Tanning does a body good.
One would think this topic might garner a bit more attention, especially in the strength training world, as I'd posit most of us are vain enough to warrant the use of a snorkle every time we peer into a pool of water to check out our swole status, but apparently the world at large disagrees. What we do know for sure, however, is that tan people are considered more attractive (at least in the Western world- I'm aware it has negative class connotations in other cultures), and given our communal narcissism, that information should make you perk up a bit (Chung). Thus, without further adieu, the questions and comments I received.
If the chick in Thanatomorphose has just gotten a fucking tan instead of rocking that SPF 100, this whole movie could have been avoided.
"Sunblock DOES NOT cause cancer. Halfwit" and "What sunscreen ingredients should we be avoiding then?"
I don't know that I ever stated sunblock absolutely caused cancer- instead, I stated that it was carcinogenic. As I mentioned, many sunblocks contain carcinogenic substances, and others, like phenylbenzimidazole and titanium dioxide particles, cause DNA damage in rats (Yu). All of that sounds like a big bag of not-fun to me, especially when one considers that most of the shit that blocks UV rays generates free radicals, and free radicals are basically cellular terrorists (Allen). When compiling a short list of some of the carcinogenic substances in sunscreen, I took a look at the shit I had in my bathroom- Coppertone Sport SPF 15 contains oxybenzone, while Ocean Potion Sport SPF 30 (which I think is my roommate's) contains the same. I'm simply listing the stuff that was easy to find on carcinogens and sunscreen, but if you want to check out how horrible your sunscreen is, go here and search yours (mine were 4 and 5, respectively). Here, then, is a short list of the worst shit to avoid in your sunscreen:
- oxybenzone- This ingredient really is the biggie, but it appears that it's in so much shit and causes so many health problems, it's going to get you in the end anyway. Oxybenzone has been linked to "allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage", and in spite of the fact that studies show it to be toxic, the cosmetics industry seems to think it's either indispensable or good for you (Allen, Nakajima).
- benzophenone- Benzophenone, while not quite the bad, bad man that walks into the bar, smashes a bottle of the head of the first man he sees and rapes his girlfriend, then burns the bar on the way out, still sucks for you. It's been shown to cause DNA damage (Cuquerella), which should be considered a bad thing unless you're putting all of your eggs in the "it's a mutation that will turn me into a superhuman mutant" X-Men-style basket.
- octyl methoxycinnamate- Otherwise known as OMC, this is bandied about by hippie "science" websites as a "mutagenic toxic substance", though like other hippie websites, an attempt at confirming that just led me into a Google ring-around-the rosie between sites that would smell of patchouli if sites could smell. Despite the fact, however, that OMC is not the secret ingredient in the ooze that created the teenage mutant ninja turtles, it's not great for you. It's not great at blocking out sunlight, and the "gene expression results suggest that the overall cellular response to DNA damage was significantly altered by OMC" (Duale)... and not in a good way. This would be another substance to avoid.
- retinyl palmitate- This one had me skeptical, frankly, because I've mentioned before I find the panic about Vitamin A toxicity to be even more overblown than Rex Manning's dick. A study by the National Toxicology Program, however, showed that retinyl palmitate increased the incidence of skin lesions and tumors, and decreased the life expectancy of the rats in the study. While not nearly as compelling as the oxybenzone results, it's worth noting that this stuff may have the potential to have you looking like a krokodil addict at some point.
Lass Suicide representing the ginger crew.
"Is melanotan acceptable for ginger Irish people who just burn and get more freckles in the sun?"
Melanotan II is an interesting substance. You can purchase it from peptide resources as a "research chemical", as it's not gotten FDA approval and so it's not scheduled. It was developed at my alma mater as a method of inducing more rapid tanning, and thereafter produced the world's first actually positive side effect in the history of pharmaceuticals- it works as an aphrodisiac and causes uncontrollable and random boners. I suppose the reason it's not being distributed for free on the street is that guidos and frat boys are tan and rapey enough, but for the rest of us, Melanotan II is basically manna from heaven. Direct from Web-MD:
"Melanotan-II is POSSIBLY SAFE when used under medical supervision for treating ED (erectile dysfunction). It may cause nausea, stomach cramps, decreased appetite, flushing, tiredness, yawning, darkened skin, spontaneous erections of the penis, and other side effects" (Web MD).In other words, have at it.
