Commercial sunscreens are promoted as the universal solution to sunburn, but our bodies produce much better protection, naturally, and for free. By producing melanin as a reaction to ultraviolet light, our skin adapts to sun exposure. While sunscreens use particles of metal oxides to reflect light away from the skin, melanin allows the skin to absorb vitamin D and the other healthful benefits of sunlight.
Sunscreens are an overreaction to an occasional sunburn. The smarter, healthier, and cheaper alternative is to gradually increase the duration of skin exposure to direct sunlight, building a layer of melanin, “the substance present in the skin that produces pigment,” says Medical News Today in an article titled “What to Know about Melanin.” As the skin tans, says the article, it provides its own “protection for the eyes and skin from sunlight.” Skin can adapt to the sun’s exposure and produce its own strategy to fight against the sun’s rays. The combination of sunscreen, your skin’s reactions, and the way your immune system works must be understood correctly to be able to keep your skin as healthy and as strong as possible.
The immune system is forever adapting. The Australian Academy of Science created a simple video that explains how the immune system fights off viruses. The video shows the process of the immune system in action. When a bacteria is introduced in the body, your immune system will immediately respond by sending in “guard cells” to intervene. They can often kill foreign bacteria at the same time causing noticeable inflammation in the process, possibly in the form of swelling. If this method will not stop the problem, “the brain of the immune system” is introduced, a cell that will collect information from the foreign bacteria and decide what to do with it to eliminate it. “The brain cell” will recruit a “helper cell” that is genetically designed for this certain bacteria. The “helper cell” is inevitably activated by the “brain cell”, which will multiply and join the fight while simultaneously sending back valuable information back to a “B cell”. The “B cell” then creates antibodies that flood the body and destroy the foreign bacteria using its own identity. The immune systems process for bacteria directly relates to how the body works against any harm introduced to the body. In relation to the skin’s reaction, the sun’s harmful UV rays can play the role of the foreign bacteria. The rays contact the skin which then the immune system will send the initial line of defence to stop it, causing inflammation, such as sunburn. But, while this happens, the immune system then collects all the information it needs from the opposition to form a line of defence, Melanin. Melanin is to sunscreen like antibodies are to viruses. When this process happens again the skin, beings that it is familiar to this act, will react accordingly. The more instances this happens your body becomes more knowledgeable on the matter continuing it’s search to find the best possible method to stop any harm at all.
Sunscreen is a cosmetic that acts as a shield of armor for your skin, concerningly allowing no sun-to-skin contact. Melanin, the body’s known choice of defense, is produced when your skin does contact with sunlight. Melanin is the skin’s natural defence against the sun’s harmful rays. The immune system will collect information from the harmfulness of the sun’s ray, then create a defense method to battle the opposition. The immune system will grow stronger as it encounters these rays more often and ultimately stopping it in its tracks.With all these variables understood and considered we can begin to devise a plan on what to do when in contact with the sun that will keep our skin safe and strong.
Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org. (2016, September 7). The immune system explained. Curious. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.science.org.au/curious/video/immune-system-explained
Waxman, E. (2018, July 18). Feel the burn? explaining the science of Sunscreen. UChicago Medicine. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/health-and-wellness-articles/explaining-the-science-of-sunscreen
How does melanin protect the skin? melanin skin and the melanin function. BloqUV. (2019, September 16). Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.bloquv.com/blog/how-does-melanin-protect-the-skin-melanin-skin-and-the-melanin-function/
Nall, R. (2019, April 1). What are the benefits of sunlight? Healthline. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight#_noHeaderPrefixedContent