Today I want to address an issue that will be important over the next few months. Many of you have already made some mistakes with the sun over the last couple weeks, so it’s time to arm you with wisdom on how to stay safe. This handout is based on the best research and is paraphrased from mercola.com. Here’s what you should know:
One of the best strategies to protect yourself from the sun is actually not a sunscreen at all, it’s wearing clothing or getting into the shade.
Why? Because most sunscreens are loaded with toxic chemicals that can actually accelerate skin cancer, or get into your bloodstream where they can disrupt your hormones. Also, the protection sunscreen manufacturers claim is often misleading due to improper application.
So you don’t always need to apply sunscreen, and you definitely do want to get some safe sunlight exposure every day, which has also been shown to help protect against as many as 16 different types of cancer, including; breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and renal cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Cotton clothing provides about SPF 15, in other words, you will get about 15-times your skin’s normal protection from the sun wherever you cover your body with clothing. Just remember that even with protective clothing on your body, it’s still important to monitor your skin for the telltale signs of burning.
Here is a list of some of the most commonly used dangerous chemicals: OMC (octylmethoxycinnamate), Octocrylene, Octinoxatre, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Avobenzone and Homosalate. Amongst these chemicals are cancer promotors and even hormonal disruptors. You also want to be cautious not to include any vitamin A in your sunscreen, or its derivatives retinol and retinyl palmitate. What goes on your body, goes into your body, so avoid them at all costs!
Safer Sunscreen Alternatives
Options do exist to provide safe protection from the sun during times when you may not be able to control the amount of sun exposure you are likely to receive. For instance, if you take your kids to an amusement park or the beach, you might just be in direct sunlight all day.
To get natural sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays, you will want to use a sunscreen product that contains the active ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Other safe ingredients that will nourish your skin include: Coconut, sunflower, eucalyptus and jojoba oil, shea butter and vitamins D and E.
The fact is, getting safe sun exposure every day is actually one of the best things you can do for your health. The point to remember is that once your skin turns the lightest shade of pink (if you’re Caucasian), it’s time to get out of the sun. Past this point of exposure your body will not produce any more vitamin D and you’ll begin to have sun damage. Sunburn provides no benefit, and is never good for your skin.
GOOD NEWS Thanks to the Environmental Working Group, you are now able to see exactly how your sunscreen rates for safe ingredients and efficacy. Check out their sunscreen safety guide here: www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/
Dr. Brad and the New Life Team