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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Hackworth

Why You Should Be Screening Your Sunscreen

We’ve all been taught since we were young to wear sunscreen while in the sun because it will protect us. But have you ever stopped to think about what exactly is IN your sunscreen?

Don’t worry- you are NOT alone! Most people don’t think twice about it they just lather it on in hopes it protects them from the suns vicious rays. Well, its time to rethink what you are putting on your LARGEST organ.

Yep, skin is your body’s largest organ so it is pretty important to know what ingredients are in your sunscreen and why you need to be aware. Here are a few of the potentially toxic ingredients to be on the lookout for:

  • Oxybenzone- this hormone disruptor helps other chemicals penetrate the skin which can cause allergic reactions and free radicals that can damage skin

  • Retinyl Palmitate- This may sound like its OK because it is a derivative of Vitamin A but when Retinyl Palmitate comes in contact with UV rays it can increase the development of lesions and skin tumors. The state of California even lists it as Proposition 65 chemicals, “known to the state” to cause reproductive harm, birth defects or cancer.

Did you know that over 40% of of sunscreens were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer, according to the EWG [Environmental Working Group]. The EWG has even named brands like Neutrogena and Banana Boat the worst sunscreens to use! Companies have done an amazing marketing job tricking people into thinking they need constant sunblock and that the sun is harmful.

I mean, don’t get me wrong the sun can be very harmful in large doses but my motto is everything in moderation and the sun is no exception. The length of time in the sun without sunscreen varies according to many things like geographic location, age and ethnicity but about 15-30 minutes of sun per day can be extremely beneficial. If you want to spend more time than that then I highly recommend a natural sunscreen like Alba, Honest Brand, Coola or Goddess Garden Organics. There are a ton of good sunscreens out there or you can even make your own using coconut oil, zinc and a few other ingredients! Dr. Axe has a great DIY sunscreen recipe here if you want it as natural as possible.

And just a FYI- UV radiation doesn’t penetrate through glass so roll those windows down or take a little stroll if you want those sun perks.

Here are a few reasons why the sun is so cool:

  • The sun can produce bone growth in children

  • Calcium absorption in the body

  • Mood booster

  • Aid in the prevention of illness

  • Give you more energy

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • and soo much other good stuff!

Since the deficiency of Vitamin D can include osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses and diseases it is vital for you to make sure you are getting a little bit of sun and eating a vitamin D rich diet consisting of foods such as salmon, tuna and eggs.

The sun can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So be smart, don’t stay in the sun for too long, use a sunscreen with ingredients you can pronounce, and learn to love the sun and all the goodness it can provide.

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