The Top Story on Your Wellness

The Shady Story about Sunscreen


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With summer half over, I was inspired by the massive number of tourists loading on to our ferry to spend a few days of their vacation at the beach. As you know, August in the nation’s peak vacation month. It is a time to rest and recharge. In addition, it is the time each year, where I am sure, most of our beachgoers  are digging thru their medicine draw, looking for sunscreen. Many will also be pulling out the “left-over sunscreen bottles” from last year.

Well, here is some advice, that you have inspired me to learn. Sunscreens are made with chemicals. They may smell all nice and fruity, but that lotion, or spray, has a ($^!|-load) of words on the back I cannot even pronounce. How about you? And because label reading is a critical skill to be mastered, to maintain your health, keep reading, before you shop.

What do these Sunscreens do? How does your body react?

Oh ya…You think because it worked last year, and the year before that… no problem. But the fact is, most chemicals don’t make you sick, after a small dose. If they did, I doubt they would have ever gotten to the store shelve. The problem is we just assume they are totally safe, because they are in the store. Or worse, we believe they are healthier for you to use than not.  Well here is a news flash… because many of the “sunscreens are made of reactive chemicals that don’t last forever“, don’t assume yours will even work, not to mention the other risks.

The second assumption your making, as you prepare to rush for the boat is they are safe to apply. Now I’m not suggesting that you stop packing and conduct a consumer protection risk analysis study here. But would you at least bookmark this page to study later.

Typical Sunscreen Chemicals

Here are some of the chemical ingredients you may find on your bottle, or spray, if you would look before you buy. I’m share here, so, you can also be prepared to look out for the likes of oxybenzone, avobenzone and octylmethocinnamate. They appear to be the primary ingredients in the commonly used sunscreens.

What’s the effect, when we apply and reapply them… repeatedly?

The first thing you may find in your research is, sunscreens also block the formation of Vitamin D, in your body. And Vitamin D deficiency has several negative consequences, including death. But that risk seems fairly low.

Secondly, and more importantly, if you do a small amount of research, you will learn they are what is called “endocrine disruptors“. Which means, if they get into the blood and they impact your endocrine system.

The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.  Mar 11, 2016“

As endocrine disruptors, they work against the normal function of the thyroid, adrenals, and pancreas, which could lead to a number of illness symptoms and evenly other health problems – diseases of the endocrine system.

What are the Common diseases of the endocrine system?

Basically this system controls your hormone levels. When hormone diseases occur, your body doesn’t respond to normal hormones in your body appropriately. Lots of things disrupt your hormones. Common events like stress, infection, and changes in the blood and electrolyte balance can all influence hormone levels. At least per the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”).

We all say the same thing, “I only put a small amount on, so what’s the harm?” Of course you are trying to avoid skin cancer. Unfortunately the data also suggests…

“…oxybenzone is found in the blood of 96% of Americans.” -Dr.Barry Sears.

So what could a little oxybenzone do? Well, sunscreens commonly also have ingredients, called “penetration enhancers”, that help the product adhere to skin. The result, the body will absorb the sunscreen with its chemicals. The addition of these “enhancers” is the most likely explanation why these chemicals have been measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples in so many people.

Do these chemical cause disease?

I can’t say for sure. However, diabetes is the most common endocrine disease in the United States and something is causing it. Another disorder, is called hypothyroidism. This one “occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs“.

Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones.” -Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012.

Like Dr. Sears, I do find it interesting that so many of your visitors are very concerned about eating organic, attempting to avoid chemical herbicides and pesticides, while unknowingly covering their body with these known chemical endocrine disruptors every summer.

Avoid Chemical Expiration

Finally, let’s clear up that simple question. These chemicals do expire, therefore, the old chemicals may not protect you from sunburn as well as last year.

So, what’s a beachgoer to do? The simple fact is you need to stop assuming and start educating yourself on what you consume. It’s your body and you are solely responsible for it’s care. Don’t assume! In this case, you need to weigh the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure against endocrine system disruption for sunscreens.

As for me, until I researched this topic, I never knew there were organic sunscreen options available. And look what I found. I will post my review this product, once it arrives and I get a chance to try it. But don’t just believe me, check it out yourself. 

Source and Inspiration

Your Sunscreen May Actually be Dangerous” -Dr. Barry Sears.

Endocrine System: Fact, Function and Diseases” -Kim Ann Zimmermann.

Vitamin D Deficiency: A Worldwide Problem…” -Michael Holick et al.

Getting enough Vitamin D” -EWG Research.

The Trouble with Oxybenzone & Other Sunscreen Chemicals” -EWG Research.

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This article is was originally published on and is intended for information, education and motivational purposes only.

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