In your quest for a suitable day cream, you have probably stumbled upon the issue of sun protection. You have probably read about how dangerous radiation is for your skin and that you should always protect it with a day cream with sun protection factor. In this article we will explain why this is actually not so beneficial and can have serious effects.

UVA and UVB radiation have been considered harmful to health for quite a long time and are held responsible for the development of white skin cancer. However, scientists found out that UVA radiation, but also especially UVB radiation, stimulates important functions in our body. Among other things, the formation of vitamin D, a vitamin which actually is none. Vitamin D is produced in the skin, induced by UVB radiation, and is a hormone that is involved in functions in every cell of the body. Among others, the immune system. Vitamin D is therefore not only an optional dietary supplement but a vital substance. Every day, a great number of units of it are needed for various processes in the body. So if there is not enough vitamin D in the body, the body’s own protective mechanisms no longer function and chronic diseases are promoted.

It has been scientifically proven in both quantitative and qualitative studies that the vitamin can help prevent certain types of cancer. These include white skin cancer. But not only that: Many other malignant tumours have also been shown to be prevented or improved by UVB radiation, or by the vitamin D that is produced consecutively. This was observed for example in breast, intestinal, ovarian and prostate cancer (see Moukayed & Grant, 2017)

Beautiful and good, but aren’t we all exposed to enough sunlight?

No, I’m afraid not. For social reasons, most of us have a real shortage – even more so in winter than in summer. What’s the reason for this?

On the one hand, we have developed into a indoor society that spends an enormous amount of time indoors. Be it in the office, in the warehouse or at school. This means that the body can hardly absorb any sunlight during this time anyway and cannot produce vitamin D. In addition, only the sunlight between 10/11 and 3/4 in summer is intense enough to really stimulate the formation. Before and after that the sun is too low as well as in winter – no effect. And it is exactly at this core time from 10 to 3 that most people work.

Furthermore, clothing is an important factor. If you keep your body covered all day long, then no vitamin D production can happen. Thus, even in warmer, sunnier regions there often is a vitamin D deficiency due to clothing that covers the body, although the local factor would actually favour production.

In addition, we were (unfortunately) scared away  from spending unprotected time in the sun. After all, it could cause cancer. So before we go outside, we put some cream on. Preferably with a high sun protection factor. But exactly this is fatal for the vitamin D formation. Because if the radiation is blocked, it is not possible. With a sun protection factor of 50 we are already talking about an inhibition of the formation of about 99%. The fact that this actually promotes the development of malignant tumours and their metastasis has already been mentioned several times.

So does sunscreen do more harm than good?

Partly , because in general, protection from the sun has its justification when exposed directly, i.e. when sunbathing. However, too high SPF and too much “of a good thing” is often useless. Not only because we actually already have sun protection in our skin, namely a tan, but also because it is not good for us. One should also give the skin the chance to be exposed to the radiation and thus fill the Vitamin D tanks to .

In the summer you should wait as long as possible before applying the sunscreen and if, then use a very low SPF. From the scientific findings it can already be guessed that day creams with SPF which are mostly applied in the morning are not necessarily recommended.


Nicole Haugg

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