These days wearing sunscreen is more important than ever.  Not only is the ozone layer becoming more depleted, but melanoma and other skin cancers are also on the rise.  It’s true that a little bit of sun exposure does the body good (15 minutes a day, three days a week, is recommended to get your dose of vitamin D), however, protecting your skin from harmful sun’s rays is one of the healthiest practices you can adopt – reducing your risk of skin cancer, as well as keeping your skin gorgeous and fighting premature aging.

There are a lot of sunscreen products on the market these days, promising to block sunlight and keep skin safe.  The thing is, the majority of conventional sunscreen products are made with toxic chemicals that can have even worse effects on your health than the sun.  It has shown that UV blocker chemicals can disrupt the hormone process within the body, cause skin irritation including contact dermatitis, and can break down over time, turning into free radicals that are absorbed by the body.  Free radicals are essentially cell destroyers, and have been shown to result in illness, as well as cancer.

Fortunately, there are safe, alternative sunscreen options out there, made with all-natural ingredients.  Natural sunscreen is made using minerals, which are naturally accruing elements found in the earth.  Minerals are physical blockers of the sun as they reflect and scatter UV rays, acting like an invisible shield or mirror sitting on top of the skin.  In addition, minerals do not absorb in to the skin, and they do not have harmful effects on the body?  The best part?  Minerals are effective at blocking the sun as soon as they are applied, whereas it takes conventional sunscreens 20 minutes to “kick in.”

 

When choosing a natural sunscreen read the label and look for one that has both zinc and titanium as active ingredients, and nothing else.  Some brands that are positioned as natural, may not be chemical – free.  Even better, look for organic sunscreen to ensure the highest quality ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has conducted studies that find that conventional chemical sunscreen contains an average of 4 times as many high hazard ingredients know or strongly suspected to cause cancer or birth defects, to disrupt human reproduction or damage the growing brain of a child.  They also contain more toxins on average in every major category of health harm considered: cancer (10% more), birth defects and reproductive harm (40% more), neurotoxins (20% more), endocrine system disruptors (70% more), and chemicals that can damage the immune system (70% more) (EWG 2007) Is using conventional sunscreen really worth the risk?

 

(Article from “Living Well Naturally” magazine)