No. 22 – Sunlight is Your Friend: Why Sunlight is Good for You

Being of German-Irish descent, I’m pretty pale-skinned. And growing up in an era of local news scare-reports on skin cancer, my mom was extremely consistent in keeping me lathered with 45 spf any time I went outside (or even whenever I was potentially scheduled to go outside later in the day). The few instances my skin did feel the prolonged and undefrayed influence of the sun, it immediately lost the battle, which only reinforced my mother’s determination to protect my skin (from the future ravages of skin cancer).

As a result, I hate sunscreen.

I hate the smell of it, I hate its consistency as it’s spread over my skin, but most of all I hate the way it leaves you feeling sticky and unwashed. I can’t concentrate if I feel dirty. Probably that’s a symptom of some kind of thing…something wrong with my brain maybe…a psychosis.


Even the fact that it takes my already white skin and makes it (impossibly?) even whiter…alright when you’re five, less cool when you’re in Junior High, trying to impress tanned girls. People sometimes had to shield their eyes for a moment when I first took my shirt off on a sunny day at the lake, you know, just to let their eyes adjust to the glare.

Not making this up. Wish I was…

So yeah, when my health care passed from mother to wife, it was like I was a free man. I could dance as close to skin cancer as I wanted to! And eventually I learned a healthy balance of prevention and indulgence, and gained a healthy amount of freckles in the process.

My wife likes freckles.

My wife also likes to read the Internet. And one day the Internet started talking about vitamin D3, deficiency, sunlight, sunglasses, the whole works, and my wife listened. Next thing I knew, sunglasses were banned, and going about bare-chested without any sunscreen was encouraged. We also began a regime of what I can now only describe as an illegal level consumption of vitamin D3.

Illegal in Canada anyway.

ME: “Wait, why can’t I wear sunglasses anymore?”

WIFE: “Oh you can still wear them when you’re driving Sweetie, just not outside.”

ME: “Yes but why?…”

WIFE: “Well your body doesn’t know to make vitamin D unless it can tell how bright it is.”

ME: “So I’m walking around outside half naked with no sunscreen for no point if I’m not also squinting?”

WIFE: “Yes, naked and squinting, that’s the sweet spot.”

Well I was OK with a bit of squinting, so I complied with this new ban on sunglasses.  I guess D is more important than getting cataracts, which are gross, but priorities, right?

Well years later it now turns out that in order to process all that D3 we’ve been eating and making with our naked squinting times, we need to also be taking some K2. Without the K2, D3 apparently can cause calcification of the arteries. Yeah. So now we’ve cut back on the D3, at least in the summers, and are pounding a lot more K2. And I don’t get chided for wearing my sunglasses outside anymore. Probably someday we’ll read that all that K2 is going to kill us if we don’t start taking Z575 or X88.

I wish I could name some vitamins.


Somehow I got off OK without being burned too bad (maybe I had put some sunscreen on myself at some point, hiding in the tent, ashamed of my childhood compulsions that robbed me of life-giving vitamin D) but my wife and daughters were slaughtered…