Is sunscreen dangerous? An actual scientist weighs in

Seatbelt wearers likelier to die in auto accidents than non-seatbelt wearers.*

*non-seatbelt wearer demographic include non-drivers

That isn’t what was done w/the Swede-study, but it’s similar: c-c-c-confirmation bias.

1 Like

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary … what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can … don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own…

Dance … even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

(Baz Luhrmann)


I would have to think long and hard to remember when was the last time I posted any article to social media (“excitedly” or otherwise), since my presence on social media is pretty minimal.

Thanks for the snarky, know-it-all concern, though.

Someone who I remember as sounding knowledgeable once told me that the issue is not so much cumulative exposure to the sun, but rather whether the burning that comes from going out into the sun on an infrequent basis. The idea being that the inflammation and general increased activity in the skin when you burn is what enables cancers.

So my approach has been to get lots of sun, but stop before I start to burn. This has the protective benefit that I build up a base tan and therefore can take more sun before I burn.

It would explain why both people who never get any sun, as well as people who get a lot of sun get less skin cancer, while people who spend their days in offices but weekends outdoors get skin cancer.

Frankly I haven’t chased it down to see if this is true or not, so if anyone else has found evidence that skin cancer correlates more to burning than to cumulative exposure, please let me know.

Nope, sorry, that’s not supposed to be good for you at all. “Getting a base tan” is just doing more damage to your skin. Melanin, the stuff that makes you look tan, is released as a response to you being exposed to UV rays. So by getting the tan, you’re already doing some harm.

You might even compound the damage by falsely believing that the “base tan” gives you added protection from UV rays. It doesn’t. So while someone with no tan will be careful (they worry about being burned) you may spend longer in the sun, and end up getting burned more often. Here’s the really bad part - you might not burn badly. You’ll just burn a bit on top of that tan, and then it’ll fade back to tan. You won’t even realize that you got burned. Even just repeating the tan is still a bad thing to do.


Increases risk of death? Your risk of death is already 100%, it doesn’t go any higher.

1 Like

You get very concerned about a fleeting story that disappears due to a lack of repeatable results (and probably a poorly digested study to begin with.)

It ~sounded~ like a Facebook phenomenon, at least.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.