Summer is coming and that means lots of sun and sand!! Getting out in nature and storing up on some vitamin D can be one of the best things you can do for you health.. But, we can’t ignore the potential dangers of TOO much sun.
I have long had a fear of sunscreen (maybe not too irrational after all), so I have often used the barrier method. After I’ve been in the sun for half the time it takes my skin to turn pink (which is ideal for vitamin D) I would then put on a hat, a long sleeve swim shirt or get under an umbrella or a shady tree.
But on long beach days when getting out of the sun isn’t option, I lather up in sunscreen. And I have done my research to make sure that I am using the best option!
So let’s chat sunscreen.
Many dermatologists are recommending sunscreen, but is this even a good idea?
From a vitamin D standpoint, sunscreen can prevent the production of D3 and beneficial effects of sun exposure. Some people are literally never outside without being rubbed down in sunscreen and vitamin D deficiency can cause lowered immunity and increase the risk of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, asthma and autoimmune disease, just to name a few “biggies”. (We see this all the time with the ladies inside our 4 Phase Cycle Detox and Healthy Hormones Group Program.)
What concerns us is the fact that many sunscreens prevent sunburn which comes from UVB exposure, but do not block UVA sun damage. UVA damage is the primary contributing factor to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer!!
Does this means that using sunscreen can actually contribute to getting cancer?!!
Well, no, it’s not the sunscreen that actually causes cancer (which is where some of the more hysterical stuff on the internet gets it wrong).
But here’s the thing: when you are wearing sunscreen you tend to stay in the sun WAY longer with a false sense of security. You may assume that you are not doing damage to your skin because your skin has not burned BUT you are getting lots of UVA sun damage.
Oh great, well what do we do now?!
The exciting new is that although sunscreens are not all created equal, there are lots of great options out that there that block UVA and UVB (and blue light)! Blue light it super popular lately, and we often talk about blue light blocking glasses for nighttime, but you also should consider blue lights effects on the skin. The latest research suggests it may damage skin proteins and lipids. When these are damaged, signs of age like loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation are possible.
More wrinkles?! No thanks! If cancer didn’t get your attention maybe this did!!
And if you don’t care about wrinkles, maybe you care about the environment?
Did you hear that Hawaii (right after we left from our recent trip there) just banned oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contribute to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean?
Another reason to find a safe sunscreen.
So, what should you look for?
Look for mineral sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens (or physical sunscreens) use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin.
We have a few favorites!!
Beautycounter just released a NEW line of Mineral sunscreens INCLUDING an air-powered sunscreen spray! (sidenote: I loved the idea of the spray, but since this spray needs to be rubbed in, the squeezable bottle is just as good in my opinion!)
For those of you with kids, they also have a sunscreen stick that is easily applied. We used when we were in Hawaii and it worked really well. The only downside was that Paige seemed to think it was a big chapstick and applied it over and over to her lips.
If you are like us, you like to have options!
Here is another company that I have tried out that offers a mineral sunscreen. They don’t offer a stick, but their mineral sunscreen does smell like delicious coconut. My red-headed skin survived a Florida trip and a Hawaii vacation without ANY burns!
AND, if you barely have time to get out in the sun but want to have a little tan for an upcoming event, this company even has a self-tanner that is made with a nontoxic list of ingredients that you can actually pronounce. And it doesn’t turn you orange. Check out the details below
We hope that you are having an awesome summer!