I do not miss working like this. Jesus fuck, what misery.
"Any suggestions for UV producing lamps for those trapped in an office?"
This was an interesting question for me, because my knee-jerk reaction was "just go tanning, for fuck's sweet sake." Tanning is, for me, intensely relaxing, provided you use a bed and not one of those bullshit standup contraptions. you lay down, have a nap, and wake up feeling warm, fuzzy, and generally awesome. If you happen to find a gym with a tanning bed, even better- pop your preworkout before you get in the bed, hit up a 15 minute nap, and come out fucking swinging. As I mentioned in the first, ancient part of this series, studies have shown it gives a marked performance benefit.
That's neither here nor there, however- you wanted to know about UV lamps. I did some research, and it appears that the light boxes designed to treat seasonal affective disorder do not aid in Vitamin D production- those lights filter out UV rays (Stopa), and UVB rays are what get you tan and trigger Vitamin D production (Bianchi). Thus, I dug deeper and discovered that they do make desktop tanning lamps you could have at your desk. Apparently, the bigger appliance companies got out of the sun lamp business years ago due to liability, but you can still get stuff like the CalSun Facial Tanning Sun Lamp on Amazon. It's apparently not super awesome, but it's better than nothing.
On the other hand, you have the Naturebright Suntouch Plus Light has gotten some badass reviews, is super ridiculously on sale on Amazon, and combines bright light and negative ions for mood improvement, but you don't get the Vitamin D production or a bit of color on your pasty epidermis. Frankly, I'd never heard of negative ion therapy, but studies have shown that both bright lights and negative air ions result in a 50+% improvement in mood for people suffering from depression (Goel). So, using something like that will kill a couple of birds with one stone, though I still doubt it tops rubbing one out and napping in a tanning bed (wipe that fucker down when you're done, if you would).
In re being an indoor worker- you actually appear to be at a higher risk of getting melanoma than outdoor workers (Godar). UVA rays are the shitty, non-Vitamin D-inducing, cancer causing fuckers, and those pass through glass, while UVB rays don't. As a result, the incidence of skin cancer has risen steadily since 1940 in indoor workouts, but not people who actually work in the sun (Rivers). As such, you might want to jump on some sort of tanning solution, stat.
"Pale girls are better though, should women instead increase vitamin D intake by bathing in milk and/or milk enemas?"
Sadly, highly lipophilic vitamins like vitamin D have too many factors at play to determine whether or not they'll be adequately absorbed in the intestine (Borel), but enteral absorption of Vitamin D has been successful in rats (Khamiseh). This is happy news for me, as I thoroughly enjoy pissing into a girl's ass and making her hold it while I go down on her, so if I double up on my Animal Pak, I could square her away on vitamin intake as well. As to the bath, the answer there is going to be no- a plain old Vitamin D supplement taken orally should suffice if you're not trying my unique enteric method. Additionally, you could always try my plan, golden shower style, if she's into urophilia- just shoot for 1000-2000 IU of Vitamin D per day, which is what one of the professors of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University recommends (Giovannucci).
"I'm about the palest cracker on earth, and I'm in def considered 'high risk' for skin cancer (had multiple severe sunburns as a child, my father had a pretty bad case of melanoma and has had a lot of cancerous or pre-cancerous growths removed, etc etc). So I've always been the clam who hides from the sun and lubes up in sunscreen when I have to."
Well, dude from the shitheap of a movie Powder, that sucks for you- a recent study showed pretty definitively that adult sunburns don't seem to cause melanoma, but early-life blistering sunburns do (Wu). You might as well start a skin-cancer savings account, just in case, because while melanoma isn't exactly the most common thing (only 1 in 5,000 people ever has any incidence of it), you're pretty much a rock solid case for getting it (SEER). At least now, I suppose, you can just tan to your heart's content- whatever damage is going to be done already has been, unless you start taking daily sunblock baths.
So, there you have it. Questions answered, idiots silenced, and boobies unleashed. You're welcome.
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