Let's chat about sunscreen! Experts tell us to slather it on, which many of us have for years, meanwhile skin c a n c e r rates have shot up in the past 30 years! How is it we have more opportunity to prepare ourselves and yet dis-eases are rising? Sadly b/c many are full of toxic ingredients that are carcinogenic.
Our bodies need the sun and it’s a great way to obtain Vitamin D! Vitamin D is actually more of a hormone, not a vitamin found to help regulate circadian rhythm, immune system, strengthens bones, supports muscle function, cellular & cognitive health, and many more benefits. Your body makes vit D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin.
Why should we be concerned?
"We slather these ingredients on our skin, but many of these chemicals haven't been adequately tested. EWG has been advocating for the FDA to review these ingredients for 16 years."
Chemical sunscreens use oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and/or avobenzone.
The concern is these chemicals are readily absorbed by the body which can cause skin irritation and potential endocrine disruptor.
Do they even work?
The Environmental Working Group found that 75% of sunscreens have inferior sun protection or concerning ingredients that could be harmful to health.
Avoiding sprays as they pose inhalation concerns
It’s not one found naturally in foods outside of salmon, sardines, tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks and shiitake mushrooms, but not many kids enjoy those. Fortified foods contain it, but those are processed.
Sunscreen, while important, can actually decrease vitamin D production. However, excess exposure to UV rays can lead to damage to our skin, so it’s important to protect ourselves at times.
The amount of time needed to spend outside in the sun will depend on where we live, seasons, our skin type, how old our kids are, etc. Spending 15 mins outside with your hands and face exposed can stimulate the skin to make all the vitamin D our kiddo’s need.
“On a sunny summer day, a child wearing a bathing suit can generate 10,000 to 20,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D after 15 to 30 minutes. In a neat biological trick, a person’s body can’t “overdose” on vitamin D created by the sun.”
It's recommend parents allow children to have 10-15 min's of sun time before applying sunscreen. Allowing them to have sufficient exposure to sunlight to meet their vitamin D requirements.
Sunscreen is something we apply on ourselves and our kiddo’s body frequently, so there are some ingredients we want to avoid when possible.
oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone.
These ingredients are found to be absorbed into the body after one use according to the FDA. Which also found they could be detected on the skin and in the blood weeks after no longer being used! The concentrations surpassed the safety threshold.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it’ll give some swap ideas! Many of these brands don't cost much more than the chemical filled ones.
Avoid intense sun exposure during peak hours
Removing seed oils, focus on a whole foods diet
Practice slow skin exposure during the Spring
Use protective clothing & hats, stay in the shade when going to be out for long periods of time
Ditch the sunglasses