Go to any local beach or water center, and chances are, when you take a look around you will notice a bottle of sunscreen in almost every beach bag. And when most people think of sunburn prevention, their number one go-to is a bottle of the concoction, but why is that, and since when did we be we so darn afraid of the sun?
Long before sunscreen companies pushed their products on the world- people went out into the sun without a 5-inch thick layer of it and survived just fine. With that being said, as an extremely pale and easily burned individual, I understand the necessity of protection from burns.
Unfortunately, however, sunscreens are laden with ingredients that are far more harmful than the sun…One of those is oxybenzone, which is a known hormone disruptor. In previous studies, oxybenzone has been associated with tumor growth on the ovaries and breasts of mice. According to the Environmental Working Group, 56% of sunscreens include this chemical.
And most dermatologists agree with their recommendation to not use these products or at least those listed as broad spectrum.
Other concerns pose the question regarding the fact that sunscreen often prevents us from getting necessary nutrients from the sun like vitamin D. Because if we are blocking out the bad rays, most sunscreens are blocking the necessary nutrients as well. Not only that, but sunshine is necessary to us, and the possibility for deficiencies due to wearing too much sunscreen is also a risk.
So what are better alternatives? The Environment Working Group suggests donning hats, sunglasses, and zinc oxide, which poses no known risks to our health. You may also seek shade, and cover more patches of skin. While looking cute and having fun in little to no clothes in the sun may be fun, sometimes it isn’t worth lathering in harsh chemicals to bear more skin.
Especially when those chemicals have known links to cancer.
For more information on the EWG’s comprehensive report regarding the dangers of sunscreen, please follow this link.