Take a look at any beach in America and you’ll see crowds of people lying out with most of their skin exposed to the hot sun.
What is America’s obsession with sunbathing?
For some reason or another, it has become popular for Americans to have a tan appearance. This question leaves many of us scratching our heads, considering the consequences. Even worse, some people that have recovered from melanoma continue their habit of sunbathing.
As many as 20% of melanoma survivors reported having a sunburn the previous year. This goes to show how strong of a desire some people have to be in the sun.
Many cultures view the sun as a healthy thing — but like all things healthy — it should come in moderate doses. That being said, many cultures in the world also take the necessary precautions to minimize excessive sun exposure.
With summer around the corner, Americans will slather on the tanning oils and start to burn their skin despite the warnings. Skin cancer is preventable, but many cannot resist their addiction to the sun.
What is the Japanese secret?
Why is everyone shocked that Japan has some of the healthiest-skinned people of the modern world?
Skin cancer rates are lower in Japan.
Even though they are typically fair-skinned and vulnerable to sunshine just like Americans, they don’t succumb to these problems nearly as often.
So why the difference?
What is their secret to keeping their skin cancer rates lower?
A big difference between Japanese and Americans is the culture when it comes to tanning.
Sunbathing is not trendy or popular in Japan, despite it being an island nation with plenty of sunshine. Covering up exposed skin is common practice, and being pale is not considered a bad thing.
Simply put, tanning does not enhance beauty in any way, shape, or form from their perspective.
Japanese women—and some Japanese men—will even go as far as using an umbrella or parasol to block the harmful UV rays that Americans can’t seem to get enough of.
In fact, the umbrella or parasol was first invented to block UV sun rays, not rain. Apart from today’s understanding, the age old use of an umbrellas was for protecting oneself from the sun.
Sun doesn’t always equal fun
Healthy skin isn’t a given, as many Americans seem to think. In fact, many Americans believe that sunbathing is healthy. Tanning salons are ubiquitous to the mini-malls of America.
Tanning beds aren’t an uncommon purchase for those that really need their UV fix year round.
Unfortunately, to supplement this bad habit, there is now a large market for sunscreen products. Sunscreen is viewed as a “healthy” solution to the addiction to tanning when in reality in can cause additional harm.
Some sunscreens have chemicals in them that can cause further skin irritation, allergic reactions, and possibly even increase the risk of breast cancer via estrogenic activity. This is all tied to the trend of desiring sun exposure. People in the U.S. enjoy exposing themselves to the sun often.
It is a catch 22 for many Americans that want to have skin protection while sunbathing, when in reality it’s better to avoid the exposure in the first place. At the end of the day, Americans will have to change their view of tanning on a cultural level if they really want to change the bad sunbathing habits.
So we’ve seen the differences in both U.S. and Japan when it comes to sunbathing, let’s look into how the damage occurs.
The outside of our body is covered by a large number of microscopic skin cells that contain the pigment called melanin.
As a collective, this is called the epidermal, and it’s our body’s first line of defense against the outside world. When people lie out in the sun with exposed skin, the sun’s UV rays bombard our skin.
What is the result?
Well, the body sees this as harm—which it is.
The human body evolved to deal with this issue in the short-term. When sun exposure occurs, the skin begins to produce more melanin, which leads to the highly sought after “tanned” look.
If you are pale, you should take even more precaution when it comes to sun exposure. Pale skin means less melanin, the pigment that protects the skin.
Time of day matters
The time of day is crucial when it comes to sun damage. The worst of the worst sun exposure is approximately 10 AM to 2 PM. This is when the UV rays are the most intense, and can cause some serious damage. If you spend as little as half an hour in this time range, you can already notice some irritation from the sun.
Now if spend an hour or two exposed in the sunlight in between one of these times, don’t be surprised when you notice how red and tender your skin becomes.
This is what we call sunburn. Sunburn is when the UV rays are too intense and penetrate into the deeper layers of skin, resulting in damage to the DNA or death of the affected skin cells.
When this happens time after time, the skin becomes worn out and starts to look more aged prematurely. It is ironic when you think about it. People tan for beauty purposes, but it ultimately causes their skin age to more rapidly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sun damage over the years is the main cause of the skin cancer, melanoma. This easily preventable problem could be avoided if people change their sunbathing habits.
While it’s a personal choice to cover up in the sun, the issue of skin cancer doesn’t see an end in sight if the majority continues to view tanned skin as desirable look.
Lastly boosting the immune system and preventing cancer cells from even starting to grow is the key to reducing your risk. Japanese do take a lot of nutrients like Beta Glucan to boost their immune system tremendously. Learn more at the next page –
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.
Do you enjoy the sun and the beach? Do you use sunscreens? Avoid these sunscreens too – Is you sunscreen doing more harm than good?
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