3 Reasons Why We Don’t Use Sunscreen… And My Secret Trick to Prevent Sunburn


We don't use sunscreen. We stopped using it years ago. In this post, I'll tell you why we stopped using sunscreen, and I'll tell you my number one trick to prevent sunburn.

3 Reasons Why We Don't Use Sunscreen... And My Secret Trick to Prevent Sunburn

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3 Reasons Why We Don't Use Sunscreen… And My Number One Trick to Prevent Sunburn

Why We Don't Use Sunscreen Reason #1: Sunscreen is Toxic

I always wince when I see parents at the pool or beach, dowsing their kids in sunscreen from head to toe. Sunscreen is full of toxic chemicals including: parabens, dioxybenzone, octocrylene, para amino octyl salicyclate, benzoic acid, menthyl anthranilate, phenylbenzimidazole, cinoxate, homosalate, oxybenzone, and methoxycinnamate.

Yikes, right? I don't know what most of those things are and I don't want to know. What I do know is chemicals like parabens can cause cancer. Do we really want to be putting this stuff on our skin and absorbing it via our pores? I don't.

Now, not all sunscreens contain these chemicals. You can buy natural sunscreens that don't. I used to buy natural sunscreen but I have stopped buying sunscreen altogether. I haven't bought sunscreen in years. I will explain why below.

Why We Don't Use Sunscreen Reason #2: Sunscreen Doesn't Protect You From Skin Cancer

Do we really need sunscreen to protect us from skin cancer? I mean, does it even work?

Apparently not… or at least there is no evidence that it does. While over 60% of Americans say they protect themselves from the sun (and I always see people loading up on sunscreen), skin cancer is on the rise:

According to the National Cancer Institute, the rate of new melanoma cases among American adults has tripled since the 1970s, from 7.9 per 100,000 people in 1975 to 24 per 100,000 in 2013. (NCI 2016). (Source)

What's causing the skin cancer if people are using all this sunscreen? Is it the toxic chemicals listed above? Perhaps. Either way, sunscreen doesn't seem to be working to prevent skin cancer.

Why We Don't Use Sunscreen Reason #3: Sunscreen Blocks Vitamin D

Skin cancer is on the rise, and so is vitamin D deficiency. According to Scientific American, 75% of children and teens are deficient in vitamin D.

And we know that vitamin D deficiency also causes cancer. Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency also causes cavities and bone loss. And because vitamin D is critical for immunity, when we don't get enough vitamin D, we are susceptible to more colds and flu and other illnesses.

The human body naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to UV rays. Sunscreen blocks the rays that allow us to make vitamin D, which is another reason I don't like using it. We want more vitamin D, not less!

3 Reasons Why We Don't Use Sunscreen... And My Number One Trick to Prevent Sunburn

How We Prevent Sunburn: My Secret Trick

The main reason I stopped buying natural sunscreen is because we never burn anymore. We can stay in the sun all day long and not burn. And this is in Southern California, where we get a lot of sunshine.

3 Reasons Why We Don't Use Sunscreen... And My Secret Trick to Prevent Sunburn

My kids never burn. Like, ever. I don't think Ollie, age 2, has ever gotten a sunburn in his life. And he spends hours outdoors every single day.

What's our secret? Extra virgin cod liver oil, or EVCLO.

Best Cod Liver Oil: Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO)

We used to get sunburned back in the days before cod liver oil. But we never do anymore. And I've heard from many of my readers to confirm that they have experienced the same thing. When they take cod liver oil regularly, they don't get sunburned. Even readers who have very fair coloring.

Why Omega-3s Help Prevent Sunburn

I have researched this and it seems that it's omega 3 fatty acid in cod liver oil that help to prevent sunburn. There are a number of articles and studies like this one, or this one.

Are There Other Foods That Contain Omega-3s to Prevent Sunburn?

Seafood also contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acid. Grass-fed meats and dairy, do too, but to a lesser extent.

You could also take fish oil. However, I really recommend cod liver oil over fish oil for a number of reasons.

Read my article, The Top 5 Reasons to Take Cod Liver Oil which explains in detail why EVCLO is better than fish oil. Cod liver oil, particularly the EVCLO, has many other benefits above and beyond fish oil, most especially the natural food-derived forms of vitamins A and D.

Furthermore, many fish oils are highly processed and/or rancid. Read my post on The Best Cod Liver Oil: Which Cod Liver Oil Brand Should You Buy?

Can We Just Eat Seafood Instead of Taking Cod Liver Oil?

Absolutely. Seafood contains omega-3s so if you're eating a lot of it, you will get enough omega-3s to combat sunburn. I don't know how much seafood you will need to it to get the same results as cod liver oil… but I would say probably at least 3-4 times per week and possibly daily.

However, for our family, I like the insurance of cod liver oil. My husband and I love seafood and eat it often, but I can't always get my kids to eat it. My daughter will only eat salmon maybe once a week and I'm still having a tough time getting her to eat seafood. I love tunafish and eat it often, but she doesn't like it.

Plus, seafood doesn't have the high levels of vitamin A that cod liver oil does, particularly the extra virgin cod liver oil. EVCLO has more natural (not synthetic) vitamin A than any cod liver oil on the market to my knowledge… because it is one of the only brands that is not heated and refined.

