So the weather is changing, and you’re about to hit the beach, that is if you live close to one. If not the beach, you’re probably about to hit up the pool instead if the weather permits. Either way, you’ll be outside enjoying the sun. I think we can all agree that summer is pretty awesome!
And as the day progresses, and that sun rises higher in the sky, your first move is to reach for that bottle of sunscreen…and this is where the problem starts.
Let me explain why this can be a very bad decision if it’s not done correctly.
Table of Contents
- The downfalls of conventional sunscreen
- Making money off of our fears – a much too common trend
- So how do they do it?
- So what do people do?
- What’s really in that bottle of sunscreen you’re using?
- Yes, having too much sun CAN be detrimental to your health
- UVA and UVB
- So what do you do? How do you keep that glow, and stay healthy?
- Our sheltered lives
The downfalls of conventional sunscreen
For the longest time now, our media has been warning us of the dangers associated with being out in the sun. And although it can be bad to get burnt to a crisp under the sun’s radiant gleam, this whole concept has all been taken way out of proportion…
There have been countless studies on this topic, and I want to discuss a few of their key points today. I honestly feel that we (humans) don’t get enough sun, and this too is something that I’ll be talking about.
On top of this, when the majority of people finally get out into the wonderful elements of nature, most of them attempt to block these healing rays with toxic, cancer-inducing lotions. This entire “sunblock cycle” just seems a little crazy to me, and I want to stomp the rumors, and shed some truth on it all.
So what is going on here? Let’s take a look…
Making money off of our fears – a much too common trend
A common scenario I’m sure we can all agree on is the fact that Big Dog companies put fear into the public’s minds. I often refer to such corporations as “fear slangers.” In other words, the selling of bogus lies in order to make a buck. This can be seen in many avenues of health, but we’re only covering one of them today, and it’s called the sunscreen industry.
So how do they do it?
Well, it’s actually quite easy to understand if you look at it with a simple approach. A type of fear is established, and then that fear or newly founded terror is heavily capitalized on.
It’s basically as if somebody yelled, “hey a big disease is headed our way, but you can buy this product over here and you’ll be safe!”
In all honesty, it’s actually quite ingenious, and this is exactly what’s happening with our sunscreen industry. You see, we’re being told that the sun will kill us if we’re exposed to it too much, and although this holds some truth, it’s been blown way out of proportion!
So what do people do?
Well, first off, they cover up too much. Sun umbrellas, gigantic hats – it’s all a little much. This is all then followed by the lathering of bodies with very toxic chemicals. I’d say that the sunscreen industry has done a pretty good job at scarring us all a little too much, wouldn’t you agree? I mean seriously, people are deathly afraid of being hit with rays of light! And all of this is working against health, not helping it.
So why is mainstream sunscreen all that bad anyway?
What’s really in that bottle of sunscreen you’re using?
How about we start with a simple list. Now, to note, these are only a select few of the many ingredients in most sunscreens today.
- Oxybenzone – (Endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, cancer)
- Fragrance compounds – (Neurotoxicity, allergies, immunotoxicity)
- Propylene Glycol – (Organ system toxicity, irritant to skin, eyes, and lungs)
- Tocopheryl Acetate – (Cancer and allergies)
- Triethanolamine – (Cancer)
- Benzyl Alcohol – (Neurotoxicity)
WOW! That’s a whole lot of bad if you ask me! Did you know that these chemicals are basic ingredients in most products today? What I find crazy is that a lot of people don’t realize that these harmful additives are literally everywhere! And this needs to change. Remember, it’s all about being aware.
But you see, this absent-minded behavior is more of a problem than we may all think. Just look at the parents who are slathering up their children with such concoctions, some even on a daily basis! God forbid little Johnny go to school WITHOUT his sunscreen!
And that’s what we’re really trying to address today, “where did we all go wrong on the sun issue?” And how has it gotten so out of control? Why is it that something so natural has gotten such a bad reputation?
In order to answer these very important questions, we must first look at the “too much” argument. Because it does hold some truth.
Yes, having too much sun CAN be detrimental to your health
Remember that phrase that your mom had always said to you while growing up? “Too much of anything is bad.” Well, it’s true, and this definitely applies to sun exposure. And although some sunscreen products have shown some “ok” effects in regards to protecting against the sun, the negative outcomes absolutely outweigh the positive here.
The key when playing outside is to get your fill for the day – not get all burnt and crispy. Sunburns can have negative effects on one’s health if they become a common occurrence. But, if you can go out into some beautiful sunny weather, and manage to avoid getting drastically burned, you’re golden! Literally, that golden color is what we’re all striving for anyway, right?
