Kristin Cavallari Is Anti-Sunscreen and Derms Have a Lot to Say About It

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In this day and age, no matter how much or how little you know about beauty, you know that SPF is important. From preventing signs of skin aging to protecting the skin from deadly cancers, sun protection is absolutely essential. Thanks to our enhanced knowledge of skin health, gone our the days of UV tanning beds or lounging in the sun with nothing but baby oil on, and we’re all better off because of it.

While many celebrities are eager to share their SPF favorites with fans, Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari revealed on a recent podcast that she has a more controversial take on sun protection. This past January, Cavallari told her “Let’s Be Honest” podcast listeners that she doesn’t wear sunscreen, and dermatologists are unhappy about the dangerous message.

Why Kristin Cavallari Doesn’t Wear Sunscreen

I’ll be honest, even as a beauty editor, sometimes I forget my daily dose of SPF. But, for Kristin Cavallari, her take on sunscreen is a bit more severe than just forgetting. In conversation with a holistic medicine doctor she brought onto her podcast, Cavallari kicked off the discussion by stating that “I want to discuss the sun and sunscreen which I know is controversial,” she says. “I don’t wear sunscreen and anytime I do an interview I get a lot of s*** when I admit that I don’t, so talk to me about the health benefits of the sun and why we maybe don’t need sunscreen.” 

As New York dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, MD notes, though, “Neither the dangers of the sun nor the importance of sunscreen are controversial. There is a wealth of irrefutable data proving the dangers of sun exposure and the important protective value of sunscreen. Sun exposure is the primary cause of skin cancer, wrinkles and skin discoloration, and it suppresses the immune system.” During the conversation, one of Cavallari’s arguments against SPF had to do with the fact that hundreds of years ago, no one used sunscreen, but as Omaha, NE dermatologist Daniel Schlessinger, MD explains, “People used to spend all their time outdoors and in the sun, but until the 1900s they also never lived past their forties, so they never saw skin cancer develop.”

Countering Cavallari’s notion that the sun is good for our health, Dr. Waldorf explains that “the one health benefit of the sun—UVB conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol into pre-vitamin D3 which then converts to vitamin D3—requires only eight minutes of sunlight on the face, hands and arms and can be achieved just by taking a vitamin D3 supplement.” Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD adds that “Dermatologists understand that sun prevention isn’t easy, and it can be easy to ignore the warnings than to protect your skin. But if wrinkles are a concern, then sun exposure is something she will want to limit.  Wrinkles and brown spots directly correlate to sun exposure, which is why people in areas with intense sunlight avoid it if at all possible and cover as much of their bodies as they can with sun masks, hats and umbrellas.”

While Cavallari acknowledged her opinion as “controversial,” the argument for sunscreen use and proper sun protection is, as Dr. Waldorf noted, an indisputable one, as Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD reiterates that “all board-certified dermatologists recommend not only wearing sunscreen but also wearing sun-protective clothing and practicing sun avoidance.”

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