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Sensible Sunlight on Skin

Although some dermatologists would insist that sensible and sun do not belong in the same sentence, scientists have begun to ferret out the explanation for what many people – including myself! – have come to believe: a certain amount of sensible (non-burning) sun exposure is not only safe but crucial to health. Crucial to overall health, and skin health.

It turns out that a part of the vitamin D produced in the skin is reserved by the skin rather than released into the general circulation. Within the skin it acts to suppress cancer formation. That’s right! A safe amount of sun stimulates a mechanism that reduces skin cancer (non-melanoma) risk.

When sun exposure is prolonged, some protection is also sensible, starting with shading or covering with clothing, and extending to sunscreens. For the most current information on healthy sunscreens, I turn to the Environmental Working Group's online database.

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