Sunshine and Sunscreen is it safe? That is a good question. We all have heard so much about the dangers of the sun – how it causes skin cancer, but is the cure worse than the cause or are we protected ourselves adequately? What are the health risks of too much sun and sunscreens and what can we do to protect ourselves safety and effectively? There are so many questions and so many answers so what is the truth?
In ancient times people worshiped the sun. We don’t have too many people worshiping the sun anymore. But we do know that most of us love the sun, the warmth of the sun-rays beaming down on your face makes you feel alive and healthy.
Sunshine definitely promotes good health and is the only natural way to get an adequate supply of Vitamin D (without taking supplements) that our bodies need to thrive. There is evidence that the sun is beneficial in preventing cancer, heart disease, building strong and healthy bones, and helps our immune system stay strong and healthy so that it can fight off disease.
With all the healing powers of the sun, we still need to use common sense and limitations or the sun can become our enemy. How much is too much sun? We know that too much sun can cause sunburn, skin damage, premature aging and even skin cancer. Many chemical sunscreen ingredients today are hormone mimicking or free radical damaging-boosting qualities. They act by penetrating into our upper skin layers where they transform UV radiation into heat and chemical residue.
What Are The Health Risks of Chemical Sunscreen?
- According to the University of California researchers a common sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone boosts the production of dangerous free radicals in your skin after just 20 minutes of exposure to the sun.
- According to Natural News reports on sunscreen health hazards a recent study has shown that oxybenzone, may one of the causes of endometriosis. A study performed on 600 women, those with the highest levels of a form of oxybenzone, which mimics estrogen, in their urine had a 65 percent increased risk of endometriosis.
- According to EWG reports on sunscreen that the oxybenzone penetrates the skin and can cause many health harms.
- Another study showed potential health danger during pregnancy from oxbenzone of lower birth rates among female babies.
- According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) it can also trigger allergic reactions and causing serious skin irritation and rashes.
- Parabens and methoxycinnamate in sunscreen are also a great health concern these ingredients also can mimic estrogen and cause severe skin damage after being absorbed by the body. A study conducted by the Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen and published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed detachable amounts of this chemical in urine after only 2 weeks of use. Other studies have shown increase of breast cancer cells.
- Retinyl Palmitate is a common ingredient found in sunscreen and is considered a possible carcinogen and actually could increase your risk of skin cancer.
- Other common ingredients in sunscreens and sunblocks such as mineral oil, dyes and coloring, fragrances that smell good all are harmful to our health and could put you at risk for some serious health problems.
Another problem with many commercial sunscreens is that they have to be applied about every hour to be effective. Your are not only being exposed to the chemicals that you had already applied to protect your skin from the sun rays, but also to the sun itself. Does this make common sense – to be exposing yourself to all these health hazard?
The truth is that many commercial chemical sunscreen products can do more harm than good. They’re loaded with chemicals that could —
- Disarm your body natural defenses against sun damage which will multiple the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
- Damage your DNA which will increase your chances of serious health problems and affect your hormone balance
- In children can contribute to early puberty.
Safe Choices and Protection:
- Mineral sun protecting skincare products – They work by reflecting the sun rays back into the air instead of absorbing them into your skin – like putting tiny mirrors on your skin that defects dangerous skin radiation.
- Zinc Oxide that is great for your skin. It soothes skin inflammation and strengthen you immunity.
- Titanium Dioxide
- 16 ounces of oil, olive, rice, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, or other healthy oil of your choice that is tolerable for you
- 2 ounces of beeswax
- 3 heaping tablespoons of USP grade Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (take care NOT to inhale these powders especially if you are chemically sensitive)
Directions — Heat oil in kettle, then drop in a few beeswax chunks. Test consistency by dripping a puddle on foil and allowing to cool (freezer will speed cooling) Add more wax for firming, more oil if it’s too hard. The amount of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide you add determines the opacity (whiteness). Should be stored in refrigerator and small containers and use as needed. The oil and beeswax make a good hand and skin lotion, and a firmer version is good for the lips (can be place in an empty Chapstick tube)
Sun Protection Beauty Oil:
- This botanical beauty oil boosts the effectiveness of sunscreen and helps with skin dehydration. Oil can be used on your face, body and even hair. These plants supply our skin with phytochemicals that supports our natural sun protection mechanisms and the skin’s own production of melanin. Ingredients:
- 1/2/ cup Sesame Oil
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E
- 7 drops beta carotene
Directions: Combine all oils in a glass bottle and shake well. Apply generously and as needed. You can store this up to 12 months in a tightly closed container.
Or if you prefer you can purchase safe and effective organic sunscreen for kids, adults, and sports that are free from chemicals and that contain certified Organic Green ingredients that are natural antioxidants, skin nourishing and rejuvenating. Made with Zinc Oxide mineral protection and are non-greasy, chemical-free, safe for sensitive skin, and biodegradable – so they’re safe for you and the environment.
Have fun in the sun and enjoy your summer sports and fun time, but do it safely without exposing you or your family to toxic chemicals and potential health hazards. Isn’t Your Family’s Health worth it? Live Organic, Live Green, Live Healthy, and Live Long!
Other sources: Less Toxic Alternatives – Tenth Edition – Author – Carolyn Gorman Green Beauty Recipes – Author – Julie Gabriel