Sunscreen: natural vs. chemical
We think we are doing something so good for ourselves and our family by applying sunscreen, but chemical sunscreens pose a serious threat to our health and to the environment. Slathering on chemicals foreign to our bodies to keep out the sun which is vital for good health is counterproductive. I will explain this in more detail after “tips to protect yourself”. There are many moving parts to sun protection and how important it is to be protected, but also to get enough exposure so you get your Vitamin D.
Tips to protect yourself from the sun…
Some of them are pretty obvious! If you have other tips, please feel free to share in the comments:
· Try to avoid extended exposure to the sun when during the hottest time of the day, which is basically all day 10-5 or 6 during the summer months. (This will vary on where you live. I’m in Charleston, SC and we have a very hot sun all day).
· Wear protective clothes and a big hat.
· If you’re going to be out when the sun is strong, use a mineral based (zinc) sunscreen.
· Avoid sunscreens that use chemicals such as: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
· Coconut oil has a SPF of 4 which offers great protection for shorter stints in the sun.
· There are a lot of recipes out there to make your own sunscreen. Most of them include coconut oil, zinc, shea butter and beeswax. See which recipe looks best to you.
· Mineral based sunscreens are available on-line or at stores like Whole Foods. https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/ tells you how to find the safest ones on the market (only 5% make the list). Some on their list would include: Thinksport, Badger, Tropical Sands, Totlogic, Beauty by Earth
· The EPA has a UV Index you can refer to: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety
· Eat clean. A nutrient-rich diet protects you from the inside out by keeping the inflammation down and providing you with antioxidants: lots of fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, broccoli sprouts, good fat (avocado and fish, like salmon) and small amounts of good quality protein.
· Take care of your liver by eating clean and eating lots of sulfur-based veggies (cruciferous, onions, garlic) so that it gets through all the phases of detoxification.
· Reducing all chemicals in your life can help to ease the burden of modern life on your body.
· Be extra careful: Higher sun sensitivity is caused by: “Certain oral and topical medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and benzoyl peroxide products, as well as some cosmetics, may increase skin and eye sensitivity to UV in all skin types. Fda.gov
It’s important to protect yourself from getting fried crispy, however it’s also important to get some sun everyday! It’s recommended to get 10- 20 minutes of sun per day for vitamin D.
Dangers of Chemical Sunscreens…
A study published by the FDA states, “Yet despite what we know about prevention, skin cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.” If we are using more sunscreen than ever, why are there more incidences of skin cancer? The study is from the Journal of American Association evaluating absorption when used according to the maximum limits of the product’s directions for use. They are finding these chemicals go into our blood stream. They claim it is not necessarily unsafe and more tests will be done. I am happy they are realizing there is a potential that the ingredients are harmful which will hopefully be an action for bans and major changes. Read more about it here.
- Retinol Palmitate, a synthetic Vitamin A, found in some sunscreens has been shown to speed up cancerous growth by 21%.
- Interferes with sperm function because it mimics effect of progesterone.
- I have read that is causes low testosterone levels in adolescent boys, causes small and undescended testicles in boys and premature puberty and premature breast development in girls (doctoroz.com). I can not find references and will add them when I do.
- The chemicals are found in our blood stream, Full article at www.ewg.org
- Photoallergic contact dermatitis to oxybenzone. Link Here.
This article called Neurotoxic effect of active ingredients in sunscreen products, a contemporary review, touches on many of the dangerous effects of the chemicals in sunscreens…
- They are in your digestive system if you eat and drink without washing your hands after.
- They are in our water. We absorb it when we swim or drink.
- Prenatal exposure and chemicals were found in 46 of 54 human milk samples.
- Altered estrogen, androgen and progesterone activity, reproductive and developmental toxicity and impaired functioning of the thyroid, liver or kidneys, reviewed elsewhere.
- Environment: highest UV filter concentrations were found in rivers.
- UV filters accumulate in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Since conventional WWTPs are not able to remove them, they are consequently released into rivers, lakes and oceans.
- Urban swimming pools might contain significantly higher amounts than in natural waters.
- The levels of BP-3 detected in coral reefs in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii might lead to death of several local coral species.
- They cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) risking neurotoxicity.
A comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid is at stream2sea.com.
Does this make sense?
- Sunscreens are to prevent burns; they are not proven to prevent cancer though.
- Despite the high number of people using sunscreen, skin cancer rates are at an all-time high.
- Sunscreen blocks Vitamin D, but low levels of vitamin D may be linked to cancer risk, as well as a host of health issues. Cancer.gov
- You need Vitamin D to get calcium to the blood. Extreme low levels of calcium cause more health problems which are mentioned below. (Remember too that you need hydrochloric acid to absorb the calcium!).
- If you are not getting Vitamin D and getting the calcium to the tissue (along with fatty acids), you are more prone to burn.
- We are told our liver spots are from the sun, which certainly can bring the pigment out more. However, age/liver spots emerge because your liver is in need of attention and rest, it is not damage from the sun. Medical Medium explains that age/liver spots are caused by dermatoxins from metals. Toxins in our body cause these. This is true in my own story. I’ll explain later in the article.
- With this being said, your skin shows toxicity. Clean up your system and the skin will clear too.
- Protection is minuscule after SPF of 15 which blocks 93% of UVB rays.
o SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB
o SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB
o SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB
- The U.S. is chronically deficient in Vitamin D which you mainly get from the sun.
