This article highlights the toxic ingredients in commercial sunscreens and suggests simple and beneficial sun protection alternatives created by nature.
With summer in full force, many are embracing commercial sunscreens in a misguided effort to minimize burning and reduce skin cancer risk. Unfortunately, most sun care creams, sprays and gels are filled with photocarcinogenic ingredients and other harmful chemicals that actually encourage DNA damage. Yet protecting the skin need not involve exposure to these noxious products – a host of natural substitutes are available that nourish and shield without dangerous side effects.
Deadly sun care
According to author Ethan A. Huff in the NaturalNews article, “Study: Many sunscreens increase skin cancer risk, FDA has known for a decade but done nothing,” commercial sunscreens create more harm than good by escalating the incidence of skin cancer. Photocarcinogenic ingredients like the vitamin A derivatives retinol and retinal palmitate turn toxic when exposed to sunlight – causing a 21 percent increase in the development and spread of cancerous skin tumors and lesions.
“Not to be confused with the vitamin A found in food and supplements that is absolutely essential for good health, vitamin A additives in sunscreen are different – their interactions with ultraviolet sun rays actually produce carcinogens in the skin,” clarifies Huff. He continues:
“Vitamin A derivatives, of course, are not the only toxic ingredients in sunscreens either. According to the EWG report, hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone are prominent in many popular sunscreen brands. These same sunscreens also contain a slew of other mystery chemicals, many of which have never been proven safe or effective for use, and are likely carcinogenic as well.”
In light of this information, it’s understandable that alternatives to these poisonous concoctions are sought once we are aware of the dangers.
Simple and beneficial sunscreen created by nature
For those on a quest to locate naturally derived sun protection, Frugally Sustainable offers a few suggestions and tips. Basics include wearing protective clothing, avoiding direct sun exposure during midday hours and consuming a high caliber diet – one that is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole foods. Also, skin is protected from the inside out when the body receives adequate vitamin A. Bastyr Center for Natural Health affirms:
“Vitamin A, an antioxidant nutrient found in foods such as eggs and fish, has been shown in many studies to prevent and reverse cancerous changes in cells in some parts of the body, including the skin. One previous study found that people taking 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day for up to five years had a 32 percent reduction in risk of developing a common form of skin cancer.”
Additionally, specific oils provide sun shielding properties when applied topically, including:
– Raspberry seed oil (SPF 30-50)
– Wheat germ oil (SPF 20)
– Shea butter (SPF 6-10)
– Coconut oil (SPF 4-10)
– Macadamia oil (SPF 6)
– Jojoba oil (SPF 4)
– Avocado oil (SPF 4)
For further protection, remember to consume enough vitamin C and E. The Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon notes:
“… multiple studies have found that the combination of vitamin C and vitamin E protects the skin against UV damage. Human subjects orally co-supplemented with vitamins C and E show increased Minimal Erythemal Dose (MED), a measure of photoprotection from UV light in skin. The combination of the two vitamins was associated with lower amounts of DNA damage after UV exposure. Results of another study suggest a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols may be superior to alpha-tocopherol alone, as the mixture showed reduced sunburn reactions and tumor incidence after UV exposure in mice.”