Every summer we are warned to protect ourselves from the sun because the rays can cause cancer. But did you know that the sunscreen you’re applying can actually accelerate cancer? I thought the purpose of sunscreen was to protect our skin? The crazy thing is (and I’m not surprised) is that the FDA has taken more than 30 years to come up with regulations for sunscreen…unfortunately, they don’t see the dangers in the toxic ingredients and believe that they are safe. My go-to website is www.ewg.org, they’ll lead you in the right direction by providing you with a database that ranks products according to their safety. If you go to www.ewg.org/sunscreen you can get all the info on non-toxic options for protecting your skin.
It’s no wonder we have such a problem with Vitamin D deficiency! I’m not saying lay out in the sun all day long, but we should not fear the sun.
“Vitamin D is quite simply the world’s best anti-cancer medicine, and recent studies have shown that it can prevent nearly four out of five cancers in women (ALL cancers, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma, and even skin cancer). In fact, laying off the sunscreen may help you not only absorb sunshine into your skin to help fight tumors, but also helps you avoid the chemicals in most commercial sun blocking products.” http://www.naturalnews.com/032533_sun_exposure_skin_cancer.html
So what’s in your sunscreen? Here’s a list of ingredients you definitely want to avoid:
- Aminobenzoic acid – carcinogen implicated in cardiovascular disease.
- Avobenzone – carcinogen
- Benzophenone – 3 (B-3) – A sunscreen preservative and UV ray deactivator that – while naturally occurring in certain flowering botanicals – can still potentially trigger DNA damage. Worse still; two days after application on the skin, it is detectable in urine.
- Cinoxate – evidence of skin toxicity
- Dioxybenzone – strong evidence of skin toxicity and carcinogen; hormone disruptor and has been found in waterways, soil and air. Has been shown to have a “gender bender” effect in animals
- Diazolidinyl urea – carcinogen, endocrine, central nervous system and brain effects, skin toxicity and compromises the immune system
- Ecamsule – carcinogenic
- Homosalate – endocrine disruption
- Methylparaben – interferes with genes
- Octocrylene – found to be persistent and bioaccumulative in wildlife, liver issues and carcinogenic
- Octyl methoxycinnamate – accumulates in the body, disrupts liver and is a carcinogen
- Octyl salicylate – broad systemic effects in animals at moderate doses
- Oxybenzone – carcinogen and contributor to vascular disease, may affect the brain and nervous system in animals
- Padimate O – carcinogen
- Phenylbenzimidazole – carcinogen
- Phenoxyethanol – irritant, carcinogen, endocrine disruption
- Retinyl Palmitate – You’d think that this vitamin A-derivative would be perfectly safe, but new research indicates that when incorporated into sunscreen and exposed to the intense rays of the sun, this ingredient ends up elevating one’s risk of succumbing to skin cancer (among other health concerns).
- Sulisobenzone – strong evidence of skin toxicity, affects sense organs in animals
- Titanium dioxide – carcinogen when in nanomaterial form
- Zinc Oxide – bioaccumulative in wildlife, evidence of reproductive toxicity
I don’t know about you, but when I saw this list for the first time, not only was I feeling a bit overwhelmed, but also wondered what the hell I’ve been putting on my skin for all those years. To be honest, I haven’t used sunscreen in a few years because I feared the ingredients. I just ordered Badger natural sunscreen (www.badgerbalm.com) for my husband (because he has very fair skin) and he likes it. I must warn you, a little goes a long way…it goes on a bit thick. Please check out EWG’s site for an extensive list of safe sunscreens!
Ok…so I bet you didn’t know that you can actually enhance your body’s natural SPF through changing up your diet?!?
“Foods with carotenoids, isothicyanates, and other antioxidants, increase sun protection. Vitamins A, C and E are the super nourishing trio which, when combined with antioxidants, are proven to significantly increase the efficacy of sunscreen. These skin protecting nutrients are found in produce including oranges, goji berries, apricots and spinach. The vitamins and minerals prevent free radical damage caused by sun and pollution, creating a barrier that protects skin. To reap these internal sun protection benefits, start adding various types of these foods into your daily diet and remember to buy organic whenever possible to bolster your skin strength.” http://www.happi.com/expertsopinion/2011/06/06/wear_your_sunscreen_internally
So, load up on raw fruits, veggies and superfoods (spirulina and chlorella) to build up that internal sunscreen and block some of those UV rays! And before you apply the sunscreen PLEASE read the ingredient label!