For some, the start of Summer is marked by the Summer Solstice with the longest day of the year - for others it's the kids finishing up their school year or it might be the 4th-of-July holiday. I was lucky to be on a relaxing vacation with my husband when we experienced a beautiful Solstice sunset at 10pm in British Columbia. Seeing the sun setting so late in the day really made me think about how much exposure we can get from the sun's rays this time of year. It was not only a gentle reminder to pull out the sunscreen in my travel bag, but it motivated me to send a long overdue newsletter to you all!
SUNSCREENS CAUSING CANCER?
We've all been told that sunscreens can protect us from cancer-causing radiation from the suns rays, but did you know that most common brands of sunscreen contain chemicals known to cause cancer? It's true, one of the most common ingredients in sunscreen is oxybenzone and it's a chemical compound linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that can lead to skin cancer! So, what kind of sunscreen is safe? Natural chemical-free formulas that contain sun-blocking minerals like zinc oxide.
HOW DO SUNSCREENS WORK?
Sunscreens work in one of two ways: by chemical barrier absorbed into the layers of the skin, or by producing a physical barrier on the top layer of the skin. Chemical-based sunscreens work by the absorption of chemical UV-blocking substances being absorbed directly into the skin. Natural mineral-based sunscreens work by creating a safe, non-toxic layer of UV-blocking minerals on the top layer of skin - similar to a protective layer of clothing. I've been using natural mineral sunscreens for many years now and although it took awhile to get used to them, I now can't imagine using anything else (except of course clothing!!!)
OTHER HIDDEN CHEMICALS
Sunscreens aren't the only sources of cancer-causing chemicals applied to the skin. There are long lists of toxic ingredients in moisturizers, makeup, laundry detergents and fabric softeners! These chemicals can also cause allergies, skin irritations, and respiratory problems. To avoid these dangers, choose natural chemical and dye-free formulas for anything you put on your skin. Some of my favorite brands are Acure, Alba, Badger, Bert's Bees, Biokleen, Jason, Method, and Seventh Generation.
Need more ideas for getting cancer-causing chemicals out of your life? I have many more suggestions for chemical-free formulas from personal care products to household cleaners and even pet food.
Enjoy the summer!
San Francisco Nutritional Therapy