One of my clients came to me after reading my Sunshine blog in which I mentioned how toxic sunscreen is and that I was ready to give it up.
She was intrigued but still concerned about what to do.
“I am fair skinned. I worry about burning. I generally wear long sleeves and long pants out in the sun. But I put on a facial cream that has an SPF protection. I don’t know what else to do. I feel I need some sort of protection.”
Listening to my client’s need to know what to do and at the same time reading more and more about how toxic sunscreen is, I realized I needed to write a second blog about what other options we have.
I will go into more detail on their toxicity in my next blog.
My focus here is on our options so that we no longer feel caught between a rock and a hard place.
We read sunscreens are bad but we’ve been taught for 40 plus years to believe sunscreen is a must to prevent burning and cancer.
So strong is this conditioning that we still feel sunscreen is a must for the beach, working outside, or just being outside for a short time like my client said.
Overcoming this conditioning is a huge hurdle, even for me who knows that this teaching has come from advertising, all of which is funded by the pharmaceutical industry that makes these products…who I assure you does not have our best interest at heart.
Sunscreens do NOT protect us from the harmful radiation of the sun or from cancer.
In fact, they do the opposite.
They set us up for solar radiation damage and can cause cancer.1
The solar radiation occurs because using sunscreens disarms our natural warning signal that we’ve had enough sun.
When our skin starts to turn pink, that’s our built in warning signal telling us we’ve been out in the sun too long. It’s time to go in or cover up.
When we slap on sunscreen in order to delay or avoid sunburn, we miss the warning signal that we’ve had enough sun. That’s when and how we get too much damaging UV radiation.2
It’s like disconnecting the warning signals on your car dashboard so that you don’t know your brakes need attention… until it’s too late.
This false security is one way that sunscreens cause cancer.
The second is many sunscreens have ingredients that have been proven to cause cancer.3,4
Yet, even knowing all this we’re hesitant to give them up.
There are natural ways to prevent burning and radiation damage from the sun without the use of sunscreens and it’s time to embrace these…
For our own health, the heath of our children and grandchildren and the environment.
The first is melanin – our body’s natural, God-given protective mechanism.
Sunscreen blocks our body’s ability to produce melanin
Melanin is produced in response to sunlight exposure. It builds up over time.
Eventually it produces a healthy tan with protection that can last months.
Melanin has powerful antioxidant effects that protect us from the UV rays, and enable us to enjoy the many health benefits of sunlight.
Melanin can transform 99.9 percent of absorbed sunlight into heat. This greatly reduces skin cancer risk and enhances the amount of infrared we can receive from the sun.
Second, start tanning slowly (preferably during the spring while the sun is not so intense). This arms you with a defense against the intense summer sun that could otherwise be dangerous. (See my Sunshine blog for more details on gradual exposure.)
Third, consume anti-oxidants, another God-given protection.
When solar radiation hits the skin, the antioxidants come up to the skin and protect it from any damage. When we start turning red and burning, we’re out of antioxidants. And we need to replace the antioxidants.5
Antioxidants play a big role in preventing oxidative damage to the skin which is the leading cause of skin cancer.6
Elizabeth Plourde, author of Biohazard II Proof of Toxicity Keeps Piling Up, stated, “One woman showed me her arm and said, ‘I used to blister in fifteen minutes in the Mexican sun. I got back from two weeks in Mexico. All I did was eat a high-antioxidant diet and I barely turned color.’”
Antioxidant foods are the brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and most (if not all) spices.7 They’re foods rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Selenium.8
Eating a REAL food diet, free of highly processed foods, as I promote, will eliminate foods that cause free radicals and oxidative damage and provide you with anti-oxidant foods.
Fourth, coconut oil. Coconut oil has high antioxidant properties. It’s another way to boost our antioxidant level, which in turn can extend the time were able to safely be in the sun without burning.
It also has 4-6 SPF which can effectively block the harmful rays up to 20 percent.9
At the same time, coconut oil allows the beneficial rays needed for Vitamin D production to get through.
Coconut oil also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Using it regularly can help detoxify the outer layers of your skin.10
Fifth, “get your fats right.” We need to make sure we are eating good quality fats as I discussed in my blog series on fat11, and and as pictured here.
And we absolutely must get rid of any and all vegetable oils from our diets.
Saturated fats reduce the risk of some skin cancers and increase the time it takes to become sunburned. These need to be part of our regular diet.12
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride (founder of the Gut & Psychology/Physiology Syndrome, aka GAPS) shared this story:
“Intolerance of the sun is common among people with ginger hair, freckles, and light colored skin (the so called Viking descendants). These people evolved eating salmon and other oily fish daily, high fat milk from Northern breeds of cows, and fatty lamb.
Today most of these Viking descendants live on bread, sugar, vegetable oils and other modern ‘foods’ and do not consume their ancestral diets.
I have had clinical experience with a few such people, who could not spend any time in the sun at all before beginning the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. After about a year on the program, they discovered that they could sunbathe without burning and could develop a nice tan.”13
An essential component of the GAPS protocol is eating animal fats…and LOTS of them.
Sixth, cover up. Put on light color cotton, linen or silk clothing and a hat to protect the skin while allowing you to be outside [hopefully] without getting overheated.
Seventh, take a break. Get in the shade or under an umbrella, or go inside for a bit. 🙂
This is in no way medical or dermatological advice. Please do you own research, know your own skin, and find what works best for you.
If you’d like help implementing these natural options, I would love to support you in addressing your individual needs.
Book your free 30-minute discovery call today.
Peace and grace,
1Wise Traditions Volume 19 Number 4 Winter 2018 p. 26-35
2Autier P, Doré JF, Schifflers E, et al. Melanoma and use of sunscreens: an EORTC case-control study in Germany, Belgium and France. The EORTC Melanoma Cooperative Group. Int J Cancer 1995;61(6):749-55.
3Plourde E. Sunscreens-Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste. Irvine, CA: New Voice Publications; 2011
4Epstein SS Unreasonable risk. How to avoid cancer from cosmetics and personal care products. 2001. Published by Environmental Toxicology, Chicago Illinois.
11Dietary Fat. Friend or Foe? How Robust is Your Immune System? What Do Roller Coasters & Campfires have to do with Healthy Fats? Why Does That Piece of Chocolate Cake Keep Calling My Name
13Campbell-McBride N Gut and Physiology Syndrome p. 356, Medinform Publishing, 2020.