Given my quest for trying to live as toxic free as possible, to help my skin and ultimately my health (and that of my family), I wanted to share with you the key points regarding sun creams. So many of them cause breakouts, or contain secret hidden dangers: Its important to really understand what you are putting on your skin!
Your skin the the largest organ of your body: It is penetrable. It releases toxins, and it absorbs toxins! We need to all be mindful of what we put onto our skin, and how that can be absorbed into our bodies. Good health also means good skin care, and natural solutions.
Be safe in the sun: According to Cancer Research UK, “Incidence rates for melanoma skin cancer are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 people by 2035. 1 in 54 people will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma during their lifetime.”
We need sun protection – and the use of suncream is fundamental in this! BUT be sure to not rely on it! Be sensible in the sun – Avoid the peak hours, cover up, avoid sunburn, use the shade, use high SPF factors…. Don’t think you are invincible just because you’re wearing suncream.
The issue with chemicals: There is a worrying trend of those wearing lots of suncream – and patients developing cancer.
“Two controversial chemical filters contained in sun cream and thought to produce free radicals in the skin include oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Oxybenzone converts UV light to heat and is believed to cause hormonal disruption (especially in children) and cell damage, which can lead to cancer, while retinyl palmitate has been shown to speed up malignant cell growth by up to 21% and the spread of skin cancer. Unlike physical filters, which sit on the surface of the skin deflecting rays, these chemical filters absorb UV rays and partially penetrate the skin, which is where the damage could happen” – Katy Young, The Telegraph
Other chemicals causing controversy are avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate
Chemical Suncreams can cause skin problems: If they’re not mineral based and non comedogenic, then acne sufferers beware! These will clog your skin and cause skin outbreaks.
In addition, the use of fragrances, preservatives and active chemicals can cause skin irritation, dermatitis, heat rash and other uncomfortable skin outbreaks.
So what about natural mineral based suncreams: Sadly, mineral-based sunblocks have their own drawbacks. For, while safe on skin, “zinc has a devastating effect on coral, while titanium dioxide washes out into the sea to create hydrogen peroxide, which kills the nutrients that feed the small fish and then travels up the food chain to cause more devastation on the oceans and the planet,” warns Alexandra Soveral, founder of her eponymous organic skincare brand.
So what should I use on my kids: My family LOVE the BADGER brand of creams! They smell amazing and give a really thick coverage. The bottles are only 87,l and at £17 this might seem a lot, but in my experience, it lasts ages and gives amazing protection. Childs Farm and Organic Babies are also great brands!!
And for me? Well I use The Green People for my sun cream protection – its coral safe and offers great coverage. It smells divine, is non comedogenic so great for sensitive skin, spreads on easily and at £16 for 200ml is great value! JASON also do some fantastic coral safe creams, which come in 113g tubes costing about £13 each.
We need some unprotected sun exposure for our Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for our bodies, yet we can only really get Vitamin D through exposure to the sun – so dreary old English weather makes most Brits Vitamin D deficient. Synthetic isolated Vitamin D tablets are not the best solution – unless of course its a high quality liposome spray with Vitamin K2, such as the one supplied by www.atmanclinic.co.uk
So, during the summer months, its actually recommended to get a little morning sun for 15 minutes to your skin, in order to absorb some much needed Vitamin D form the UVB rays!
The SPF: The “sun protection factor” against UVB rays. These rays penetrate the outer layer of the skin, causing burning and damage to your skin’s DNA. The expert advice is to opt for an SPF 30 or higher.
NB: It doesn’t follow that double the SPF numbers mean double the protection: the difference between an SPF 15, which blocks out 93 per cent of radiation, and an SPF 30, is only four per cent at 97%.
SPF 50 will only block out 98 per cent of rays.
The difference of 97% and 98% may seem like a small difference until you realise that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin.
Why do some natural brands ONLY do SPF 30 for children? Here’s what The Green People had to say:
“Our products offer around 96% coverage from UVB rays. SPF 40 or 50 would only offer a couple more percentage increase in protection. However the SPF number only relates to UVB rays, not UVA, and sun lotion needs to be re-applied regularly to maintain protection from both.
The danger in giving a higher SPF factor gives false confidence to stay out in the sun for longer periods. The UVA rays have a deeper affect in the skin cells and you cannot see the damage this is causing (the UVB rays are the ones that cause the burning on the surface of the skin). We recommend that you re-apply sun lotion every couple of hours to maintain protection against both UVA & UVB rays”.
Apply Well: In the labs SPF ratings are tested an inch thick on a microscopic slide to see how much sunlight is blocked – which gives you an idea of how much you should be applying on your skin! Your skin should feel covered, greasy even, and you should be vigilant with covering all of your skin, particularly feet, behind the ears and the back of your neck.
The recommendation is a teaspoon for each limb, the face and back/front of the body – so about 7 teaspoons total/35ml.
The Warning: Reapply cream every two hours, and after swimming. Seek shade between 11am and 3pm, or any time that your shadow is shorter than you are.
Its so lovely to have your support and be able to pay it forward with what I have learnt on my journey with #TheBePlan… And of course, feel free to drop us a message anytime!