Report on the news that matters to your community and don't let us miss a beat. Send in your stories and photos.
My Recent Comments
Thank you for taking the time to write about the importance of vitamin D, an essential hormone for optimum health, and other aspects of sunscreen. I wanted to make several comments.
First, the various forms of skin cancer should not be lumped together. There are two distinctly different forms; melanoma, the deadly kind and non-melanoma, the non-deadly and the most diagnosed form. What needs to be clarified is that no sunscreen can help prevent melanoma. Saying it can does a disservice to the consumer. No study has every confirmed that it can. What is known through a published study, is that non-melanoma skin cancer can be prevented by using a sunscreen that combines natural zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sun filtering with natural antioxidants that soak into skin and prevent free radicals from damaging skin cells. As you already know, free radicals are unstable molecules that form on skin when its exposed to sunlight and are the root cause of sunburn, prematurely aged skin, and non-melanoma skin cancer.
Second, because of the games being played with natural sunscreen ingredients, the only way to know if a sunscreens ingredients are indeed 100% natural is to select one that has been independently certified by the Natural Products Association (NPA). The NPA's green certification program certifies a host of natural products and up to this point, only three all natural sunscreen brands have been certified as 100% Natural. MelanSol 100% Natural Sunscreen is one of them.
Third, as an African American, I am a huge proponent of using low SPF sunscreens or even a potent antioxidant moisturizer curing intentional short periods in the sun. People simply wear too much sunscreen because they fear dying from skin cancer. What if not getting enough sun were the cause of melanoma skin cancer? Something like an SPF 10 will do for short periods. An SPF 10 allows 10% of sunlight to reach your skin.
I had my vitamin D level checked last year and received the most shocking news of my life-that my vitamin D level was low! People with darker skin are more susceptible to low levels of vitamin D because darker skin naturally filters more sunlight. If I were to use a high SPF sunscreen, I would only be further inhibiting my body's ability to synthesize more Vitamin D. The solution I have found is for me to wear MelanSol Moisturizer which contains the antioxidants I need to prevent skin cell damage, while allowing the right amount of sun to reach my skin during the short periods I am exposed to it.
You are spot on when you said sunscreens contribute to skin cancer. The chemical active ingredients used in the majority of sunscreens on the market create unstable free radical molecules when they lose their ability to filter sunlight.
I will the first one to say that sunscreen is no "silver bullet" for preventing sun damaged skin. Common sense is your best ally for this. As you said, eating things that can boost your body's ability to counter free radical damage and wearing sunscreen that doesn't contribute to skin damage is a start.
Thank you for a great article. I look forward to reading more pieces like this from you in the future. Jul 19, 2012