Skin Cancer Prevention: Yesterday

Growing up, I often went fishing with my grandfather. It was sunny and blazing hot offshore, and he always wore a long sleeve shirt, pants, and a hat. On the hottest days, he put a little zinc on his nose. He didn’t have skin cancer trouble even though he grew up on a North Carolina dairy farm and was in the sunshine all the time.

My granddad and his generation did skin cancer prevention better than we do. They grew their own food and wore long sleeve shirts in their fields and gardens. They, like every generation since man first came to be, had a common sense relationship with the sun. They didn’t fear it, but they respected it and knew we needed it. People needed to be outside in the sunshine.⠀

 

Skin Cancer Prevention

 

Skin Cancer Prevention: Today

Fast forward to modern America. We’ve been told by health authorities that modern, chemical sunscreen is the answer. We’ve been told that if we buy it, apply it, reapply it, and reapply it some more, we’ll reduce the risk of skin cancer.

And we’ve dutifully obeyed, so much so that the average American uses FOUR TIMES MORE SUNSCREEN today than they did in 1975, when only 1 in 288 Americans developed skin cancer.

Today, after using all that chemical sunscreen meant to prevent skin cancer, the rate has skyrocketed to 1 in 84. And if we continue down the current path, it will reach 1 in 42 by 2040.

Clearly, those earlier generations had a more sensible approach to being in the sun. And just as clearly, modern, chemical sunscreens aren’t they answer we were promised.

 

Skin Cancer Prevention: Tomorrow

Fortunately, there is a way to bring together the wisdom of old with a fresh, modern approach to sunscreen which avoids the huge risks of petrochemicals. To thrive in the sun and lower our risk of skin cancer in, we should:

 

1. Seek Shade

Avoid peak sunshine hours (10am-4pm)

 

2. Cover Up

Wear long sleeve shirts, hats and sunglasses

3. Choose Zinc

Find true broad-spectrum, non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen (SPF 30+)

 

4. Eat Healthy

Choose foods loaded with antioxidants