Another big thing to note here is that it’s theorized that when sunlight hits these chemicals on your skin (when using these harmful lotions), destructive reactions are sometimes activated within these creams. Many of these reactions I speak of here can turn out to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) in some incidences.
So in reality, the sunscreen that you’re applying to your skin to “protect” against diseases like cancer, is actually increasing your chances of developing something you don’t want. I know, it’s all quite ironic, but I’m thoroughly convinced in all of this.
UVA and UVB
It’s important to fully understand that the ultraviolet light that is given off by the sun has two forms: UVA and UVB – I’m sure you have heard of these in the past.
The thing is that both forms of light seem to have some degree of detriment upon the body if not watched appropriately. If you’re out in the backyard everyday baking in the sun for 5 hours, this is bad. Your exposure to these rays is obviously going to be much more than most people.
Now, UVA’s are theorized to be more damaging, based on how deeply they travel within the body (or at least that’s what science tells us). Some believe that UVA’s are able to cause more free radical damage within the body, and if true, that’s not good for a variety of obvious reasons. And although an excessive UVB intake can be bad, its entry into the body is associated with a very important cycle – the production of vitamin D! And this IS very important to be on top of.
Once again, balance is key as is with everything. It’s like the omega 3: omega 6 ratio: if you can acquire a healthy balance, you’re all good! But if your omega 6’s become elevated like most people’s are today, inflammation can take over and health can begin its rapid descent. That’s all I’m really preaching here anyway…balance!
But I need you to realize that if you tan a lot, you’re at risk! If this is the case, you better have a very effective antioxidant regimen in place to deal with the high amount of oxidative stress that you’re putting your body through. And this is just solid fact by now.
On top of this, as stated above, making sure that your vitamin D levels are in check is a great way to improve overall health. One thing that I’ve often advocated over the years is the power of vitamin D and its global effects on the body – skin included!
This also means that constantly blocking out the sun can harm your body. With this being the case, you should be making an effort to get some exposure everyday if possible.
So what do you do? How do you keep that glow, and stay healthy?
Now that I’ve scared you into not wearing any toxic sunscreen, let’s look at what you should be doing while out in the elements for a long time.
The two key words to look at here are “long time.” I actually don’t wear sunscreen if I’m just going to be at the beach for an hour or so. In San Diego, it stays pretty balanced all year long, so there’s not much of a scorching effect as there was up in the Bay Area when I used to live there. And I don’t really burn all that easily, I have that Italian skin that turns into a type of olive tint when grazed with the sun. I know, I got kind of lucky on all that.
But, if I’m going to be at the beach for a long time, like 5 or more hours, I’ll slap on some natural stuff. All of my products are researched here. Every single item that I use on my body is run through this database beforehand, and all for very legitimate reasons. This website is great!
What I really like about this site is how it gives a toxic rating, scientific research, and locations of where to buy the desired products – pretty awesome to say the least. And I do believe that this database extends over international borders, so it’s available for everybody’s use. But then again, I’m not totally sure of their cutoff points (internationally speaking), so I recommend researching the site more if you’re outside of the U.S. I simply don’t know if it’ll list stores overseas.
Our sheltered lives
If you think about it, we modern humans are pretty solitary (and very covered) creatures. We wake up in a covered home, drive to work in our covered vehicles, sit 8-hours in a building, and go back home when it’s getting dark. All of this while wearing long-sleeved and very bulky clothes.
Where did the sun go? And how is it that with our current “lack-of-sun,” we have also been convinced that less is better? The majority of people don’t get enough, so why are they continuing to restrict their exposure?
This is something that really boggles my mind. It’s just another example of how we have been duped into thinking that something is bad, when in reality, it’s very good.
And this is the take home message today. Too much of anything is bad; even too much water can kill a person. But water is also necessary for life, as is the sun.
The ways in which we’re constantly lied to are always changing, you really don’t have to go far to see what I’m talking about either. Just flip on that television, turn on that radio, or scan the Internet – lies are everywhere!
The case against sun is a poorly constructed argument. People have simply gotten carried away with issues like tanning, and this has put sun exposure in a very bad light (no pun intended there).
All I know is that if kept in balance, the sun has immense healing properties, but that scale can tip quite easily. I think that we, as a society, just need to be more aware of our sun exposure. And if out in the elements for an extended period of time, protect yourself, but do it right with a natural approach.
That’s all I have for today. As always, comment below and tune in for more tomorrow.