All about Vitamin D…
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone from cholesterol when the sun hits your skin. It is fat soluble, meaning it dissolves in fats and oils and can be stored in your body for a long period of time. You can also get Vitamin D from some foods. D3 comes from egg yolks and fatty fish (Cod Liver Oil). D2 can come from plants, yeast and mushrooms.
For activation, Vitamin D must go through two processes. First, the liver converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D (calcidiol). The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitaminD (calcitriol). In order for this to happen, your liver and kidney should be functioning properly (guess what, most people’s aren’t, more on that later).
Vitamin D takes calcium from your gut and into your bloodstream which builds a healthy immune system. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), found in oils, takes the calcium from your blood and brings it to your tissues. If you are not getting enough EFA’s and have high serum calcium levels, you’re at risk for sunstroke and hives. Low blood calcium levels are also correlated to low blood pressure, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression and canker sores (which you have because of herpes simplex). Click here for more…
Vitamin D deficiency started to come into light in the early 2000’s when research papers started to link low D levels to MS, cancer risk, mental illness, bone health, autoimmune disease and poor lung capacity. Dr. Holick was at the forefront of this and helped come up with the recommended levels you see for Vitamin D. People started asking to be tested for it because of what they read.
Why are our Vitamin D levels so low?
- High Fructose Corn Syrup diminishes Vitamin D (calitriol) levels. Americans love their packaged food and HFCS is in most of it.
- We cover up or do not go in the sun at all.
- Our livers and kidneys are not running optimally and therefore cannot convert Vitamin D to its active form.
- Our digestive system is not running optimally and cannot absorb it.
- We are deficient in magnesium which is needed to activate Vitamin D. “All of the enzymes that metabolize vitamin D seem to require magnesium, which acts as a cofactor in the enzymatic reactions in the liver and kidneys.” Jaoa.org
- Other factors that determine your Vitamin D absorption can be found at health.harvard.edu and https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- If you are taking high mega doses, but not converting or absorbing, it could be a different issue.
What you need…
- If you are going to supplement Vitamin D, go with Cod Liver Oil (a good quality one) which has D and a co-factor Vitamin A. “Vitamin A protects against vitamin D toxicity in part by helping to properly regulate the production of vitamin K-dependent proteins.” Westonaprice.org
- “Vitamin K activates the MGP, a protein that helps direct calcium to the desirable places (bone) and lead calcium away from the undesirable places (arteries).” Vitamincouncil.org
- Eat foods containing magnesium, such as: spinach, avocado, beet greens
- Eat leafy greens for Vitamin K. More on Vitamin K: https://draxe.com/vitamin-k-deficiency/
More about the sun…
Radiation from the sun comes in 3 wavelengths:
1. UVA - the most common and can damage DNA and Connective Tissue
2. UVB - Most are absorbed by the ozone layer. They can still penetrate the epidermis and cause damage, but they do not penetrate as far as the UVA rays. These are the rays that help produce Vitamin D3.
3. UVC which is absorbed by the ozone layer.
4. The sun is not the only way to get damage. ULTRAVIOLET light also comes from tanning beds and sunlamps.
Chemical Vs. Mineral Comparison…
A Comparison of the ingredients in a chemical brand Neutrogena vs a natural brand like Thinksport show the huge difference in synthetic vs natural. Not only is the actual sunscreen protection safer, but so is everything else. There are very few natural ingredients in the Neutrogena. Keep in mind that individual ingredients may be considered as GRAS (generally regarded as safe), but there are no tests to see how they react with each other.
Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%, Oxybenzone 6%
Inactive: Water, styrene/acrylates copolymer, silica, beeswax, cyclopentasiloxane, ethylhexylglycerin, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, fragrance, chlorphenesin, triethanolamine, diethylhexyl 2,6-naphthalate, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, disodium EDTA, BHT, methylisothiazolinone
Zinc Oxide 20% (Non-nano)purified water (0), aloe barbadensis leaf juice (0), capric caprylic triglycerides(0), sorbitan stearate (coconut based) (1), pine wood resin (0), vegetable glycerin (0), cetyl dimethicone (0), hydrogenated castor oil (0), magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) (0), sunflower oil, jojoba oil (0), ascorbic acid (vitamin c) (0), tocopherols (vitamin e) (1), olive oil (0), raspberry seed oil (0), cranberry seed oil (0), hyaluronic acid (made from vegetable) (0), glucose & glucose oxidase and lactoperoxidase (0),currant grapefruit
Both are $12.99 for 3 oz.
They do this to me…
Chemical sunscreens rock my world in the worst way possible. Smelling them makes me get angry. Using them sends me into an emotional tizzy of crying and feeling helpless. This is why: They have endocrine disruptors which make me extremely hormonal. I happen to be very sensitive and know when this happens. Even if you don’t feel it the same way I do, it’s still affecting you AND to your kids.
We discussed skin toxicity. My skin is a mess and it’s not because of the sun. My back and a lot of my body is covered with moles and bumps. A doctor would have a field day cutting all these off and telling me to cover with sunscreen. Here’s the thing, those parts pf my body has not seen the sun in decades. They are from my very toxic body. In fact, as I use TRS by Coseva (Toxin Removal System), some of my moles are starting to come off! What you see on the outside reflects what is happening on the inside. Pay attention!
One more thing…
I have read other articles where people are so mad and defensive demanding more references to claims like these. Maybe you feel that chemical sunscreens are enhancing and saving your life. Just remember we are all affected by it so maybe you should not only continue the research, but also use common sense. Our bodies and the environment cannot accommodate a ton of chemicals every day from multiple sources.
Go more natural with everything you do. Future generations deserve it.