I have not used sunscreen on my kids for over 6 years now and the sunscreens that I did buy, I bought at a health food store. I started reading their ingredients and I stopped using sunscreens immediately. Now that doesn’t mean we never go anywhere or we stay inside on a sunny day. Our bodies need sunlight for more than one reason but that's a whole new blog. My kids aren’t super fare, but I cannot let them go out in the direct heat of the sun and expect that they will be okay. I found this article on sunscreens and I thought it was good!
From the Organic Lifestyles Magazine
by James Hahn and Diana Kaye
Many companies make “organic” sunscreens that contain synthetic chemicals. But that’s not the worst of it. According to our research, sunscreens give users a false sense of security in that while they effectively prevent sunburn, they do little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight.
There is a substantial body of evidence that shows there is an increase in cancer when sunscreen products are used. We’ve done a lot of research into sunscreens. The bottom line is this: we have found no sunscreen ingredients which we consider to be safe. So now you’re thinking that the chemicals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are natural and might be “safe” sunblocks, right? Isn’t that what “natural” personal care products manufacturers have suggested? The shocking truth is the fact that both petrochemical sunscreens (avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (chemically-reacted synthetics titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are not natural and have been found to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That’s right, they can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.
The following excerpt is taken from a book called “Sunscreen Photobiology—Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Aspects”: “Illumination of titanium dioxide suspensions with sunlight can degrade organic materials and purify drinking water, while illumination with short wave UV kills human cells. This work shows that the distinction between “chemical” sunscreens and “physical” sunscreens, attractive though it may be to those who market them, is not based on any significant difference. Both varieties have the potential to produce reactive species that can attack biological materials (human skin cells) when they are exposed to normal sunlight...
What is established is that particles of titanium dioxide as large as 220 nm can enter human cells in culture, and so it seems entirely plausible that if titanium dioxide does pass through skin it could enter cells under the skin (carrying with it the absorbed UVA and UVB radiation and hydroxyl radicals).”
Titanium dioxide is now being used as a new treatment for window glass because it attacks and degrades anything that touches it, thereby helping to keep windows clean. You probably don’t want to have anything attacking your skin! Small amounts of sun are healthy; overexposure is not. Instead of using sunscreens to prevent sunburn, we recommend loose fitting clothing, shady trees, and big floppy hats. Organic cotton is a good way to go!
Now when going outside or away on our family vacations, I use a number of things on myself and my kids.
- I use the sun t-shirts that cover the shoulders and, if they will wear it, all the way to their wrists (my daughter is a bit of a fashionista, so it must look good before she will sport it. The pretty ones are out there Moms you just gotta look for them)
- They always wear hats and good sunglasses (now that another debate, I have educated them to NOT look directly into the sun no matter how good their sunglasses are).
- I bring along my Lavender Sunny Days Body Bar and either
- My Sandalwood or Rosewood Complexion Misters. Now I know they are not sunscreens, but I am not looking for a sunscreen. I bring them along and use them often to keep my kid's skin from dehydrating. It has worked for me for years. We never get burned and our skin always has a beautiful golden colour.
- I have used these things on the hottest days in Hawaii and also the hottest days in BC. I also used them on my infant last year on our trip to California as it was hot out and his little face did catch sun every now and then. I also always follow up with a good lather of one of our Hand & Body Lotions or a nourishing layer of the Sunny Days Body Bar that has lavender and shea buter in there mmm... obviously all I need to say!
Well vacation season is fast approaching, so make sure whatever you do, you be sun safe, drink plently of water and rehydrate your skin before and after you go into the sun!
Pure Daily Essentials