[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[at-l] sunscreen

  Here's an article to the contrary.
   Trash Your Sunscreen and Other Summer Sun Tips
  *By Dr. Joseph Mercola
with Rachael Droege* 

It may seem like second nature to you to apply sunscreen before going out in 
the sun, as the media has been bombarding Americans with reports of the 
dangers of the sun for some time now, but using sunscreen is not a good way 
to limit your sun exposure.

Having concerns about skin cancer is valid, however, as its incidence in the 
United States has tripled in recent years to 54,000 cases annually, but 
sunscreen is one of the LAST things you want to put on your body, and sunblock 
does not stop skin
Sunscreen is a toxic chemical that can cause problems in your system and 
increase your risk of disease. 

The FDA regulates sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug because it contains 
"active" ingredients. Following is a list of active ingredients in sunscreen 
that the FDA classified as GRASE (generally regarded as safe and effective): 

   - Para Amino benzoic acid (PABA) 
   - Avobenzone 
   - Cinoxate 
   - Dioxybenzone 
   - Homosalate 
   - Menthyl anthranilate 
   - Octocrylene 
   - Octo methoxycinnamate 

   - Octyl salicylate 
   - Oxybenzone 
   - Padimate O 
   - Phenylbenzimidazole 
   - Sulisobenzone 
   - Titanium dioxide 
   - Trolamine salicylate 
   - Zinc oxide 

*Potential Toxicity

Whether some of these ingredients are toxic is controversial and there are 
studies <http://www.mercola.com/2000/oct/15/sunscreen.htm> on either side of 
the issue. But recently, a study in the April 2004 Journal of
that there is significant penetration of all sunscreen agents they
studied into the skin, and oxybenzone and metabolites across the skin. 

So at best when you use sunscreen your body is absorbing synthetic 
chemicals, and with experts' recommendations to apply generous amounts of 
the product every few hours, you will likely be absorbing a fair amount. It 
is hard to believe that all of these chemicals will not have any effect on 
your system. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which act as physical barriers 
that reflect UV rays, may be less problematic in terms of absorption.

Even though up until now studies on the potential toxicity of sunscreens are 
sparse and not definitive, I believe it is wise to reduce your exposure to 
synthetic chemicals as much as possible and I don't recommend using 
sunscreens at all.

*Sunscreen and Vitamin D

There is another major problem with sunscreen aside from the potential 
chemical toxicity and that is it blocks your skin's ability to make vitamin 
D by more than 95 percent. If you've been reading the site then you are 
familiar with the importance of having optimal vitamin D
know that regular sun exposure is the best way to achieve this.

Rather than burying your skin in sunscreen, it is clearly important to get 
regular sun exposure in order to have optimum health.

*Sun Safety Without Sunscreen*

This does not mean that we should all go out and get as much sun as we 
want--you must exercise caution and avoiding a burn is key. 

At the beginning of the season, go out gradually and limit your exposure to 
perhaps as little as 10 minutes a day. Progressively increase your time in 
the sun so that in a few weeks you will be able to have normal sun exposure 
with little risk of skin cancer. You can further avoid the damage from the 
sun by staying out of the sun during the harmful times from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
You can stay in the shade during this time or wear lightweight long sleeve 
shirts, long pants and a wide-brim hat.

If you are looking to give yourself further protection against skin cancer, 
along with not getting sunburned diet is undoubtedly important. 

In 2001, the National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive
review<http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/98/13/7510>showing that
the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventing skin cancer
development. I believe that it is the worsening omega-3:6 ratios that are at 
least partly responsible for the rise in skin cancer rates. 

Omega-3 and omega-6 fats are both essential for human health, however the 
typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in their diet while 
consuming very low levels of omega-3. While the ideal ratio of omega-6 to 
omega-3 fats is 1:1, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 

The primary sources of omega-6 are corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oil; 
these oils are overabundant in the typical diet, which explains our excess 
omega-6 levels. Avoid or limit these oils. 

Meanwhile, omega-3 fats, found in fish oil and cod liver
need to be increased. 

A major part of the problem is that at the beginning of 1900 we had very 
little processed vegetable oils <http://www.mercola.com/2001/aug/1/oil.htm>, 
which are virtually 100 percent omega-6 fat, in our diet. In the last 100 
years the U.S. population has gone from consuming virtually no vegetable 
fats to consuming more than 70 pounds per year. It is likely this 
unnaturally high consumption of omega-6 fats that is totally distorting the 
important omega 6:3 ratio.

So as I mentioned above, it is vital to reduce the omega-6 vegetable oils in 
your diet as much as possible while increasing the amount of beneficial 
omega-3 fats. This is an incredibly important way to prevent skin cancer and 
it is spelled out quite clearly in a 2000 Cancer Research

"Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat 
as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and 
progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma."

Additionally, consuming many whole vegetables will increase antioxidant 
levels in the body, which will provide protection against any sun-induced 
radiation damage. Eating the right vegetables for your metabolic
type<http://www.mercola.com/2003/feb/26/metabolic_typing.htm>will give
you the best results, of course.

So if you want to benefit from the sun this summer, and I sincerely hope you 
do, throw away your sunscreen and use practical methods like clothing and 
shade to protect your skin from the sun when necessary. Always avoid getting 
burned, but be sure to get some sun on your skin. Complete avoidance of the 
sun is a surefire way to cause some problems for yourself down the road.

*Related Articles:*

Sun-Care Chemical Proves Toxic in Lab

Slathering on Sunscreen Does Not Prevent

Learn Why the Myth of the Sun Causing Skin Cancer Can Hurt Your

Let the Sun Shine In (Especially When

Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D

Why You Need to Have Your Vitamin D Level Tested

On 4/29/05, Paul Magnanti <pmags@yahoo.com> wrote: 
> >>already see the lines in her face. I think where
> you >>are and how sunny
> >>your area is makes a big difference.
> Genetics can help as well. Having skin that is
> naturally oil was the bane of my existence as a
> teenager...but if Dad's side of the family is any
> indication it will mean nice, smooth skin for a quite
> a while. Great-grandma was that way when she passed
> away. A roll of the the genetic dice means I tan
> easily as well.
> Having said all that, still wear long sleeved shirts
> and a big hat when hiking in the high country with
> lots of UV radiation....
> ************************************************************
> The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust caught, a 
> portion of the rainbow I have clutched
> --Thoreau
> http://www.magnanti.com
> _______________________________________________
> at-l mailing list
> at-l@backcountry.net
> http://mailman.hack.net/mailman/listinfo/at-l