The debate as to whether, "the sun causes skin cancer", is one that today is gaining main stream momentum.
Conscious folks everywhere, are now beginning to question this argument and are looking for the evidence that proves this statement to be true.
Whilst there's no doubt that excessive exposure of 'untrained' skin to UV light can lead to sun damage, sun spots and burning, there's a bigger, more sinister issue that needs to be addressed.
The issue of Sunscreen.
Most sunscreens and sunblocks that you'll find on your local pharmacy or supermarket shelf, are unfortunately laden with a toxic mix of petroleum based chemicals, colours, fillers and stabilisers, that are not designed to be put on your body's largest organ of absorption - your skin.
The sad part is that multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns have brainwashed generations of people into believing that these products are safe, when the truth is that they're actually a big part of the problem.
Just imagine if these billions had instead been spent on educating the masses about the crucial health benefits of sunlight and how to obtain those benefits responsibly?
Let's get one thing straight.
Without the Sun, the earth would be devoid of life.
Your overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing depends on a certain amount of sunlight to perform at its best.
Without sunlight, your liver cannot access Vitamin D, starving your immune system of vital protective nutrients and potentially putting you at risk of a host of diseases such as, breast, bowel and prostate cancers and also bone-related disease.
Additionally, you could become mal-illuminated - which actually causes skin problems - and end up suffering from mental and emotional conditions like depression and anxiety.
What is hardly understood, is how we can safely and naturally protect our skin from sun saturation. After all, some of the toxic, chemical ingredients in popular sunscreens can be just as harmful as any possible damage that the sun itself may cause you.
The Top Non-Toxic, Natural Sunscreen Alternatives
With rising consciousness and a general movement towards 'Self Care', thankfully there are now a bevvy of non-toxic, all natural sunscreen alternatives that allow you to soak up healthy benefits of the sun and enjoy an active outdoor life, whilst protecting you from burning.
These natural products also protect our environment, oceans and reef ecosystems from having to process these chemicals too!
The top natural sunscreens are not only exceptional because they offer protection, but because they have other benefits that can bolster your skin (and overall) health and provide a much needed sunscreen alternative to people with skin problems.
Choosing the Best Natural Sunscreen
You'll most likely find a small selection of quality 'tox-free' sunscreens at any good health food market or store these days.
"Natural" sunscreen products may abound, but not all live up to their hype.
Some aren’t completely natural at all, so just be sure to read the ingredients on the label closely before you buy any product.
Dangerous Chemicals to Avoid
- Oxybenzone - Found in over 50% of sunscreens on the market, this chemical is considered a carcinogen and is believed to cause hormonal disruptions and cell damage that could lead to Cancer. It penetrates the skin, enters the bloodstream and acts similarly to estrogen in the body
- Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) - Don't let the word "vitamin" fool you. This chemical is considered a high concern for its toxic causing effects on the reproductive system. May also speed up the formation of tumours or skin lesions if applied before sun exposure
- Parabens - This preservative is found in many personal care items and cosmetics for it's supposed benefits in killing bacteria, however parabens have been linked to cancer and disruptions to the endocrine system, neuro-toxicity and skin irritation;
- High SPF's - Higher is not always best. Yes, a higher SPF may be more effective at blocking the sun's rays, but they also have a larger concentration of harmful chemicals.
Any good natural sunscreen won't use chemicals like these, so be sure to check the product ingredients closely first.
Look out for artificial fragrances also, which alone may contain dozens of carcinogens that damage the liver, heart and can potentially lead to Cancer.
Also, "organic" doesn't always mean "tox-free" or "natural".
In many countries, only a percentage of the ingredients in a product needs to be organic to be sold as such, which means an 'organic' sunscreen could still include dangerous synthetic ingredients and/or chemicals.
If you're looking for a healthy, tox-free sunscreen, try our popular Sun Loves Me Sunscreen This is an excellent product that has received many fantastic customer reviews in our store.
It provides hours of sun protection with hydrating benefits for beautifully soft and shielded skin, without the harmful chemicals.
Use Plant SPF Oils
Certain plant oils are very beneficial, not only for providing protection from extended sun exposure, but also for regularly nourishing your skin at the same time so that it becomes naturally more resilient to prolonged sun light exposure.
Be conscious of the following oils and get your hands on 1-2 of them that are easily accessible. Use them before and after sun exposure, or morning and night during the summer months, and pretty soon you'll find you'll be less dependant on sunscreen.
Here are the approximate naturally occurring SPF ratings for each listed plant oil:
- Raw Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil - SPF 4-10
- Macadamia Oil - SPF 6
- Olive Oil - SPF 2-8
- Hemp Seed Oil - SPF 6
- Wheatgerm Oil - SPF 20
- Soy Bean Oil - SPF 10
- Raspberry Seed Oil - SPF 28-50
- Carrot Seed Oil - SPF 38-40
Healthy Sun Habits
When it comes to finding the best natural sun protection, the old adage has never rang truer: the best defence really is a good offence.
Which basically means being sensible and conscious when embracing the Sun.
Here's some healthy tips to help you benefit from the sun, without causing your skin damage:
- Limit sun-exposure during peak times. The sun is most powerful from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You don’t have to hide inside entirely during this five hour window, but you should try to get your 'sun fix' around this window wherever possible, particularly if you burn easily or if your skin and body is not used to prolonged sun exposure. If you are located closer to the equator, the sun is stronger, so be mindful to take it easy from around 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Boost your intake of fruits and veges. Though you may not realise it, one of the biggest causes of skin cancer is a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, from sources that are local to the temperate zone in which you live. Your body needs the phytonutrients and anti-oxidants from fruits and veges that provide vital nourishment to your skin, which only amplifies the benefits you receive from the sun and helps to minimise any possible harmful effects.
- Dress Sensibly - If you've had your early morning fix of sunlight and intend to be outdoors or on the water during the peak hours, simply cover up with light, breathable clothing and a hat during these times..
- Exfoliate your skin - Regular exfoliation helps to dispatch dead skin cells and ensure healthy circulation beneath your skin's surface. In doing this, your pores will be cleaner and will breathe easier, which in turn helps your skin to constantly renew itself, making you less likely to burn. Try our natural exfoliate product called Renew Salt Scrub, which contains Celtic Sea Salt, Aloe Vera, a selection of plant Essential Oils, Aloe Vera and Medicinal Gold.
To get the benefits of the sun, all you need is 15 minutes of sunlight a day to reap all the rewards. Try to expose at least 80% of your body to sunlight during this time, in the morning - outside of peak times - is most recommended.
Some of the benefits you'll experience may include increased feelings of wellness and happiness, increased focus, decreased stress levels, more energy, better sleep, and—very importantly—the chance for your body to photosynthesise vitamin D—just like most mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians depend on.
Food sources of vitamin D are virtually non-existent, so we need sunlight to get enough of this vital vitamin. In fact, its an unfortunate testament to the modern, techno-chained world that vitamin D deficiency is at an all-time high.