So the weather has broken, the sun is shining, even the most dedicated hermits have ended their winter hibernation! We have waited patiently all winter for the days when we could go walk on busy streets, have sangria on a terrace and sit on your porch people watching all day (is that creepy? Shhh.)! The glorious days of plenty of vitamin D have come and we can kiss away the cloudy grey blues with our seasonal depression and feel alive again! Unfortunately this is also the time when unknowingly most of us are poisoning ourselves daily, under the false impression that we are protecting ourselves. What on earth am I talking about?! Sunscreen of course!!! Most of us at some point have come across some wild lunatic preaching about how toxic sunscreen is and rolled our eyes as we lather up our children, or have stumbled across an article warning against sunscreen’s potential carcinogenicity and completely discredited the idea that questions a product we so strongly believe in (you know you’re guilty!). So what is really going on with this oh so controversial subject? Is there any truth to the notion that sunscreen can be more harmful than helpful? The answer is yes, I hate to break it to you, but commercial sunscreen is among the most poisonous substances you can ever let into your body and has undeniable links to many common health problems including skin cancers and severe endocrine (hormone) disturbances.
I bet you never thought that the cream you are quick to lather on your child’s body could very well be the causes of future problems with endometriosis and ovarian cysts, or that your inability to conceive or recent melanoma/testicular cancer diagnosis could very well be accredited to your unfounded fear of natural sun exposure. This may sound extreme, but there is a ton of information shouting that it is not actually the sun’s natural rays that are causing so many problems but instead the dangerous levels of synthetic chemicals that we are rubbing compulsively onto our largest and most absorbent bodily organ every single time we leave the house! It does not matter what the mode of entry is, skin, air, or food, once poison is in the body it is free to damage. So if you would not eat it or inhale it, why would you ever put it on your skin?!
Debunking the sunscreen myth: It is no secret that most people use sunscreen every day, often several times a day whenever the sun is out and this had been going on for decades. Sunscreen was originally marketed as a savior tool protecting us from the evil sun which was accused of being responsible for causing skin cancer. It is still sold under that false pretense today. According to ABC news, two thirds of Americans wear sunscreen regularly (similar averages are found in Canada)…this means most of us. If sunscreen was truly protecting us from skin cancer and most people are using this ‘miracle product’ daily, can you please explain to me why and how skin cancer rates are steadily increasing each year in North America? I am no genius, but I am a bit confused as to why our vast population do not seem to be seeing the trend: even though we are using sunscreen, skin cancer rates are rising. Simpler? MORE SUNSCREEN=MORE CANCER. North Americans are amongst the most ‘sunscreened’ people in the world and we also have the highest rates of skin cancer. Hmmm…. Is it at all possible that it is in fact the dozens of known carcinogenic chemical ingredients in commercial sunscreen that is causing our increases in cancer and not actually the natural sun rays which have been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth and are necessary for sustaining the life of every being on this planet? One day without the sun and each and every single one of us would be gonzo. Our most intrinsic instincts tell us to be out in the sun. We feel down when it is lacking, we run outside when it is there and there is no denying that the very feel of the warm rays beating down on our naked skin brings an unparalleled feeling of well-being and euphoria (hence the popularity of beaches). Can nature truly have been so cruel as to make us crave from our very core an exposure to something that is so damaging to us?!
Is it not strange that every animal seems to thrive in the sun except for humans? Particularly humans in North America (where once again sunscreen use is highest)? If you don’t believe me, just take a look at your cat or dog. Does your kitty not manage to find the sunniest spot on the window ledge to take her afternoon nap and does your pup not get twice as excited to go outside in the sunny summer months that the grey winter? It appears that the only animals struggling to get the picture is the ignorant human, better known as ‘modern man’.
So what makes sunscreen so toxic and what effects does its use have on us, other animals and our environment? (To be continued)