Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunscreen, yes or no?

I have never bought into the sunscreen thing.  Even "natural" sunscreens have always irritated my skin and stung my eyes and I just haven't been able to wear it.  I always thought that anything that abrasive to my skin and eyes couldn't be a good thing.

Lately it's been all over the news that sunscreen can actually cause cancer.  It's interesting to note that the countries with the highest incidence of skin cancer also have the highest sunscreen use.  Yet you still hear, "don't leave the house without your sunscreen!"  All I can say is if you do wear sunscreen, make sure it is certified organic, and as far as I know, there's only a couple of them out there.  Badger Balm makes one, and the EWG has a list to choose from so you know which are the least dangerous sunscreens.  Tree Hugger did a post about this a few weeks ago, and check out the EWG and consider whether your sunscreen really has you covered.

Some ways to protect yourself from the sun naturally:  don't hang out in the sun around noon when the sun is the strongest, eat lots of lycopene containing foods such as tomatoes and watermelon which create a natural resistance to ultra violet rays (grapes, green tea and greens are also said to decrease your risk for skin cancer), wear hats and lightweight clothing that covers your skin (linen is wonderful for the summer), and by just using some common sense, you can really make the most of the sun and minimize risk.  If you have blue eyes and fair skin, you know you have to be a little more careful than someone like me, with a Mediterranean background.

The sun can be a tremendous source of energy, just look at what it does for plants. Natalia Rose wrote a great piece about this you can find HERE.  

image credit:  ACIDIRK


Anonymous said...

Scary issue! I've stopped wearing it but my partner (blond hair blue eyes) always wears it. I buy the best I can find here ...

Eco Mama said...

It's kind of one of those seemingly damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing. Luckily people are catching on and hopefully will produce more organic options.
Eco Mama

Anonymous said...

Also, taking vitamin d is good for people who aren't much in the sun, but also for people who are in the sun a lot. It's necessary for the skin to provide its own protection from the rays.

I'm not big on sunscreen myself. I prefer to just stay in the shade nowadays, luckily :)