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Did You Know...
...that 2 out of 3 people in Australia will be treated for skin cancers during their lifetime?
This time of year many people are flocking outdoors for more fun in the sun because same like a growing tomato seedling, we tend to bend towards the sunshine. Which got me thinking, 'I wonder what kind of natural products there are out there for sun protection...' and I found quite a few options for us all to have a safer summer and when coming into contact with the sun in general.
Now since the ozone layer has a giant hole in it, we get the lovely and much needed skin care warnings to cover up with our sunblock. I have spent many summers all slathered in sun screen and I actually loved smelling like sunscreen. It reminds me of the beach. Even when we couldn't make it...you could always fake it and be transported there by one simple lotion application.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) performed a study on over 700 sunscreens for effectiveness and safety. Out of their top 10 o.k.'d products list, it included Badger (SPF 30), Lavera Sun Screen Neutral (SPF 40), and UV Natural Adult New Formula 2007 (SPF 30) as these having safety ratings in the "low hazard" category, rating only a 1 on a 1-10 scale for dangerous or envirotoxic ingredients.
Most sunscreens contain titanium dioxide, which has long been considered one of the least toxic ingredients in sunblock, has recently been tied to some damage to fish population. However, these effects are still not considered excessively harmful. Fish? How did that happen was the first thing I thought. Then logic set in and think about it...when do we put on sunscreen? At the movies? No. At the beach. It's like dunking a buttered chicken (or turkey. healthier alternative :o) into your pool. What a film that would leave!!! We are all buttered chickens just bobbing along in the waterways and oceans leaving our sunscreens to just slide off and get ingested by the little fishies. Ever notice how salmon smells kinda like Banana Boat?
Many of these approved sunscreens contain zinc oxide instead, which is a healthier alternative.
Want to make your own sunscreen? There IS a way. You can buy plain zinc oxide ointment at a local health food store or drugstore and then mix it with your favorite skin lotion and voila! All natural sunscreen. Also, diet-wise, consuming a lot of deep green and red produce has been said to offer sun-protective benefits and add extra defense against skin cancer.
But Lynn, what if I and/or my family are allergic to sunscreens and sunblock? What do I do then? Glad you asked. Change your clothing! (and I say that with as much enthusiasm as that guy who sells those gov't. grant books with the question mark suit!) There are a few good Co.'s out there that make some pretty neat sun-protective clothing that look really nice and comfy. Here they are:
- Coolibar: they offer clothing, swimwear, and hats.
- Solar Eclipse: clothing, swimwear, accessories, and hats.
- Solartex: clothing for the whole family, accessories, and hats.
The items can get pretty pricey so this can be a wise but not cheap investment in your skins future.
Does anyone have any great advice on sunscreens that you have found success with? Let me know.
Music: Nelly Furtado "I'm Like A Bird". I really like this song. It makes me admire birds. Minus the part of being soulless. Picture from Graca Victoria of 123rf.com