The Skin Cancer Vs Vitamin D Debate
Cases of skin cancer are on the rise in a big way and it is now the most common form of cancer in the UK. On average there between 80,000 - 100,000 cases per year and typically 7 people per day die of skin cancer. Perhaps the most scary fact in all of this is that 80% of these cases are caused by overexposure to the sun.
On the flip side of the coin though, at one stage we were being told that in the UK that we needed to expose our skin to more sun so as to ensure that we are absorbing enough vitamin D. Studies were saying that properly applied SPF15 suncream could reduce the production of vitamin D in the skin by 99%. Thankfully however, research carried out by Kings College London, funded by Boots and lead by Antony Young, found that the claim that suncream inhibits our absorption of vitamin D is categorically false and that there is no evidence to pack this up...phew.
"This study shows that using sunscreens in an intense UV environment still allows for significant vitamin D production without any burning of the skin. It is the first time that such a comprehensive study has been undertaken and it provides new clinical evidence on the impact sunscreen has on vitamin D synthesis,"
BUT...hold on...to add another side to the argument, some now say that certain chemicals found in certain suncreams can be incredibly toxic for our skin, and can in turn cause skin cancer themselves! So what do we do!!?? It seems there are obstacles at every avenue. Well lets break our sun exposure down into a task list and solutions:
1. We need to be protecting our skin in a big way from damaging UV rays. Solution: Don't skimp on the suncream (*see point 3) for the sake of your tan. We have one body to live in so lets protect it as much as we can. Use a high suncream factor and make sure you apply enough (yes even when it is not bright sunshine) Professor Anthony Young also states that most of us don't apply enough suncream and are reducing the strength of a factor 30 suncream to a factor 4 by not lathering ourselves up enough.
2. We need to ensure that we are getting enough vitamin D in our diets. Solution: Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for the smooth running of our bodies. Not only does it aid with the absorbsion of calcium but it is key for our moods, skin, energy levels and much more. Various foods such as mushrooms, eggs, almond milk, tofu, oatmeal and goats cheese are all fantastic sources of vitamin D so include these as much as you can. Thankfully as we mentioned, by lathering ourselves with suncream we are not going to be inhibiting our absorbtion of vitamin D from the sun - just make sure you get outside enough though.
3. We need to sniff out the best natural suncreams. Solution: Well first things first, check out this article by Magda Jagri which gives a fascinating insight into the natural SPF level of certain plant based oils. Secondly, why not get your hands on some of these natural suncream brands:
- Bare Minerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen Medium
- John Masters Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 50
- Green People Organic Childrens Lavender Sun Lotion
.............................................................................................................. In the meantime, makeup artist Wendy Rowe tells us the must have travel cosmetics and all about her own take on skincare in the sun.
1. What hand luggage skincare products could you not travel without? As I travel a lot for work, I have essentials for on the plane. I’ll apply Joelle Ciocco’s Skin Rescue Defensive to cleanse, this helps to calm stressed skin. Followed by Tracie Martyn’s LotuSculpt Eye Pads to rehydrate my eyes. Then, I’ll moisturise my face well with Restylane’s Recover Cream. To keep my hands and cuticles soft I’ll use Restylane Moisturising Hand Cream and i’ll also drink a Skinade travel sachets to keep my skin hydrated and glowing during a long flight.
2. What suncream brand do you use and why? For my face, I use Obagi Sun Shield – it’s great for my sensitive skin, and although a lot of suncreams can leave you with spots, this doesn’t. For my body I use La Roche Posay Anthelios Protective Oil SPF50+ for the first few days, then on the third day I reduce my factor to SPF30, as my skin is prepped for the sun.
3. What waterproof beauty tips can you pass on for those who are going to be holidaying beachside? For suncream, I would suggest using an oil formula on the beach rather than a cream, as it has a longer staying power. Bioderma’s Photoderm Bronz Invisible Sun Mist offers high protection and extends your tan with its great formula. Perfect for low maintenance sunbathers, the spray application is super easy to apply and smells like the warm tropics! Check out Wendy’s website for more info and tips http://wendyrowe.com/about @wendyrowemakeup http://instagram.com/wendyrowe .............................................................................................................. 1. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained