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The Truth About Sunshine and Sunscreen Toxicity

We’ve all grown up with the longstanding self-care tradition of applying sunscreen every summer to ensure we and our precious babies don’t get burned. What if we told you this is just one more poisonous product being sold to us? After much research and reference, the following article is here to give you the truth behind the sun and our most common sunscreen products. 

Woman with fingers in shape of a heart, encircling the sun.
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR.

The Truth About Sun & Vitamin D

Let’s begin with the bright side--sunshine and lots of it. Soaking up sunshine for 20 minutes or so each day is our best way to receive our daily vitamin D. And the darker your natural skin pigmentation, the more sunlight you need each day. Why is vitamin D so important, you ask? Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus while facilitating immune system function. This is why those with low levels of Vitamin D are more susceptible to cancer and autoimmune disease.

And although we can get vitamin D from food, most of us are walking around with a decent amount of inflammation, stress and digestive issues. These common health issues directly inhibit the absorption of the vitamins and minerals from food. Therefore, this direct source thanks to Mother Earth should be our daily backup plan. Recent research shows 75% of our population, children and adults alike, are vitamin D deficient.

This means we all need to hear this because, like we have just mentioned above, vitamin D deficiency is one step closer to dis-ease in the body. We only get one body in this precious lifetime and just as we properly fuel our cars, we must properly fuel our bodies.

Our alarming awareness of toxicity in our world today alongside healing from autoimmune disease myself has led us to build a single place to go for the truth behind how to heal the body from disease. The overwhelming response to our Wellness Wednesdays led us to build a safe place with access to the truth for all at autoimmunediseaseawareness.com. 

Now here is where we will start to take a turn into some rather shocking and unknown information…

Recent studies published by Cancer Prevention Research has shown that a healthy level of Vitamin D in the blood protects against sunburn and skin cancer. This is a radical societal shift we invite you to be aware of. This means that getting more sunlight will help our bodies boost their immune system and regulate vitamin and mineral absorption. And not getting enough vitamin D means sunburn without the lack of protection of vitamin D for your blood. 

woman applying sunscreen to her legs
Photo by RF._.studio.

Now Let’s Talk Sunscreen Toxicity

As most of us know, our skin is the largest, most porous organ on our beautiful bodies. The active ingredients in most everyday sunscreens are extremely toxic and these chemicals can show up in our blood (even breast milk) weeks after usage. The toxic chemicals and minerals absorbed through the skin can aggravate allergies, disrupt our hormones, cause dysfunction of our vital organs, and cause harm during reproduction and fetus development. Sunburn itself is inflammation, an inflammatory response, i.e., your body telling you that you don’t have enough vitamin D protection in your blood!

This is what we mean when we say listen to your body. All these symptoms we have are smoke signals sent from your insides to alert you and when ignored, your body is headed to five alarm fire. Frequent exposure to harmful chemical sunscreen ingredients is raising serious health concerns for those who are aware of the implications. Common ingredients in your everyday drugstore sunscreens include: oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene, and avobenzone. Let’s dive deeper into what these chemicals do to us biologically.

Oxybenzone - Has a mix of many terrible side effects including an extremely hazardous eye irritant, hormone disruption = slows estrogen & testosterone production in men and women. Having trouble conceiving? Keep reading and stay tuned--this is precisely the effect of our toxic world. Let us lead you to the non-toxic life of abundance.

Octinoxate - Harmful effects on reproductive organ development in male and female fetuses exposed in utero. This toxicity can even be passed on to their offspring. Do you see the spiral we are in? We have to look at the ingredients of what our beautiful bodies are exposed to and the effects for generations to come.

Octocrylene - A suspected carcinogen and also responsible for killing off our coral reefs. This is not something you want to put on the most porous organ of your body. Again linked to hormone disruption and reproductive health.

Homosalate - Toxic to the central nervous system and causes DNA damage and increased risk of skin cancer. Ironically, toxic sunscreen and a nutrient-deficient inflammatory diet is directly linked to skin cancer.

Avobenzone - Turns toxic when exposed to sun or chlorine. Studies show reactions from these chemicals interacting form new compounds that could result in kidney and liver dysfunction and our central nervous system.

Now how do we break this toxic generational cycle and get out of this toxic soup mess together? 

To start, an anti-inflammatory diet is the best way to protect against the sun AND disease. 

Woman on boardwalk with arms outstretched in front of the sun.
Photo by Jill Wellington.

Here are 7 ways to protect your skin from the sun naturally: 

  1. Eat healthy saturated and omega 3 fats and drop your omega-6 inflammatory fats (e.g., safflower, sunflower, corn/canola, soybean)

  1. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and the omega 6 oils mentioned above.

  1. Stay hydrated. We underestimate the need for drinking water consistently. Our bodies are 70% water...do the simple math and drink to your health.

  1. Vitamin D boost by gradually increasing your time in the sun. This will slowly build up your blood level of vitamin D to protect you from sunburns in the future.

  1. Eat or supplement Vitamin C - an excellent anti-inflammatory / antioxidant.

  1. Use organic coconut oil as sunscreen. If you will be out in the sun for more than 1 hour you can use organic coconut oil in copious oily amounts to protect from extended sun exposure. Coconut oil also helps heal sunburned skin. If your skin is particularly prone to burning and are concerned that coconut oil may not provide enough sun protection, check out EWG’s list of recommended sunscreens.

  1. If you need sunscreen, buy the right kind. There are many ethical brands that sell non-toxic sunscreen. EWG has a great safe and effective sunscreen list for reference that they update annually. 

Thank you for reading this blog article on the truth about the sun and sunscreen. If you would like to know more about BeachCandy’s Wellness Wednesdays, we invite you to follow us on Instagram and join the BeachCandy Swim Club mailing list. BeachCandy has proudly been in the ethical locally-made swimwear business for 11 years. We invite you to experience our famous fit for yourself. Named a “swimsuit sanctuary” by Coastal Living Magazine, your search for the perfect swimsuit ends here.

Shop BeachCandy Swimwear Bestsellers Online Now 

This blog provides general information and discussions about wellness and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

Suggestions of changes to diet or exercise may not be suitable for everyone. Please consult with your doctor before attempting any changes to decide whether or not such changes would be right for you.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials.

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