Summer has arrived and that means higher UV ray exposure, and much more sunscreen application. What most people don’t know, however, is that conventional sunscreens are loaded with harmful chemicals which actually increase your risk of developing melanoma.
Sunscreens are a chemical elixir, an elixir you slather on without little thought.
Over 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone (stated by the Environmental Working Group). Oxybenzone functions to absorb ultraviolet light, however it can also be absorbed through the skin. This chemical has been linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. Other chemicals in conventional sunscreen products range from cancer-causing fragrance chemicals, parabens, alcohols, toxic chemical solvents and petroleum oils. Putting sunscreen on your body is like spreading a chemical concoction over your largest organ – the skin. This is the main reason why sunscreen actually causes more cancer than it prevents.
FDA and sunscreens
It is also interesting to note that the FDA refuses to allow natural sunscreen ingredients to be used in sunblock and/or sunscreen products. This is not surprising in the sense that sunscreen chemicals are designed to protect the profits of chemical companies while cutting off natural sunscreen companies which create a much better (and safer) product.
Vitamin D – sunscreens prevent vitamin D production!
Sunscreen also blocks the production of vitamin D, which is harmful, considering over 70% of the population is vitamin D deficient. Chronic vitamin D deficiency actually promotes cancer, winter and flu infections, depression, osteoporosis and hormonal imbalances. Interestingly enough, over 50 to 80% of all cancers can be prevented by allowing your body to synthesize vitamin D from sun rays.
Improve sun resistance by consuming anti-oxidant rich foods
Eating anti-oxidant rich foods is an excellent way to improve sun resistance. Your skin is much less likely to burn when you eat a diet consisting of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Personally, since switching my diet from S.A.D (standard american diet) to high raw (lots of fruits, vegetables, and green juices) I have noticed that my skin no longer burns. When I used to eat lots of junk food I would get horrible burns that would last days on end. Now I can spend hours in the sun and my skin simply bronzes. Sun exposure also does not make your skin age if you follow a high-nutritional density diet.
Your skin is also made entirely of the foods you eat, hence, what you eat also largely determines how your skin reacts to UV exposure. Skin cancer can technically only be caused when UV exposure is combined with chronic nutritional deficiencies which create skin vulnerabilities. Eating lots of junk food, avoiding anti-oxidant rich foods, and staying out in the sun for long periods of time is a recipe for disaster!
Many chemical-free sunscreens are actually loaded with chemicals
For example, Jason Natural Cosmetics – Earth’s Best Sun Block Chemical Free, 4 oz cream contains C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Calcium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Stearalkonium Hectorite
Always read the ingredients of any sunscreen product before using it!
Better yet, using nature as a natural SPF is much cheaper, and the safest thing you can put on your skin! Scroll below for a list of natural oils that will protect your skin, and allow it to synthesize vitamin D without the use of harsh chemicals.
Here is a list of 10 oils with natural UV-ray protecting properties:
1. Carrot Seed Oil: SPF 38-40
2. Raspberry Seed Oil: SPF 28-50
3. Wheatgerm Oil: SPF 20
4. Avocado Oil: SPF 4-15
5. Coconut Oil: SPF 2-8
6. Olive Oil: SPF 2-8
7. Macadamia Nut Oil: SPF 6
8. Almond Oil: SPF 5
9. Shea Butter: SPF 3-6
10. Jojoba Oil: SPF 4
Make sure to test these oils on your skin before using them to make sure you have no adverse reactions. Test the oils over several days to ensure there are no adverse reactions (one application does not constitute a reasonable test). Reapply the oils frequently to prevent sun burn. These oils should not give you any adverse reactions – if you read the ingredient labelling on conventional sun screens, you would expect an adverse reaction at a far higher rate than using natural extracts from what nature provided.
Garland, C., Garland, F., Gorham, E., Lipkin, M., Newmark, H., Mohr, S., & Holick, M. (2006) The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 252-261.
Dunford, R., Salinaro, A., Cai, L., Serpone, N., Horikoshi, S., Hidaka, H., & Knowland, J. (1997) Chemical oxidation and DNA damage catalysed by inorganic sunscreen ingredients. FEBS Letters, 418, 87-90.
Okunieff, P., Swarts, S., Keng, P., Sun, W., Wang, W., Kim, J., Yang, S., Zhang, H., Liu, C., Williams, J., Huser, A., & Zhang, L. (2008) Antioxidants reduce consequences of radiation exposure. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 614, 165-178.
Sobhana, T., et al. (2004) Ultraviolet transmission through a few edible oils in the context of changing solar insolation. J Ind Geophys Union, 8, 267-271.