Please do all you can to avoid sunburn this summer. Direct sunshine on your skin puts vitamin D into your body, which protects you from cancer, but sunburns, especially early in life, lead to melanoma, a type of skin cancer that is truly dangerous. Melanoma, oddly enough, will appear in other parts of your body, where you didn't even get sunburned, so not all the facts are in. Just know that when your skin (or your child's skin) begins to glow pink, or red if it is already tanned, then get out of the sunshine immediately. Apply aloe vera gel, or vitamin E oil as soon as possible.
Scientific studies have not proved that sunscreens protect us from melanoma. So we need to talk about the pros and cons of how to avoid sunburn.
Some people almost have a fetish about slathering on sunscreen each time they are going to step out the door, and at regular intervals while they are outside, even if under an umbrella. Does that really protect them?
Sherry Brescia of Holistic Bends [link] tells us that there are three kinds of skin cancer. The first two, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are the most common, but rarely fatal. The sun screens 'may' protect you from the second, squamous cell carcinoma, but whether it protects you from basal cell carcinoma is yet to be deterimined.
It is the third type of skin cancer, melanoma, that you want to avoid, and it comes from getting sunburned. That's why I repeat, avoid sunburn at all costs!
One. They are not all very effective. In fact, about 75% of them are toxic to your body. You really ought to avoid them too!
You see, to be effective a sunscreen should protect you againt both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. However, many sunscreens only block UVB rays. The very rays that our bodies need to make vitamin D! That's the natural protection from skin cancer! (Isn't that like cutting off your nose to spite your face?)
The sunscreens sold commercially contain various combinations of these toxic chemicals:
Para amino benzoic acid
Don't hide from the sun altogther and become an indoor hermit! There are natural things you can do to protect yourself. Let's review the simple things to avoid sunburn.
Go out for just 20-30 minutes in the sun at one time. Pace yourself so you don't stay out in the sun hours on end. This will allow your body to make and store some Vitamin D.
If you need to - or feel you must stay out in the bright sunshine longer, put on light clothing with sleeves that let in breezes, but not the hot sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. If you haven't got the use of a big patio or beach umbrella, look for the shady side of a building, or a good-sized tree.
Protect your skin and nourish it by drinking plenty of water, and eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. (In fact, on a hot day my meals are just raw fruits, or raw vegetables - eating them at separate meals. No kitchen heat needed at all). Supplement with vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids (like fish). These can act as natural anti-inflammatories too, so you can put off taking pain-killers.
Should you come to the time and place, where sunscreens would be in order, choose carefully. Look for products that offer a broad protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and make sure they are mineral-based products that do not contain chemicals from the list above.
For myself I have not put on sunscreen for years and years! Since I don't use them I can't recommend any. But Sherry Brescia says if you must, she would recommend Badger® SPF15, or True Natural®, Kiss My Face® and Bare Belly Organics®. I'll take her word on it.
I have more information about Aloe Vera for Sunburn.