Choosing Sunscreens

It’s getting hot outside.  We are going to be in the 90′s already this weekend (for Mother’s Day) and summer is right around the corner.  It’s great to see the sun and feel the heat on our pale, wintered skin, (well not that pale…living in FL) but we also want to be safe.

sunscreen

Did you know that more than 70% of all Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which sunscreen is going to block the production of.  We need vitamin D!  It is good to actually get some sun (about 15 to 20 minutes a day) before we start slathering on the sunscreen.  Vitamin D deficiency promotes cancer.  So get some sun but be smart about it and don’t get too much.  There is a healthy balance.

Almost all sunscreen products found in the store are filled with cancer-causing chemicals.  Look at the ingredients.  I bet you can’t pronounce most of the them let alone know what they actually are or what they do to you as they absorb into your system.  There are parabens, alcohol, and toxic chemical solvents in them.  So you are actually causing the cancer that you are trying to prevent.

You also have to be careful of “natural” sunscreens.  When they say organic or natural they may still be loaded with synthetic chemicals.  Avoid anything that contains ingredients starting with methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl, dieth, and trieth.  Even if it says “chemical free” this can be misleading as there may still be chemicals in it.  A great resource is the EWG (Environmental Working Group) which will give you safety ratings on every brand of sunscreen.  www.ewg.org

So what are you suppose to do?

Well, first off, if you have been listening to my blogs and eating healthy you are on the right road to helping your skin build up an internal sunscreen.  That’s right, your skin can build up a natural resistance to sunburn by eating antioxidant-rich foods and superfoods.

antioxidants

Another great truly natural sunscreen is coconut oil.  Hard to believe at first I know, but the right oil can actually protect you from the sun rather than making you burn fast like other not-so-good oils.  Back in the day (showing my age) we would try to lay out with baby oil and get a “quick tan”.  Well, this led to nothing but a quick burn, followed by severe pain for days and then ugly peeling skin.

Native pacific islanders have been using coconut oil for thousands of years and it actually works amazingly.  Just make sure that you reapply it often as it blocks only 20% of UV rays (allowing you to get some good sun exposure) and if you don’t limit your time in the sun or reapply (every couple of hours) of course you could burn.

Be smart and enjoy being out in the sunlight this summer.  Soak up some vitamin D to help you stay healthy and work on natural sunscreen that is built up from the inside out rather than slathering on the chemicals.

-Kristen
Choosing healthy living over dying :)

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