A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
One of the biggest arguments against sunscreen goes something like this: “If our ancestors didn’t have to wear sunscreen, why do we? Even natural sunscreen isn’t natural because our ancestors didn’t wear it.”
Yes, that’s true—but our ancestors also didn’t have to deal with the depletion of the ozone layer. The ozone, a region in the earth’s stratosphere containing a high concentration of ozone natural gas, absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation—but as common manufactured chemicals make their way into the sky, that protective shield shrinks. These chemicals contain chlorine and/or bromine, which are released into the stratosphere when the chemical is broken apart by UV light.
In the simplest terms, a depleted ozone layer means that more of the sun’s harmful rays—in particular, UVB—are able to reach the earth because there is less of a shield absorbing those rays. It does not mean that the sun’s output of rays lessens or increases; it just means there is less protection, which puts us at greater risk of developing many of the skin conditions previously discussed.