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rocio

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I've been reading up a bit on tanning. Have you guys heard these statistics that avoiding sun is much more likely to give you cancer than too much? In fact, my doctor told me the same thing. Apparently its quite dangerous, especially in less sunny parts of the world, to wear sunscreen all the time. Which sucks because most good quality foundation comes with spf these days.

 

I was also reading that chemical sunscreens are toxic and cause cancer.

 

I'm determined to get a healthy tan this summer. Any tips? Anyone got info or opinions on the sun, tanning and your health?

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I have read this, which is part of the reason I want to get a tan this summer too. I grew up in a very hot and sunny place and we were always shrieked at about not wearing sunscreen or covering up. The sun was considered an evil thing. I did know quite a few people with skin cancers, but nothing serious. They were mostly the hardcore sun worshipers.

 

So, it turns out that a lack of vitamin D can actually cause more cancer (including breast cancer) than what sunscreen can prevent. There is also a link between a lack of sunshine and several autoimmune diseases. Some scientists even say that there is a link between sunscreen itself and melanoma and not the sun!

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I can tell you that living in a tropical climate as I do, our dermatologists are a busy pack with malanoma (the most deadly of skin cancers.)

 

There is no such thing as a "healthy tan." I am not a blind consumer of mainstream medicine in a lot of ways, but this much I know to be true: the rays of the sun cause DNA changes in the cells of your skin that cause cancer. That is fact.

 

If you don't wind up with cancer, you should see the effects on skin after a couple of decades. Surfers look at least 10 years older than their age, because of the deleterious effects of the damage to their skin. Skin is wrinkled and develops spots from tanning, if not cancer. It's like going to the drugstore and buying a bottle of anti anti-aging moisturizer for your skin.

 

Why would anyone want to do that, or take the risk? By the time you actually are tan, the damage is done, even if you don't do it often.

 

I am less convinced of the safety of some commercial sunscreens. There is some valid controversy there. And vitamin D is derived from sunlight. But you need no more than 15 minutes of exposure from this, not a tan! And still, vitamin D is something you could just as well get from food and supplements.

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I understand the need for generating vitamin D, but sunscreen is not sun block--big difference. The UVA and UVB rays do damage the skin, they speed oxidation and cause premature aging. Point is, mild exposure (say, 20 to 30 minutes a day) with a reasonable sunscreen to prevent burning, is enough to aid your body in generating vitamin D3. That's the whole point, not the tan. The tan looks and feels fabulous, until you come to regret it later--and by then you can't undo the damage.

 

Sorry this isn't a popular view, but if I can spare one person from making my mistakes, then so be it. Also consider the sources of your material--there's a lot of money to be made with tanning booths, beach resorts, etc. The sunscreen industry isn't nearly as sexy.

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I absolutely agree about not getting skin damage but I'm really white so I need to darken up a bit in the summer. If I spend 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon in the sun, I shouldn't get sun damage, should I? And that would certainly help me get some color into my skin. I'm not looking for a dark tan.

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If you want to "tan" I'd suggest investing in those aloe vera gels. They're pretty cheap - 7$ for a huge bottle.

I find it helps a lot with cooling the skin and keeping it supple.

 

I am never sure either what to believe between exposure or sun-screen. I don't usually wear sunscreen unless I'm going down south where I can see the distinct benefits of it. Sun lotion has a lot of chemicals (then again, what doesn't)....

I don't really stay outside for extended periods of time though, so if I wound spend a day at the beach then I definetly would.

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I love the sun..I also tan in a tanning booth regularly. I feel it's good for you to a certain extent. Anything in excess usually isn't good for you.

 

If you're going to be in the direct sun for hours at a time..SPF..find an organic one..or one made with more natural ingredients.

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I meant exposure to sun can be good for you to a certain extent. I sit in an office all day 5 days a week, so I can't get really dark just two days of the week in the sun..it takes me a while to tan. That's why I tan in a booth, I realize it's not the best thing to be doing..but it's the risk I take.

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I absolutely agree about not getting skin damage but I'm really white so I need to darken up a bit in the summer. If I spend 1/2 hour in the morning and 1/2 hour in the afternoon in the sun, I shouldn't get sun damage, should I?

