The Truth About Sunscreen

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With summer approaching, many of my clients are asking me if sunscreen is beneficial or harmful. I wanted to give you an overview so that you can decide for yourself which product to use.

There are two types of sunscreen, mineral sunscreens which include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which actually create a physical barrier to the sun. There are also chemical sunscreens, which use a variety of chemicals that include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homoslate and octinoxate.

New research by the Environmental Working Group has found that the chemicals used in sunscreens are endocrine disruptors, and may interfere with thyroid and hormonal processes within the body. One of those chemicals, Obybenzone, is linked to reduced sperm count in men and endometriosis in women. The Center for Disease Control found Oxybenzone in 96% of the population.

The Environmental Working Group tested over 1400 sunscreens and discovered that 40% were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer and only 5% met their safety standards.

Most sunscreens block the body’s ability to manufacture vitamin D, statistically 75% of the population is deficient in vitamin D, and this deficiency is linked to a higher risk of cancer and heart disease.

The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics reports that “sunscreens protect against sunburn but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Skin cancer rates are rising 4.2 % annually. Despite the push for more awareness about sun exposure, the incidence of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is rising dramatically.

Mineral sunscreens are considered a safer option. Look for non-nano zinc oxide. Below is a list of the sunscreens that are considered safe by the Environmental Working Group.

  • Alba Botanical Mineral Sunscreen

  • Badger Mineral Sunscreen

  • Babyganics Sunscreen

  • Jason Mineral Sunscreen

  • Burt’s Bee’s Sunscreenhere is a safer option

  • Bullfrog Sunscreen

  • For the full list go to www.ewg.org/sunscreen

Written By: Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness/Holistic Wellness Coach

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