Vitamin A is critical for many things, including eyesight and immunity. For examples, measles is only fatal in populations with vitamin A deficiency.

There is even a pediatrician, Dr. Mary Megson, who has made connections between vitamin A deficiency and the autistic spectrum. She had incredible results with autistic children and cod liver oil. I talk about her work in my article, The Top 5 Reasons to Take Cod Liver Oil.

What If We Can't Afford to Take Cod Liver Oil?

Many people don't want to spend the money on cod liver oil because it's expensive. I personally think you can't afford not to take it. Most especially for growing children who need omega 3 fatty acids for brain development, vitamin A for immunity and eyesight, and vitamin D for growing strong teeth and bones.

I also think we save a lot of money in the long run. Why? Because when we get more sunlight during the spring and summer months, we produce more vitamin D. When we produce more vitamin D, our bodies store it — and it provides immunity during the winter months, which helps to prevent illness during cold and flu season.

We spent a lot of time in the sun last year, thanks to our EVCLO, and as a result, none of us got sick this winter! Which saved us a lot of money in doctor's visits, prescriptions, and missed days of work.

I wrote a post a while back about what to do if you can't afford cod liver oil: Can't Afford Cod Liver Oil? What to Buy Instead if You're On A Budget.

You can read the post, but I found that you really don't save any money when you factor in all the liver and seafood you would have to eat to match the nutrition in cod liver oil. I don't eat a lot of liver and sardines, and I have a tough time getting my kids to eat these foods, so we stick with the cod liver oil.

I also think cod liver oil is one of the reasons I have such great skin. People are consistently amazed when I tell them my age — they always say I look 10 or 15 years younger than I am. (I have no proof of this, but since I know omega 3s protect our skin from sun damage, I really think there's something to the idea that omega 3s help slow the aging process.)

Where to Buy Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO)

You can't buy Rosita EVCLO in stores but it is available online.

I used to take the EVCLO liquid but have started taking the EVCLO capsules because it's easier for me to remember. I just take 4 capsules per day, which is about the same as half a teaspoon.

My son, Oliver (2 years old), loves his EVCLO “fishies” (EVCLO capsules):

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why we stopped using sunscreen

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

8 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why We Don’t Use Sunscreen… And My Secret Trick to Prevent Sunburn

  1. This is interesting. I am a red head with green eyes and very fair. I read something that said people with green eyes are the fairest of the fair, just call me Snow White, ;). I take cod liver oil every day but only one capsule, and I got sunburned a few weeks ago, do you think the amount you are taking has something to do with the protection from burning?

    1. Yes.

      I did the math a while back and figured that 1 tsp of EVCLO liquid = about 8-9 EVCLO capsules.

      So 1 capsule would only be 1/8 or less of a teaspoon. Not enough.

      Also, when you start going in the sun, start slow and build up. I use an iphone app called Dminder. It's free to download. It tracks how long you can stay in the sun before you will burn and gives you a warning. It also keeps track of your vitamin D levels. I use it every day — and I didn't get sick at all this winter.

      1. OK, here is some more info on the calcium. Very interesting:

        Did you know that a sunburn is actually a sign of nutritional imbalance? It means you don’t have enough calcium in your tissues. Tissue calcium provides sun protection. And just because you have enough blood or bone calcium does not necessarily mean you will have enough in your skin. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) help mobilize calcium to the tissues and the skin, but unfortunately most of us are deficient in EFA’s, calcium, or both.

        When skin is exposed to the sun and the vitamin D is increased in the body, it will pull calcium out of the tissue into the blood circulation at high levels. This in turn minimizes the tissue calcium concentration, setting up an imbalance. When the increased calcium blood levels are mixed with the Cataplex F, it mobilizes the calcium back into the tissues for balance once again.

        Cataplex F is an EFA made by Standard Process, I guess they recommend that over the CLO for sun exposure specifically because there is Vit D in CLO and you make it when you're in the sun and it will pull even more calcium out of the tissue.

        Anyway, it sounds like what you are doing is working for you, I just am sharing because I am a nutrition geek, I love all this stuff, it's so fascinating.

  2. I found out CLO works as sunscreen accidentally last summer. I have taken fermented CLO from Green Pastures for years, however pretty infrequently. Last summer I got a burn on my shoulders and for two days it became redder and more painful. For some reason it occurred to me to take my CLO at night and literally the next morning my shoulders were a beautiful tan. I continued taking it for the rest of the summer, sometimes before sun and sometimes after a day in the sun. It worked every time. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the fermented high vitamin cod liver oil (and not extra virgin, which I wasn’t aware of) that it works so fast, but I’m totally sold. CLO is so amazing! Thanks for writing this post.

  3. I think there could be a relation between skin burn, UV and the vitamin A in the cod liver oil!

    Vitamin A is highly concentrated in the skin and absorbs UV radiation.

    Since 2011 I noticed an increase in sunburn but I was supplementing fish oil at the time (and/or huge amount of flax seed oil, won’t do that again).

    I also had, sensitive tooth, bad sleep / circadian rythm, chronic fatigue and easily sunburned are the things I couldn’t fix with my version of the paleo diet. I hope supplemental cod liver oil / regular beef liver to my diet will fix all these things that seem related to vitamin a.

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