More than a year ago, I wrote warnings regarding the carcinogens contained in our personal care products. Ingredients like parabens, and other estrogenic compounds. Many of you joined me in checking the labels on our toothpaste, nail polish, deodorant, make-up, lotions, soaps, and various other products that we use daily. We checked these labels by the list at Cosmetics Data Base, and scanned the site for alternative, and safer products
Once again, I refer to this organization as I warn you about the danger of using sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group is a non profit organization that tirelessly works to raise awareness of the potential long-term effects of these products. For years we have been encouraged and cajoled to lather our bodies in sunscreen. The higher the SPF the better; we were less likely to develop skin cancer, or melanoma. Now, more than two decades later, we find that these suncreens contain ingredients that create powerful skin damaging free radicals. These loose particles react with other molecules to damage fats, protein, and even DNA. They can cause premature aging, skin damage, accumulate in body fat and breast milk, and can cause melanoma.
Austrailians have been an example of the damage that sunscreens can do. Many of it’s population are fair-skinned. The country waged a skin protection campaign, encouraging daily use of strong sunscreens and decreased sun exposure. The results are that Australians now have the highest rates, per capita, in the world for deadly melanoma. Researchers now believe that the use of sunscreens have increased the risk of developing skin cancer, and play a big role in many other cancers, such as prostate, and breast cancers.
So now what? What do we do? Do we stay indoors and not venture into the light of day? No! We need the Vitamin D that the sun provides. We can start by using a little common sense. We can gradually increase our exposure to the sun. When our skin begins to turn a little pink, get in the shade, add a hat, or lightweight shirt, and always wear sunglasses.
We are warned that if we are in the sun for long periods of time, we should still use a barrier cream like the ugly, white, zinc oxide cream. Too much sun still causes skin cancer, so we are back to using common sense.
I am off to get my fair share of Vitamin D. If you happen to be at the beach this summer, look for me. I’ll be the one with the geeky white stuff smeared all over my body. Sexy, huh? I’d still rather do this than have chunks cut out of my skin, creating ugly scars, or worse yet, succumbing to a deadly illness.
Ah, I can go back to my sun worship and lay by the beach for hours. NOT! Common sense, remember?