 

I am not sure why you say you "need to darken up a bit in the summer." Why do you "need" to do this?

 

If you look at skin tones around the globe, you'll notice that the closer you get to the equator, the darker skinned the peoples that live there, whether it's on the American continent, Africa, the Pacific or Asia. This is because after 100's of 1000's of years of evolution, their skin developed more natural protection (melanin) against UV rays, which are harmful. The melanin is a chemical that they are born with genetically so that they come equipped to deal with the sun, naturally. Being tan by birth is the only way tanning is healthy. As a fair-skinned person, you were not born with the ability to handle sun exposure without damaging your skin. You can't change evolution in a few days of sun exposure. For you, tanning = damage. Light skinned people absorb the harmful ultraviolet radiation because they don't have much melanin. Even if you don't see bright red burns, your skin has to undergo oxidative damage (burning) in order to tan.

 

Are you doing this for beauty reasons, or to be "healthier"? Because I have yet to see credible scientific data that states tanning boosts your health. Even slightly. I don't think tanned people are healthier than non-tanned people. They are getting vitamin D from sunlight more, but I take a natural, high-grade supplement of vitamin D3 as part of my antioxidants, so I don't need to get tan (though it's impossible not to, just leaving the house and walking around for 15 minutes here with no protection, the sun is so direct most of the year). Or, eats lots of cold water fish like salmon.

 

I don't know know where you live, but a half hour early in the morning and a half hour later in the afternoon won't be AS damaging as midday, and at higher latitudes the sun isn't as intense, but the bottom line is that if it's enough to tan you when you are pale-skinned, and are doing it on enough of a basis to maintain it, yes, you're damaging your skin to some extent, and I don't see any health benefits to it.

 

To me, it's kind of like asking, "If I smoke one cigarette every 3 days, is that really gonna damage me?"

 

I hate coming off as such a party pooping crab, but I just think it boils down to a standard of looks -- once again, over-riding nature. I'm not saying be paranoid and never go out in the sun for short periods, but going in with the idea of producing a tan isn't wise.

 

Here's an article by an esthetician, not a doctor. (It emphasizes the dangers of tanning beds, but also talks about natural sunlight.)

 

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Years ago, suntans were considered not only fashionable, as they unfortunately still are with many people today, but physicians actually encouraged patients to sunbathe—it was considered healthy. Then, in the late 1970's and 1980s, there was increasing media awareness of the risks involved with lying in the sun to get a tan. This was the catalyst for the switch from the proliferation of suntanning oils to sunblocks and sun protectors. It was also the catalyst for the growth of the tanning salon industry. Tanning salons were seen as offering protection—the idea behind them was that suntanning was dangerous primarily because of burns. It was thought that if one received a tan through a gradual, controlled process, the dangers would be eliminated. We now know that to not be true. Burning is merely the most conspicuous problem associated with tanning.

 

People often forget that UV rays can penetrate through clouds, and UV rays reflect off water, concrete, white sand and snow. It is often mistakenly thought that tanning helps prevent sun damage. As the American Association of Dermatology has reminded us, "A tan does not prevent sun damage, it is sun damage." (footnote xi) Manhattan dermatologist Dr. Leon Demar emphasizes this point; "There is no such thing as a safe suntan. Whether you get it from the sun or from a tanning bed, it is risky."

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I'll bet I can find a ___________ causes cancer for next to anything. Did you know kraft dinner causes cancer? Did you know cell phones cause cancer? Did you know looking at your computer causes cancer?

 

These days everything causes cancer... get over it we'll all die of cancer.

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The argument that "everything causes cancer" doesn't compel me to go out and do things specifically that cause cancer, if I can help it. Sometimes you can't help it. Sometimes it's a choice.

 

If you choose to do something unhealthy, equipped with the information, that is completely anyone's prerogative.

 

But let's at least have the facts that it's not healthy, that it's about wanting to look a certain way or enjoy something.

 

Me personally, I want to protect my longevity and my skin's appearance. At 40, people think I'm younger, not older, because I don't have wrinkles, and since tanning would have given me wrinkles, I'm pretty happy I didn't make those choices.

