We need vitamin D and many people are missing in this so important nutrient. The way to get it is by exposing our skin to the sun (bare skin – no sun screen). But beware of too much harmful radiation from the sun and do not get burned. This is easily done especially here in Florida.
Protect yourself with sun screen when needed, but be alert; some of these products are actually quite harmful to us! Many are containing ingredients that can accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions (according to recent government studies).
Are you familiar with a database called “Skin Deep”? I am referring to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Skin Deep is a personal care product safety guide. Actually the world’s largest. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group. Their aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.
Just in time for summer, EWG released their fifth annual Sunscreen Guide. The 2011 Guide analyzes more than 600 beach and sport sunscreens, and, disappointingly, they can only recommend one in five.
Check out how your favorite brands rate – you may be surprised at how some leading brands fared.
If you find the information valuable, please support EWG in their work; through donations, EWG Sunscreen Guide app, facebook etc.
In the database you will also find a “Hall of Shame” with products containing harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor which acts like estrogen in the body; and retinyl palmitate, which may speed up the growth of skin tumors. Many of them actually found in sunscreen products for children and babies.
Check out the Hall of Shame– and find out what is wrong with the sun protection business.
Furthermore some sunscreens do not protect against UVA. The letters SPF mean “sun protection factor” and refer only to protection against UVB radiation, which just burns the skin. It has nothing to do with UVA radiation that penetrates deep into the skin, accelerates skin aging and may cause skin cancer. One particular product claims SPF over a 100 but the actual UVA protection factor for this sunscreen is as low as 12.
Stick to creams
EWG recommends that people use creams and avoid powders, pumps and sprays.
Sunscreens that are loose powders contain particles of zinc and titanium that can offer strong UV protection for the skin but may end up in the lungs.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies inhaled titanium dioxide as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. Once in the lungs, these minerals may move into the bloodstream and throughout the body and can accumulate in the brain and cause lesions and other tissue damage. Nano and micronized zinc oxide cause lung inflammation.
The bottom line?
If there’s a chance you’ll breathe it, don’t buy it. Stick to old fashioned lotions.
Find the best product for you
Before heading for the beach and applying your usual sun screen you might want to see how well it is rated. Also check which sunscreens are top-rated – for broadest spectrum protection with fewest hazardous ingredients.
And invest in a safer product that does the job!
What to do before putting on sunscreen
But before splashing on your cream (remember – no sprays or powders!) you might want to look at some great natural ways NOT to get sunburned. What to do before putting on sunscreen.
Enjoy the outdoors
With the healing sun and the fresh air – just do not get burned.
Have a great summer!
By Åsa Paul-Johansson
On the Lime – Raw Foods
Fort Lauderdale area, Florida