First of all I want to say that getting some sun is good for your health. Vitamin D deficiency seems to be a growing issue and our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun. Of course you can get it from other sources as well but doesn't it just feel good to feel the sun warming your skin? I love to lay out on the beach and read a good book and I usually do not wear sunscreen unless I will be out for more than an hour. I believe that the key is to avoid long-term sun exposure or staying out long enough to burn. There is definitely scientific proof that getting too much sun can cause skin cancer. I think that it is fairly safe to say that out of all of the types of cancer, skin cancer is probably the most treatable kind. However, it still is not a risk that I am willing to take. Even though it is the most treatable, it can still be quite dangerous. That being said, you can probably guess that I am fan of sunscreen. Or at least I used to be. When I heard all of the talk about it being harmful though, it got my attention. Am I causing harm to my body and to my family by using sunscreen?
The most interesting and by far the most reliable information that I have found was written by Arthur W. Perry, M.D. on the Doctor Oz Show. According to the article (which can be found here, http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/your-sunscreen-might-be-poisoning-you), out of the seventeen FDA-approved chemicals for sunscreens, fifteen of them are chemicals that absorb into the skin to absorb sunlight and the other two sit on top of the skin and reflect sunlight. Also out of the seventeen, fifteen of them are considered to be endocrine disruptors which basically mess with your hormones and can cause early puberty, developmental abnormalities in babies and children, and can even be linked with infertility. Scary, right? What's worse is that in the aforementioned article, it is also stated that the chemicals that are considered to be endocrine disruptors could possibly be causing different types of cancer like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. On the other hand, while researching about the benefits of sunscreen, I found that it definitely does do some good. According to skincancer.org, scientific evidence still suggests that we should be protecting ourselves from the sun's harmful rays (Article can be found here, http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/does-sunscreen-cause-cancer).
All of this information puts us in a bit of a pickle (or a "sticky wicket" as my husband likes to say). What is a person to do when for years we have been taught that we need to use sunscreen to protect ourselves and then suddenly there is all of this new research suggesting that maybe using chemical sunscreen is not worth it? After spending a few hours reading and spending some time studying the topic, I have concluded that chemical sunscreens are not safe to be used, especially on small children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. As stated earlier though, the risks associated with not using sunscreen are not worth it to me. That being said, I intend to experiment a little bit and figure out how to make my own sunscreen using zinc oxide which is a natural mineral that reflects the sun and does not absorb into the skin and blood stream. I have ordered the ingredients that I plan to use but they have not arrived yet. I will post again soon about how my experiment has gone.
Disclaimer: I'm not a professional. The conclusions that I come to are based on research that I have done using Google and my own opinions. I'm just looking to share some of my thoughts and possibly hear what others have to say on the topic. Feel free to comment below and if you are reading this post, thank you! :)