As the warmer months approach, make sure you are ready to properly protect your family’s and your skin from the sun. Sunscreens can be some of the most toxic substances to put on your skin. Remember that your skin is your largest organ. It covers your entire body and is filled with capillaries to your blood stream. Your skin is HIGHLY absorptive. Because of the need to re-apply, it is easy in one day to get a big dose of toxic substances onto and into your body in short order. As a result, the sunscreen you choose really matters.
Sunscreens are a well-known source of heavily laden chemicals, including hormone disrupters, carcinogens, and other toxic chemicals. While there are many, the most concerning seem to be oxybenzone (hormone disruptor), methylisothiazolinone (allergenic, skin sensitivity), and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A believed to speed the development of skin tumors and lesions).
We highly recommend that you use the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) consumer guides. They have just released their newly updated 2021 Sunscreen guide. They write very insightful and helpful summaries of their findings and evaluate the ingredients of hundreds of products to protect you. Here is the link:
Dr. Josh Axe’s newsletter also did a recent summary of the EWG report, listing the best options. Search online for “The Best Sunscreens and Toxic Ones to Avoid” by Leah Zerbe and you can find that article as well.
Perhaps even more important is to take other simple, non-toxic precautions first such as:
- During the heat of the mid-day sun, wear protective sunglasses, hats, and t-shirts and stay in the shade.
- There really is no such thing as a perfect sunscreen. It really should be used as a last resort as a protective measure. But if you must, choose the best.
- Be sure to have your vitamin D levels checked by your healthcare provider.
- We DO need some sun exposure for good health. Just 10 to 15 minutes of time in the sun, without sunscreen, helps the body to create about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Choose late morning hours or late in the day hours and limit the time to 10 to 15 minutes to avoid skin damage.
So before you head out to the garden, or over to the lake, beach or hiking path, be sure you have everything on hand to protect you and your family from damaging your skin.
Happy Spring and Summer! Be well! Stay well!