Skip the Sunscreen: Why You Should Avoid Brand Name Sunscreens
The rays from the sun do nothing but damage our skin… is what we are conditioned to believe. However, are you aware of the positive effects of sunlight on your skin? The sun can be damaging but it is equally as damaging to be vitamin D deficient. Sun rays offer an array of health benefits, including, believe it or not, skin cancer prevention. Advertisements for lead brand sunscreens encourage constant, complete coverage with sunscreen as they entice a fear of the sun in order to sell more.
While it is true that sunscreen is essential, it is important to remember that exposing our skin to a small amount of sun is actually good for us. Even more importantly, the sunscreens and lotions that are being constantly advertised incorporate harsh chemicals that are just as damaging as the sun. Getting “a warm healthy glow” is more than just a saying and it can apply to those who use organic, safe sunscreens.
Why you need to be cautious of the sun:
Ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as UVA and UVB rays are invisible to the naked eye, causing undetected skin damage until it’s too late. UVA rays are the longer rays and cause lasting skin damage such as premature skin aging, disruption of the immune system, and possible skin cancer. UVB rays are shorter and cause sunburn alongside the effects of the UVA rays. This combination of damage is subtle to the victim, however, accumulates over the years.
This presents just how vital skin protection is. However, smearing on the cheapest sunscreen you can find is not the answer to this problem. It is important to be aware of what you are putting on your body.
How is sunscreen dangerous?
Science has proven, time and time again, that what we put on our skin ends up in our bodies. Our skin is our largest organ. That being said, many studies have been conducted that prove that the chemicals in sunscreen negatively affects our bodies. When we apply harsh chemicals to our skin, those chemicals end up in our bloodstream which then powers every inch of our body. Maybe it’s not the sun we should be afraid of. Yes, sunscreen can harm you.
People have become more aware of this today, causing sunscreen companies to shift in their seats. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that, after switching to “cleaner” products, participants found a significant drop in hormone-disrupting chemicals that are found in common personal care products. These chemicals include oxybenzone, triclosan, parabens, phthalates, and more. The scary thing is, all of these chemicals are found in the most commonly used sunscreen products.
How is the sun SAFE and HEALTHY?
By this point, it has been ingrained into our brains that the sun is an evil, skin cancer producing, ball of heat and that sunscreen must be applied every hour to ensure safety. Sunburn is indeed a concern that should not be taken lightly. However, as human beings, our skin is designed to require vitamin D as well as being equipped with natural immunity. We are naturally built to receive sunlight. Due to marketing campaigns, we are conditioned to believe that we must always protect our skin from sun exposures. Through applying harsh chemical based sunscreens and through over applying, we have taken a step backward in what is considered skin protection. There are ways to protect your skin in a safe, non-overbearing way. We must question big name advertisements as our first step to proper skin protection and turn to natural, sunscreens without harmful chemicals.
Choosing your sunscreens:
A trip to a natural health store is the first step in the right direction. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium minerals. To be honest, the best sun protection is to cover up with clothing or to hang in the shade. Realistically speaking, as humans, we instinctively love the warmth of the sun as it is mood and health boosting. If you are planning on being in the sun for a short period of time, skip the screen and let your body absorb that wonderful vitamin D to keep it healthy.
Another alternative includes coconut oil. Coconut oil has proven to contain an SPF of about 8. Although this is not a high SPF, it is still better than any of the sunscreens containing harsh chemicals. Remember, the sun is not the only source of skin cancer. Contributing factors also include Arsenic, found in a number of things we ingest daily, pesticides and more. Be conscious about what you are applying to your skin, try to control your time when under the sun.