Skin cancer is now the most common type of cancer in the United States and in most first world nations. In the United States alone, more than one million new cases of skin cancer are expected in 2009.
With the growing awareness of the importance of being smart about sun exposure, how is it that skin cancer is increasing?
Part of the answer to this question is probably found in the growing trends of eating highly processed foods and not achieving restful sleep. Most corners of our world are thirsty for convenience and stimulation, and the fact that both enjoy regularly can not be good for skin cancer rates.
Another part of the response may include the potentially harmful chemicals that are found in many commercial sun protection formulas. IIt is true: some sunscreen lotions can contribute to the development of the skin cancers against which it is intended to protect. This hypothesis is partially supported by studies that indicate that the greatest increase in melanoma has occurred in countries where chemical sunscreens are promoted and used to a large extent.
Organizations such as The Environmental Working Group have identified the following common sunscreen ingredients as potentially harmful to human health:
Octocrylene PABA Octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) Benzophenone-3 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC) Homosalate
If you have been using a sunscreen or sunscreen product that contains one or more of these ingredients, there is no need to be too alarmed; Most of the hazards associated with the use of these ingredients come from in vitro studies in animals that do not provide conclusive proof that these ingredients can cause skin cancer. But it is wise to keep in mind that sunscreen lotions that contain any of the above ingredients are not the safest and healthiest options to protect against sunburn and damage to the skin caused by sunlight.
The vast majority of the synthetic chemicals found in sunscreen lotions can damage your skin by increasing the amount of free radicals that are generated in the many layers of the skin. Take, for example, octocrylene: a clear, odorless and slightly oily compound found in many brands of sunscreen. When applied to the skin, octocrylene can seep into the lower layers of the skin, where it can interact with the sun's ultraviolet rays, resulting in the production of free radicals.
Free radicals have the potential to damage the DNA found in your cells and, if allowed to create continuous damage, can contribute to the development of skin cancer. Keep in mind that you are exposed to free radicals almost every moment of the food you eat. In addition, all of your cells produce free radicals regularly, in part to help defend against toxins, waste products and microorganisms. But you definitely do not want to expose your body to the unnecessary help of free radicals through sunscreens loaded with synthetic ingredients.
So what should you do to protect yourself from sunburn and skin damage related to the sun?
1. Keep in mind that putting some sunlight on your skin can be very helpful for your health, mainly because the UV-B rays of sunlight convert the cholesterol found in your skin into vitamin D.
And ensuring an adequate state of vitamin D is essential to experience optimal health; All the organ systems in your body require an adequate level of vitamin D to function properly.
Today, vitamin D deficiency is actually one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in developed countries, most likely because the general public has been taught to fear the sun.
The key to using sunlight to promote an optimal state of vitamin D is to keep in mind that it does not burn. When your body has enough vitamin D to meet your needs, it disables the mechanism that allows UV-B rays to convert cholesterol into vitamin D, so relying on healthy exposure to sunlight is the best way to ensure a healthy state. healthy vitamin D.
2. When you are away from home and the sun is strong enough to cause burns, make good use of clothing and a hat that provides protection from UV rays. A good UV hat, a long-sleeved shirt and light pants help protect your skin from sun damage.
3. Try to limit the amount of time you spend outdoors on extremely hot days and when the sun feels hot, usually between 11 am and 2 or 3 pm.
4. When you have to be outside in conditions that can cause a sunburn and can not rely on clothing and natural shade to protect your skin, use a natural sunscreen based on natural physical blockers (not chemicals) and other products. natural Ingredients to protect your skin against sun damage.
The natural sunscreen formula that Margaret and I use for ourselves and our children consists of the following ingredients:
Inactive natural ingredients of sunscreen lotion:
Green tea extract – It is an excellent source of natural antioxidants and is thought to help protect skin cells against damage induced by sunlight.
Shea butter – It is a highly effective moisturizer for skin, based on plants.
Eucalyptus oil – It is an essential oil that moisturizes the skin and facilitates the absorption of other healthy oils in the skin to help promote an optimal skin tone.
Coconut oil – it is rich in healthy fatty acids that have soothing and moisturizing properties; The coconut oil itself is a highly recommended full body moisturizer.
Sunflower oil – It is also a vegetable oil that helps moisturize the skin.
Jojoba oil – it is a natural vegetable product that softens and softens the skin; It is most commonly used to treat or prevent dry or peeling skin.
Lecithin – It is a natural vegetable compound that helps keep the skin hydrated and also acts to keep the skin smooth as the baby.
Glycerin – It is also a natural fragrance-free compound that helps the skin maintain a healthy balance of water in its cells and cell membranes.
Xanthan gum – It is a natural vegetable compound that has moisturizing properties and helps keep all healthy oils in this formula together.
Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) – It is included as a natural preservative.
Vitamin A – It is also included as a natural preservative. When applied topically, it is believed that vitamin A keeps skin cells healthy, optimally hydrated and resistant to damage from sunlight and free radicals.
Active ingredients of natural sun protection lotion:
Zinc oxide and titanium oxide – They are both mineral compounds that can be found in nature. Both are fine, white powders that act as physical blockers that prevent UV-A and UV-B rays from damaging the skin. Both are micronized forms, which means they are well enough that they do not look sticky on the skin, but not nano-thin enough to be potentially absorbed into the bloodstream.
Together, all natural ingredients of all-natural sunscreen lotions combine to form a highly effective, hypoallergenic, water-resistant sunscreen that is safe to use on children and adults alike.
The bottom line
While you do not burn, it is good that you expose yourself to the sunlight on your skin.
When circumstances require you to stay outdoors for an extended period of time, your best first line of defense against sun-related skin damage is a hat with a wide brim, appropriate clothing and shade, if available.
Whenever you need additional protection from potentially harmful UV-A and UV-B rays, use a sunscreen lotion that is based on physical blockers instead of chemicals, and that is free of aggressive chemicals that can do more harm than good. your skin and general health.
Do you use a natural alternative to sunscreen? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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