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No, The Sun is Not Giving You Skin Cancer

Over the weekend my kids were watching "The Chronicles of Narnia" movie series. It's one of our favorites. Near the end of the very first movie, Lucy and Mr. Tumnus are talking about the mighty and mysterious Aslan. Tumnus explains that Aslan comes and goes as he pleases, because he's wild, beyond our imagination, and not bound by human whims. "After all, he's not a tame lion," says Tumnus. And Lucy replies, "But he is good." And in the original book version, when Lucy asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan is safe, his reply is this: "Safe? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

Those scenes led me to meditate on another similar metaphor. Spend any time in the Bible and you'll see many connections between the S-U-N and the S-O-N: the bright morning star, the one who dispels darkness, giver of life, the light of the world, the source of all things, keeper of time. It's easy for me to see how our ancient ancestors might have confused worship of the created sun with worship of the actual Creator. The sun was everything to them! Life, light, growth, guidance, warmth, consistency...all the things humans need.

My, how things have changed!

Check out any dermatologist's office today and you'll find the walls are plastered with posters about the many dangers of the sun.

No safe level of sun exposure!

Increased risk for skin cancer!

Stay inside!

Don't leave the house without applying sunscreen! In fact, wear the sunscreen IN the house!

In short, beware - the sun can't be trusted and is out to get you.

Have you stopped to think about how backwards this advice really is? I mean, obviously, yes - the sun can burn (it's wild after all), and we should have a healthy respect - even a reverence - for its power. The same is true of anything in God's created world: water, fire, food, sex, to name a few. Approached recklessly, the sun is not safe. But it is inherently very good!

The sun boosts our immunity through the action of cholesterol and Vitamin D production. It supports better sleep, as our circadian rhythm works in balanced harmony with the daily cycles of nature. The sun lifts our mood, lightens our stress, improves our libido, gives our skin a radiant glow, and optimizes our health. The science even shows proper sun exposure REDUCES our cancer risk! Every single one of you knows that sitting out in the sunshine does wonders for your mind and body throughout the year. We need it. We love it. We are made for it!

So why are we avoiding the sun and slathering our skin (the largest organ of our bodies BTW) with toxic manmade slop to thwart its protective, healing potential?

Because "the experts" told us to.

I'm so tired of this predictable, worn-out story. Folks, we have to start thinking for ourselves and using the brains God gave us! Sunscreens interfere with the skin's inherent ability to protect itself through gentle tanning and melanin production. Sunscreens also prevent Vitamin D production, and Vitamin D is cancer-protective! Given the amount of time we are spending indoors in these modern times, we can't afford to skimp on the production of this critical nutrient/hormone. Along with endocrine disrupting chemicals which undermine the proper production and function of our hormones, many sunscreens are also filled with known carcinogens. And we are putting this stuff on our babies! WHAT IN THE WORLD?!

If you do need to use sunscreen from time to time (I realize there are exceptions, especially when prolonged exposure is unavoidable), look for those that are zinc-based and have a minimal list of ingredients. I discovered this one recently, have been using it on my son for his soccer tournaments, and I love it so far. You can also use wide-brimmed hats, protective clothing, or, get this...even the shade. We don't need to avoid the sun; we just need to be smart about our exposure.

But if it's not the sun giving us skin cancer, what is? Well, along with those chemical concoctions called sunscreens, we also have our SAD diet to blame. SAD meaning Standard American Diet, especially the sugar overload, the excess of processed foods, and the effects of industrial seed oils which are high in linoleic acid and result in damaged mitochondria. Clean up your plate, and you'll find your tolerance for the sun will increase significantly.

If you are eager to enjoy the sun in all its glory, as you should, be sure to start slow. It takes time to tan gradually and build up your sun tolerance. You should also hone in on your diet, prioritizing real whole foods and natural fats while limiting or eliminating the junky stuff - especially those toxic industrial oils. You might also considering ditching your sunglasses, or at least limiting the use of them. Allow that UV light safely into your eyes where it triggers melatonin production and the production of your "feel good hormone," serotonin. As you learn to appreciate the sun again, be sure to thank the Son for his goodness, too!

Psalm 84:11 - For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

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