I have been waiting to do this post for a while now! Sunscreen is quickly becoming a very controversial subject that is worth discussing. Facts aside, I HATE sunscreen. I hate the smell, I hate how it burns my skin and I always was confused about those SPF numbers. When it started becoming clear there were “iffy” ingredients in sunscreens, I started looking for possible alternatives. This post will clear up the confusion an provide the info. you need to move safely forward into SUMMER!!!
Ok, so you know me by now-I wouldn’t be doing a post on a product if it didn’t really suck-No, just kidding-there are products I plan to tell you about in the near future that I absolutely love, but so far I’ve been the bearer of bad news for a lot of our beauty necessities. Sunscreen is no exception. In fact, I hate sunscreen so much that I have not worn a chemical sunscreen for over 5 years now! The rate of skin cancer continues to rise while the sunscreen industries worth has sky rocketed into the billions-something is not right with this picture! Sunscreens are meant to prevent skin cancer!!
First, let’s address how beneficial sunshine is for you. 20 minutes a day of sun is a healthy habit. Blocking the sun in those 20 minutes is not necessary for most of us.
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Helps fight off infections like colds and the flu
- Fights depression, aches and pains and fatigue. Helps you produce serotonin-the “happy hormone”.
- Boosts the immune system
- Actually helps you lose weight-Low vitamin D triggers a hormone which makes you never feel full, interesting huh?!
Dangerous Ingredients in Most Sunscreens-
- Oxybenzone This is the most common ingredient in sunscreen. It causes hormone issues including acting similar to estrogen and reducing sperm count.
- Homosalate – Messes with hormone production
- Octocrylene – Causes skin allergies.
- Avobenzone – Linked to cancer
- Octisalate – Environmental toxin
- Vitamin A also known as Retinyl Palmitate. Linked to cancer
- Fragrance can cause skin sensitivities and allergies as well as hormone disruptions.
- Spray sunscreens are full of extra chemicals that have to be added in order to create this consistency and coverage. Sprays easily can be inhaled, causing dangerous side effects in the lungs.
As you can see, many sunscreens can cause major hormonal issues. You might be aware that drinking regular cow’s milk can cause little kids to hit puberty sooner then what is natural? Well, this is the same deal.
Good to know….
*The Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide is a great resource if you are questioning a particular brand of sunscreen. You want your product to score between a 0-2.
*There are 2 types of rays UVA and UVB. UVA cause premature aging by producing free radicals in the skin. UVB cause your skin to burn.
*The FDA does not regulate SPF higher than 50. As far as I know, there is no proof that sunscreens higher than 50 are more effective.
*There are 2 types of sunscreens, mineral and chemical. Mineral means it contains Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide. These minerals are used in mineral make up (mineral make up recipe HERE) and actually sit on top of the skin without being absorbed. They reflect UVA and UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and help dissipate the rays.
*Using as little as 15 SPF blocks your body’s ability to convert the sun’s rays to Vitamin D by 99%.
What SPF really means-
A popular misconception of SPF numbers is that the higher the number, the more protection you are getting. I used to think that if I used SPF 50 I was getting maximum protection. This is not so. SPF numbers determine how long you can be in the sun before burning, not how strong your lotion is.
To determine the amount of time you can be in the sun and be protected you must find out how long it takes you to burn before getting a sunburn. Take that number and multiply it by the SPF you are using. For example-If it takes you 20 minutes to start burning after being in the sun and you are using SPF 30 multiply 20 x 30=600. You have 600 minutes in the sun before you are no longer protected.
>>Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time<<
I don’t recommend you stay in the sun for more than 3 hours without reapplying sun screen. Lots of factors can influence the effectiveness of your cream. Read HERE for more info. on how often you should re-apply your sunscreen.
My Healthy Sunscreen Recommendations….
There are actually completely natural carrier oils and even essential oils that provide great protection from the sun. I really prefer mineral sunblocks because they do not penetrate the skin. Most of the brands below are mineral sunblocks that I have used. I personally use Mychelle Dermaceuticals and Coola for myself and Badger for my girls.