 

I minimize things that will give me cancer. I always laugh at that "everything gives you cancer." People generally say this when they haven't watched someone die of cancer and think it doesn't apply to them. We can really do a lot to reduce how many carcinogens we are exposed to and live a happy, sexy, balanced life.

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I don't think anyone is debating that the sun doesn't promote skin cancer or premature aging. The point is that new research has found that a moderate amount of sunlight seems to outweigh the risks of not getting any. Most people DO NOT get enough vitamin D from their diet alone.

 

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About 10 minutes of sunshine a day is plenty to get the vitamin D you need.

 

Still, I completely understand where you are coming, UMA. I have quite pale skin, and love to wear sundresses and shorts in the summer, but am often embarrassed by my pastiness. Yes, exposure to the sun will definitely age you faster, but I feel like I can strike a balance between getting a bit of color and protecting myself. I never tan my face (always wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat), and protect my chest/cleavage area as well. I try not to stay out very long, and if the sun is bright I will generally wear sunscreen. Definitely avoid getting sunburned at all costs! I think 1/2 hour a day would be good to start, then you can spend a bit more time in the sun once you know that you won't burn.

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Cancer or no cancer, the very vanity that had me tanning when I was younger is the same vanity that has me avoiding sun exposure today. If I could do it all over again with the kinds of natural looking self-tanning products I've found today (Isomers Laboratories, Toronto, Canada) I'd have spared myself the damage I caused and can never UNdo.

 

When you slice open an apple and watch the inside caramelize to a deep brown, that's the same oxidative damage you cause your skin by exposing it to in the sun. Sure, the skin will always attempt to repair itself, but it's the damage you DON'T see that shows up as age spots, freckles, wrinkles and mottling over t.i.m.e. (Just take yourself to a dermatologist and ask for a set of UV damage photos to see the damage you've already got.)

 

By walking in the sun for less than 20 minutes, even with sunscreen, your body will generate vitamin D3, and if you supplement that with an easily assimilated D3 (in a capsule form, not a tablet), you assist your calcium absorption, aid your digestion and build all the other benefits that vitamin D is newly famous for--but tanning by it's very nature IS damaging.

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how is ten minutes outside different from ten minutes in a tanning bed? It is true, if you are in an office all day, you are never outside and never get any sun rays. I could see how it would be beneficial to go to tanning booth if that were the case. I don't think anyone is claiming they want to spend hours outside without spf. Thats just stupid. I believe a moderate amount of sun, however you achieve it is good for your bod and your mood.

 

My friend lived in seattle, and her apartment building had tanning booths in it. To increase the 'mood' of the residents.

 

And yes everything causes cancer, now water bottles cause cancer! when will it end!

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You want to be smart when tanning, only lay out in the sun in the least dangerous times (11am-4pm is the most dangerous time) and you only want to do 20 minutes at a time every second day (give your body a chance to produce melanin) , this is a slow way to build a tan but it is the safest way.

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how is ten minutes outside different from ten minutes in a tanning bed? It is true, if you are in an office all day, you are never outside and never get any sun rays. I could see how it would be beneficial to go to tanning booth if that were the case. I don't think anyone is claiming they want to spend hours outside without spf. Thats just stupid. I believe a moderate amount of sun, however you achieve it is good for your bod and your mood.

 

My friend lived in seattle, and her apartment building had tanning booths in it. To increase the 'mood' of the residents.

 

And yes everything causes cancer, now water bottles cause cancer! when will it end!

 

Tanning beds are actually more focused on UVA rays (which cause tanning & most skin cancer). It is the UVB rays that cause burning and help create vitamin D. Although tanning beds do have some UVB, the balance is not the same as the sun.

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Tanning beds are actually more focused on UVA rays (which cause tanning & most skin cancer). It is the UVB rays that cause burning and help create vitamin D. Although tanning beds do have some UVB, the balance is not the same as the sun.

 

Exactly, vitamin D is something very important that we get from the sun.

 

I personally do not tan for the sake of tanning because I would rather not have wrinkles or skin cancer. I have a neighbour who is a real sun bunny she is 7 years younger than me and she looks 10 years older than I am just due to the wrinkles, she has wrinkles like an elephant. I am going to be 43 and I have no wrinkles that are visible to other people yet.

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