples of discrepancies between the protective functions of sunscreens and reality are found in everyday life. Surely at least once you have come across information about a person who has always been extremely careful and avoided the sun's rays and subsequently has melanoma.

In light of the facts and the scientific evidence, it is normal to ask ourselves - then who is the true culprit for the occurrence of skin cancer?

According to the Melanoma and genetics study. Nelson AA, Tsao H ”[3.4] The mechanism by which skin cancer acts is still unknown. But there are prerequisites that the disease is thought to be due to each individual's genetic makeup. Unlocking it can be triggered by a series of sunburns, but as we've already learned, melanoma can be generated in areas that don't reach the sun. Everything seems to be based on the health of the body and how susceptible it is to diseases

But nothing is a matter of luck and there is a scientifically sound opinion on everything.

For example, sunburn equals rare cases of cell division and subsequent vulnerability to mutations. The prevention of sunburn and, consequently, the development of melanoma stems from the photographic adaptation discussed by Dr. Berwick. You can also protect yourself from skin cancer by producing high levels of Vitamin D (remember the body's natural defense mechanisms).

Conclusions: Increase your body's vitamin D production through moderate sun exposure and a healthier lifestyle to reap the benefits of it. And the benefits are to your nervous system and your appearance in the form of sunburn.

But where does the role of sunscreen remain?

In fact, sunscreens also contribute to the development of melanoma. If this surprises you, let's look at the basic evidence for this statement.


What is the problem with sunscreen products?

  1. Sunscreens block the production of Vitamin D

An article on Vitamin D published by the National Institutes of Health [6] clearly outlines the blocking effect of ointments on its production. But nowhere on the labels of sunscreens does it say that they actually cause a deficiency of the valuable vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency, in turn, causes much more serious problems.

In trying to protect ourselves from skin cancer, we are actually giving green light to the development of many more cancers that Vitamin D production protects us from.

The production of this healthy fat-soluble vitamin has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. Chemical-rich sunscreen ointments and their blocked synthesis of vitamin D lead to a number of other ailments and problems, such as parkinson's, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, etc. Sunscreens contain harmful chemical elements.

  1. Sunscreens contain harmful chemical elements

    Most sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that absorb UV light. Unfortunately, most of these substances are carcinogenic, which has been proven to cause cancer.

The most commonly used chemical in sunscreens is PABA (Podimate - 0). In the dark, it is harmless, but exposed to light, the chemical attacks the DNA in the cells and they mutate.

There is also another characteristic of sunscreens - imitation of the action of estrogen in the body. If this does not bother you, then you may not be aware of estrogen dependent diseases, also called as estrogen dominance.

  1. Estrogen and estrogen dependent diseases:

It is biologically proven that both sexes have the hormones estrogen (female sex hormone) and testosterone (male sex hormone), but in different amounts. Any disturbance in the established balance leads to side effects in the body.

Cases of estrogen dominance in various parts of the world are becoming more common. These include: fibroid tumors of the uterus, RR-positive breast cancer, cancer of the uterine body and ovaries. Increased levels of estrogen in the body lead to various changes and diseases in both women and men.

According to a Swiss study published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2011, at least 5 products are found in sunscreens that mimic the action of estrogen in the body and disrupt the balance:

  • Octil-dimethyl – PABA (OD-PABA)
    • Benzophenone (Bp-3)
    • Homosalate (HMS)
    • Octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
    • 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)


After these shocking revelations, it is quite normal for us to ask ourselves then how to protect our skin from the harmful sun rays?


Natural skin protection and the benefits of vegetable oils

We find answers not anywhere, but within ourselves and the structure of the human body.

We have already mentioned the natural defense mechanisms of our body against the harmful rays of the sun. One of them is the production of melanin. When exposed to the sun, the skin produces melanin and turns black. The complexion we acquire, therefore, is also our natural protection against sunburn.

With a moderate and periodic stay under the sun's rays, the skin reaches a natural maximum of redness and does not allow it to burn. Unlike overexposure to the sun, when our skin does not have time to blacken, but most often it turns red and burns. That is why it is important that the tanning process is gradual and moderate, not abrupt.

These facts, of course, contradict the statements of sunscreens, for which sunbathing may be unlimited with the application of sunscreen. It is no coincidence, however, that "the dose makes the poison" and nothing too useful, regardless of the precautionary measures.

Remember, too, that in moderate sunlight, the production of vitamin D in our body increases, and this automatically triggers our body's natural defense mechanisms to reduce the risk of skin cancer.


How to enhance the natural protection of your body?

In the following sentences, you will learn how to increase the production of melanin, which is the skin's natural barrier against sunburn. To do this, you work from the inside out.

If you suffer from a deficiency of vitamins and minerals, your skin will be dry and white. By taking Vitamins C and E you will help to improve the overall condition of your skin. During the months when you can't enjoy the sun, get vitamin D as a supplement to stimulate melanin production. Don't forget about Omega-3 fatty acids. In this case, the best source for what we would recommend is pure supplements based on plant sources such as krill and micro algae.

As for vegetable oils, they are recommended for use as long as you are exposed to the sun. Any vegetable oil (coconut, cocoa, etc.) moisturizes your skin, slows it down and nourishes it. Everything else about your health and sunburn can be left to the natural processes in your body.

One of the studies is Melanoma and genetics. Nelson AA, Tsao H ”[3.4], introduced to you about the causes of melanoma, states that skin cancer is on our own. In order not to unlock them, we could resort to a slightly healthier lifestyle. For example, to stimulate the production of melanin, Vitamin D, the intake of foods and beverages that will boost our immune system and overall health.

It is a strong and nourished organism that can build effective protection against harmful sun rays and reap the benefits of sun exposure - as it did for years before the creation of the sun protection industry. Sunscreen products are not really necessary, as they neither help in tanning (the production of melanin), nor protect us from the harmful sun rays and melanoma. On the contrary, their overflowing with harmful substances additionally damages both the skin and the overall condition of the body.

Let's be naturally healthy and beautiful.

[1] Skin Cancer as a Major Public Health Problem

[2] Increasing Incidence of Melanoma Among Young Adults: An Epidemiological Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota

[3] „The risks and benefits of sun exposure 2016”

[4] Huldshinsky K. Heilung von rachitis durch kunstlich hohen-sonne. Deut Med Wochenscher 1919; 45:712-3;

[5] „Three questions for skin cancer investigator Dr. Marianne Berwick”

[6] National Institutes of Health

[7] Vitamin D Deficiency and all cancer

[8] Sunscreens may not protect users from developing the deadly skin cancer, melanoma – reports Dr. Marianne Berwick, an epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – New York, February 17, 1998


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