This is an article that I wrote for the June 2019 edition of One Red Shoe. One Red Shoe is a charity dedicated to getting women off the streets in Texas. I do a monthly article in their newsletter.
June is the beginning of summer. Let’s talk sunscreens.
I bet it never occurred to you, but sunscreens are highly toxic. The ingredients commonly used in sunscreens had never been adequately tested. Sunscreens are designed to stay on the skin for long periods of time, increasing exposure. Many sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the body and can be measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples. What they do know is Oxybenzone is an endocrine disrupter. Avoid all products with added Vitamin A, as it is a suspected carcinogen.
As a result the FDA is now proposing is now proposing significant changes in how sunscreen ingredients are evaluated for safety. Several of the commonly used ingredients are endocrine disruptors impacting our estrogen levels and in boys and men, their testosterone levels. Currently the ingredients have been unregulated and the FDA is unaware of whether or not these ingredients cause cancer.
So what to do instead? We know that prolonged sun exposure also has health implications. Follow these recommendations from the Environmental Working Group that studies products, their toxicity and the implications to our health:
- Wear clothes and protect your skin from harsh sun exposure.
- Plan your activities around the sun. Stay in during the hottest and brightest time of the day. Be in the sun in the early morning and late afternoon.
- Find or create shade. Sit under a tree, put up an umbrella. Keep infants in the shade.
- If you start to get pink, get out of the sun. Red , blistered, sore skin means you have gotten too many rays. Be aware, and be careful.
- Sunglasses are a must! They aren’t worn for fashion, they are actually protecting your eyes from UV rays.
- Check the UV index. This will guide you. You can Google it and plan your activities around it.
A couple of other notes:
- High SPF ratings are, according to the FDA, inherently misleading.
- Sunscreens perform imperfect protection.
Some beaches in Hawaii have banned sunscreen products because they were washing off people’s skin and killing the sea life.
What else can you do?
Find a product that has a low toxin number. I use Keys-Soaps moisturizer under my makeup and on my skin when I am getting sun exposure. This product is rated .2 on a 5 point scale with a range of low to high of 0-5. https://www.keyspure.com/product-category/skin-antiaging-beauty/sunscreen/
Check the EWG guide for other safer sunscreens available here. https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
EWG is a great site to monitor all of your products toxicity from vegetables, to cosmetics, to the water coming out of your tap. Get familiar with their data base.
Since you are avoiding the sun, get your Vitamin D levels checked each time you go to the doctor. Your body needs adequate Vitamin D to function properly and most of us are now deficient. The vitamin D from milk is vitamin D2 and is synthetic. We need vitamin D3.
And if you follow these guidelines, you will have a fabulous healthy summer. Enjoy.
Follow me for more tips at cherylmhealthmuse.com
The art is from my upcoming second book due out Fall 2019 Feel Good- Futureproof your health.