Posts Tagged ‘risks of sunscreen’

I have been a nonconformist for most of my life. I don’t know why. My teachers called me difficult; my parents called me stubborn. The truth is, I am both of those things but as a grown up I feel less and less guilty about my beliefs and choices. That comes with time, education and hours and hours of research.

Like any parent I am well aware of the barrage of information pertaining to sun screen. Commercials, medical institutions and peer pressure from other parents. “Oh my god, you don’t use sun screen! Your poor children and their delicate skin! You must not care if they get skin cancer, blah, blah, blah.” Well, I do care– which is why I refuse to use commercial sun block. I have my reasons, thank you very much, back off.

If you are a die hard label reader like myself you know that sun screen is laden with harmful chemicals. As for me and my family, well, we like to know exactly what we put into and on our bodies. In fact, my rule of thumb- if you can’t pronounce it, it probably isn’t all that good for you. There is good news! You CAN make your own sun screen. And like a lot of homemade remedies it will save you some of your hard earned green. So that money tree that has never really grown may just sprout after all.

It always baffled me that in this day and age with sun screen being such a craze that there is such a huge prevalence of skin cancer. In fact, only a mere century ago sun screen was no where to be found, yet skin cancer was almost non existent. Hmm, indeed. Don’t take my word for it, that would be silly, I’m just one person. You can decide for yourself by looking at these resources:

Risks of Sunscreen by The Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Study: Many sunscreens may be accelerating cancer

So what did the people in years gone by know that we don’t? Well, they:

-were a bit more modest in their dress and wore lots of protective clothing.
-they knew to stand in the shade if at all possible.
-they avoided direct exposure to the noon sun.
-their diets were wholesome and consisted of real foods.

Did you know that we can dramatically improve our resistance to the sun’s harmful rays through dietary changes! Mmhmm! Our skin is our largest organ. When our immune system is functioning on low due to an over consumption of processed foods we weaken our first line of defense and place ourselves at greater risk.

I love that seasonal summer foods — such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries (and fruits of all kinds), beans, nuts, and a variety of legumes — are some of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Mother Nature always provides. I’m convinced it’s no coincidence that these summertime treats offer some great protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

The good, the bad and the sunny

While we are on the subject of the sun, I should point out not everything about getting some sun is harmful.In fact, the rays of the sun offer something very important to our health; vitamin D. Here’s some good stuff from Mike Adams over at  Natural News all about this free healing substance:

  1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response toexposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
  2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
  3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
  4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
  5. The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.
  6. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 – 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D.
  7. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial forcalcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
  8. Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposureto rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
  9. Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease– by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
  10. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
  11. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
  12. Vitamin D is “activated” in your body by your kidneys and liverbefore it can be used.
  13. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
  14. The sunscreen industry doesn’t want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.
  15. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.

Natural sunscreen, on the other hand, doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, doesn’t limit vitamin D production and prevents you and your loved ones from burning.

Ingredients that Naturally Protect Us from the Sun

There are natural ingredients, some may be found in our kitchens, that work to protect us from over exposure to the sun. Many are oils that contain SPF properties such as:

  • Raspberry Seed Oil. The highest of all natural ingredients, contains an estimated SPF of 30-50.
  • Shea Butter. An excellent skin protector with an SPF of approximately 6-10.
  • Carrot Seed Oil. Carrot seed oil is an essential oil and has been estimated to contain SPF levels of 30.
  • Wheat Germ Oil. While super nourishing for the skin, it too possesses a natural SPF of 20.
  • Sesame oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp oil, Avocado oil, Soybean, and Peanut Oil. All contain SPF levels between 4-10.

However, none of these ingredients are necessarily adequate on their own to provide us protection for an all day experience…say, out for a swim or fishing.

Make your own sunscreen:

1/4 cup diaper rash cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon shea butter
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon beeswax
5-10 drops lavender essential oil(optional)

Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl set on top of a pan of boiling water and melt all the ingredients together. Allow mixture to cool and then add your favorite essential oil (if desired).  Just make sure to avoid any of the CITRUS essential oils as they can actually cause burning. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

 Once you know the percentage of zinc oxide in the diaper rash cream you use, you can estimate the SPF. .

Keep yourself and those you care for safe this summer.



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