This almost became Step 5 in my plan to eradicate acne but I am able to keep my skin clear in the winter without any sun exposure and I think most people can do the same if they have access to cod liver oil and/or eat organ meats.
Some people may have the opposite experience but I would venture to guess that this has more to do with their diet becoming worse in the summer. My skin has always been easier to maintain in the summer than in the winter. It seems that when I’m tan I just don’t get as many pimples.
There is some scientific evidence to back up this notion as well. This study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology examined 220 teenagers over the course of two years and found a difference in severity of Acne Vulgaris during different times of the year.
“Seasonal variations were observed in acne as the condition exacerbates in winter, while if often improves during the summer months.”
Not only just affecting acne, a little bit of sun prevents disease in general. A study published in CANCER (March 2002: 94:1867-75) found rates of 13 types of cancers to be higher in New England than the Southwest, despite similar diets. Anyone who has visited these regions knows who gets more sun. Deaths were nearly double in the darker, colder regions.
In 2001 the National Academy of Sciences published literature stating that proper Omega 6:3 ratio was the key to avoiding skin cancer, if that’s what you’re worried about. Even more support for supplementing with Cod Liver or Fish Oil.
It makes no sense for a human being to receive zero sun exposure. I certainly wouldn’t count on it helping my skin. I’m not advising anyone to spent hours sunbathing or getting burned but to get a little bit of sunlight every day should certainly help. Something like 20-30 minutes a day makes sense for me. I think of it sort of like building up callouses. You wouldn’t rub your hands on sandpaper all day trying to get big callouses. You would build them very slowly over time, stressing the skin a little bit every day and never tearing flesh all at once.
Try to get a little bit of sun every day; as much as you would get taking a stroll around the neighborhood. If you have access to sunshine, you may as well get a healthy dose every day. Just don’t get it all in one day.
Why does this make a difference?
One hypothesis would be that we receive more Vitamin D when we get more sun. Your body synthesizes Vitamin D in the presence of UVB rays. As you probably know by now, I advocate the use of cod liver oil which has plenty of Vitamin D. That is my primary source in the winter when I have limited access to sunshine.
At the same time, a mild tan is going to help hide any imperfections in the skin that may be present.
This really should go without saying but a sunburn is skin damage and we definitely want to avoid that. Not only will it not help acne but it could lead to skin cancer down the road, not to mention early wrinkles.
I don’t consider this a crucial step in my plan but it won’t hurt your skin/overall health to get a small dose of sun per day. I find that it generally helps.