Shannon's Edit

The Sunscreen Debate

April 12, 2011

Sun exposure sans sunblock has become a lifestyle taboo. But what if the very thing we’re avoiding is the key to our good health?

A couple of years ago I wrote an article about why I don’t wear sunscreen, and never will. It certainly sparked some discussion, with feedback ranging from “are you crazy?” and the unforgettable, “you’re an idiot”, to “I’ve stopped wearing it too”.

I stopped using sunblock about five years ago, when I had a moment of clarity about what I was putting on my skin — namely chemicals, which not only get absorbed into the bloodstream, but baked into it, as we go about our daily outdoor living. For years I’d slathered it all over my face, arms and legs, fearful that if I didn’t, I’d end up as a cancer statistic.

What I know now is the very thing we’re encouraged to avoid — the sun — is a critical key to our good health and wellbeing. Every living thing on earth is dependent on it for life. To block the sun out of our every day using toxic chemicals can not only lead to vitamin deficiencies, but also symptoms including depression and anxiety. The chemicals themselves also build up in our systems, contributing to toxic overload and often dis-ease.

Yet, just because I choose to avoid sunscreen doesn’t mean I spend endless hours in the sun without sensible clothing at hand. The amount of sun we can tolerate depends on various factors from skin type to foods we include in our diet. According to wholefood nutritionist and researcher Don Tolman (see guest blog post below), nutritional deficiencies can cause the skin to burn excessively when exposed to the sun. also has plenty to say on the subject:

The idea that sunscreen prevents cancer is a myth. It’s a myth promoted by a profit-seeking tag-team effort between the cancer industry and the sunscreen industry. The sunscreen industry makes money by selling lotion products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like the American Cancer Society which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads urging people to use sunscreen to “prevent cancer”.

The scientific evidence, however, shows quite clearly that sunscreen actually promotes cancer by blocking the body’s absorption of ultraviolet radiation, which produces vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D, as recent studies have shown, prevents up to 77 of ALL cancers in women (breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma, you name it). Meanwhile, the toxic chemical ingredients used in most sunscreen products are actually carcinogenic and have never been safety tested or safety approved by the FDA. They get absorbed right through the skin (a porous organ that absorbs most substances it comes into contact with) and enter the bloodstream.

by Don Tolman

The population of industrialized countries for decades has been brainwashed into thinking the sun is evil. They’ve been told to cover up their skin and to avoid being exposed to natural sunlight. They’ve coated themselves with sunscreens which contain toxic chemicals, and taken extreme measures to avoid sunlight.

However, this advice has turned out to be completely wrong. Natural sunlight is absolutely essential for good health and without it you are far more susceptible to cancer, depression, obesity, osteoporosis and many other diseases. Sunlight is a natural cure that helps the body maintain a high state of health.

But what about sunburn, you ask? I speak from experience on this issue. People are only susceptible to sunburns when they have nutritional deficiencies caused by consuming soft drinks, processed foods, white flour, refined sugars and other similar substances. A person on the standard American diet burns very easily. But if that same person follows a wholefood diet for several months, and avoids all processed foods, even red heads will not burn their skin in the sunlight.

Deficiencies in Vitamin D are widespread. As a result, (countless) men each year are killed by a completely avoidable disease, prostate cancer. With sufficient Vitamin D from natural sunlight, very few men ever experience prostate cancer. With women, it’s breast cancer and osteoporosis. Both diseases are entirely preventable and sunlight is one of the most critical keys.

It’s sad that many doctors are still telling their patients to avoid the sun. This process is killing people and making them puppets of the pharmaceutical industry.

It is precisely the sun that holds the cure to many diseases now considered epidemic in the Western world. We need more sunshine, not less, and while there is certainly such a thing as too much sunshine in one setting, the fact is that almost nobody living in modern cities gets even the minimum daily requirement of sunshine.

This is even more true for people who have darker skin. Those of African descents are especially prone to Vitamin D deficiencies since their skin naturally blocks a significant portion of sunlight radiation. That’s why black men have a much higher rate of prostate cancer than white men.

Black men who live in northern climates, such as London or Canada, have it even worse. It’s virtually impossible for them to get enough Vitamin D since there’s not much sun to be found. Keep in mind, dark skin was an adaptation for people living near the equator, where sunshine is far more powerful!

Top organic foods that may help prevent sunburn are high in vitamins C and E, including:

1. Spinach
2. Broccolli
3. Sunflower seeds
4. Tomatoes
5. Peppers
6. Citrus
7. Avocados

  • Lori @ Laurel of Leaves
    June 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for speaking the truth about a controversial topic. What we eat has more effect on our skin than anything else!

    • Eco Beauty Editor
      June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      Never more true words spoken Lori. Whoever coined the phrase “we are what we eat” got it oh so right!

  • The sunscreen debate. What’s all the fuss about?
    October 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

    […] at they raise an interesting point about the cancer fighting power of sunlight.  We may be doing […]

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