The Truth About Sunscreen
We have been told that one of the only ways of preventing sunburns and skin cancer is by using conventional sunscreens. Most of us have used copious amounts of sunscreen in our lifetimes. We lather on layers upon layers on ourselves as well as our children. But just how safe are these products?
Unfortunately, many sunscreens contain ingredients that are doing more harm than good. In fact, studies taken from the Environmental Working Group have shown that an increase in sunscreen application has adverse effects on the body.
The belief was that UVA and UVB rays from the sun are responsible for an array of skin conditions from harmless freckles, to questionable moles, and melanoma-the most common form of skin cancer. However, not all sunscreens are made the same. Sunscreens that are made with chemicals are problematic. Ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate, parabens and synthetic fragrances are known to create imbalances in the body and disrupt our bodies natural hormonal processes.
Many of the chemicals found in sunscreen are believed to play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system, reducing your ability to fight off these and other maladies.
For example, chemical sunscreens hinder our ability to naturally produce vitamin D. If you wear sunscreen or sunblock every time you go out, you block your body’s ability to produce vitamin D. And having optimal levels of vitamin D3 reduces your risk of cancer (pancreatic, ovarian, breast, prostate, skin cancer).
Furthermore, the irony is that we are told to minimize exposure to the sun as a way to prevent skin cancer. Whereas exposure to the sun and vitamin D is precisely what the body needs to boost its immune system to help the body fight off disease.
If conventional sunscreens are harmful how can I safeguard my skin?
The key is to look for products which are mineral based and don’t contain the chemicals that have been mentioned above.
Other chemicals to keep away from are:
There are also preventative measures that you can take in your daily life. Eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables protects your body from the inside out. Ensuring that your immune system is strong makes it possible for your body to remain protected.
Foods that create inflammation within the body make you much more susceptible to sun damage. Protecting yourself internally is crucial. Steering clear of processed sugars and grains, as well as vegetable oils, is the first step in sun protection.
You can also take supplements and eat healthy fats which aid and improve skin health. These include vitamin D3 and C, and fermented cod liver oil. You can even add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your herbal teas in the morning.
Externally, you should cover up by wearing sunhats and staying out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day. If by chance you should get burned, use coconut oil to heal the damaged skin. Choosing healthier, non-toxic options for your skin is the best way to ensure optimum skin health.
These are my favorite safe sunscreens:
If you live in Egypt, you can find non-toxic sunscreen at Black Lotus