Your Sunscreen Is Probably Making You Sick. Switch To These.
The best non-toxic sunscreens, and why you should probably throw yours in the trash.
The Safest Sunscreens
I’m not sure there’s anyone on Earth who enjoys applying or wearing sunscreen. However, rather than avoiding the sun, I found a great sun-protection alternative. Studies have shown that Red Raspberry Seed Oil has a SPF factor of about 30 and is the only oil to protect against both UVB and UVA rays. So I fill my palm with it every morning and rub it all over my face, neck, hands, and any other area that might be getting exposure. It absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel greasy, and leaves a slight healthy glow. It’s quickly become my favorite oil. This awesome oil is filled with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to keep your skin healthy while helping to fade with scars, sunspots, and acne. I don’t leave home without it! Just make sure that you’re buying the real thing, as some sneaky resellers may dilute it with a cheaper oil. Also, as with any oil, make sure to keep the container tightly sealed in a dark place, since oils go oxidize (lose some of their medicinal properties) when exposed to oxygen or light too many times.
When I’m traveling or otherwise spending a lot of time in direct sunlight, I first apply my oil, and then I layer a zinc oxide sunscreen overtop. My favorite safe, zinc-oxide-based sunscreens are Badger’s SPF30 lavender-scented sunscreen, their anti-bug sunscreen, and their Rose Facial Sunscreen (I’m a sucker for anything rose-scented!), which are organic and has 100% healthy, pretty much edible ingredients. It absorbs without a lot of effort and smells great. Also, not only does lavender have a lovely scent, but has been found in studies to inhibit the generation of the type of free radical that causes much of the damage from UVA/UVB radiation. It also helps protect against cancerous changes—in one study, applying lavender oil reduced skin tumor incidence by 33 percent. (I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to my Red Raspberry Seed Oil, too!)
Another great choice is Babo’s zinc oxide sunscreen lotion, portable sunscreen stick, tinted lip balm, and spray sunscreens. We checked all the ingredients one-by-one, and they are all super-safe. When looking for sunscreen, make sure to read the label carefully. You should recognize the majority (or, better yet, all) of the ingredients in your sunscreen.
As with all skin care, if you can’t read it, or you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t wear it. Period.
Here are some more tips:
Important to Understand
And here’s the part that took me a while to completely understand: There are two types of sun rays — UVA and UVB. UVB causes sunburns and cancer, while UVA penetrates deeper into the skin causing aging. Clouds and clothing may block the sunburn-causing UVB rays, but they don’t block UVA — the deep-penetrating kind that cause aging (and cancer). UVA rays create ambient light too — so when you’re sitting at your desk near a window, you’re still getting exposure to aging rays. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen under clothing and indoors, too. A pain, I know! I hate wearing the stuff too, but it’s better than looking old fast or getting cancer — right!?
What You’re Risking
The body’s first line of defense against the harmful elements of the environment is the skin. We often downplay the value of skin care as purely aesthetic, but we must understand that the failure to take proper care of our skin will not only make us look old, it can also make us sick. In fact, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer at some point in their life and 1 in 55 will be melanoma — the deadliest cancer. Not to mention, studies show that sun rays weaken the immune system and leave us vulnerable for a whole host of health issues.
According to a study by the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma is the most common cancer for the age bracket of 25 to 29 years old. In fact, melanoma increases faster on 15 to 29 year old women than men. The study also showed that 40 percent, especially those under 30 years old, get their tans mostly from using tanning beds and frequent time in the sun.
“Ultimately, seeking to change the color of your skin is self-defeating because exposure to ultraviolet radiation – either through tanning beds or by seeking the sun – can lead to wrinkles, prematurely aging skin and even a diagnosis of skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD.