Herbal Sunscreen Info to Know

Keeping damage at bay


| May/June 1998


When my friends and I were in our teens, we thought that sun care meant smearing on baby oil and baking for hours with foil reflectors tucked under our chins.

But I was born with pale skin—I burn after only twenty unprotected minutes in the sun. When I added baby oil, I reduced my burn time to ten minutes.

Now, hopefully not too late, sun care tops the list of my health-care concerns. Those of you with more pigment in your skin might do well to join me: Skin pigment, called melanin, may protect you from short-term sunburn discomfort, but it won’t protect you from long-term sun damage.

A Lifetime of Sun

Although fair-skinned people are more vulnerable to sun damage, long-term sun exposure will eventually change anyone’s skin for the worse. Spending hours in the sun, day after day, before age eighteen probably causes the most damage, according to The Merck Manual of Medical Information (Merck & Co., 1997).

A tan is a signal that your skin is trying to keep radiation, or ultraviolet rays, from being absorbed by the rest of the body. The tan occurs because the skin produces more melanin, which has a brownish color (freckles are also made of melanin). Although melanin is the body’s method of protecting itself from the sun, it’s not foolproof. Long-term exposure to sunlight thickens the uppermost layer of the skin (epidermis). Damage to deeper layers of the skin can cause coarse wrinkles; yellow, rough, thin, or leather-tough skin; and precancerous growths, called keratoses.

Ultraviolet rays that cause tanning and sunburn are known as UVB rays. As exposure to these short wavelength rays accumulates over the years, it can lead to dry, wrinkled skin, prematurely aged skin, and skin cancer. Another type of ultraviolet rays are UVA rays, and they penetrate deeply into the lower levels of the skin, also causing premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer. UVA rays can penetrate clouds and car and home windows, and excessive exposure to UVA rays may trigger malignant melanoma, a fatal form of skin cancer. (For more information about skin cancer and herbal preventives, see page 33.)





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265