Be Sun Cream Smart
Summer is on it's way and we will all undoubtedly be spending more time in the sun. We all know that it's important to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun to avoid severe burns and, more importantly, skin cancer. Traditional sun creams will protect us, but they could cause harm to us in the long-run.
Most sunscreens contain a combination of several chemical filters to absorb and convert UV rays into heat. In order to work, a typical chemical sunscreen requires a cocktail of three to five different types of potentially dangerous chemical filters, such as avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone. Not only do they contain these chemical filters, they contain a lot of them. In fact, many conventional chemical sunscreens contain over 20 per cent pure chemical filters. In America, the FDA has informed consumers to be aware of these ingredients, as their safety has not been established.
Reasons not to use traditional sun creams include:
- they can irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis which includes symptoms such as itchy rashes and red bumps on the skin.
- once on our skin, they have the potential to be absorbed into the blood stream. In a number of studies, chemicals from sunscreen were found in urine and breast milk. Once they are in the blood stream, we cannot be sure what the long-term effects could be.
- More importantly, oxybenzone has been known to mimic the natural hormones in our body and, in turn, can disrupt estrogen and testosterone levels in adults and children. It has also been reported to contribute to low birth weight of newborns.
- it's bad for the environment. Even at low concentrations, sun cream can bleach coral reefs.
- they may have other undesirable ingredients such as artificial fragrance and chemical preservatives.
On the other hand, natural sunscreens are simple. They contain the minerals zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier on your skin which block and reflect harmful UVA and UVB rays. In fact, they can be more effective than traditional sun creams. When applying a natural sun cream, please note that it won't completely rub in, as it creates a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.
So it's time to enjoy the sun and get some Vitamin D, go out and enjoy yourself and lather on some natural sun cream. You won't have to worry about skin cancer and you can also be certain that there won't be any other nasty effects!