I think it goes without saying that sun damage can be a cause of cancer. What isn’t said often enough is what’s in some sunscreens might also cause cancer. In other words, some of the chemical ingredients in sunscreen might be doing more damage than the sun. Ugh. (facepalm)
We can’t win. Or can we?
It’s important to know what’s in your sunscreen. There are so many chemicals in various sunscreen products. I always recommend considering more natural ingredients. It’s also important to have a bag full of tricks to keep your skin safe in the sun, and you might not even need to use sunscreen. (Gasp) WHAT? Am I for real? HAHA. I know, I know, that goes against EVERYTHING. You’re thinking Katie has definitely lost it… but hear me out. I’m not saying never, and I’m not saying always.
I try NOT to use sunscreen for my family. Yup, I said it. If I can avoid sunscreen, I do. How?
I work around the sun, I wear hats, I wear lightweight clothing, I wear sunglasses, and I change where I sit and if I face the sun depending on the time of day and the amount of time I’m going to be spending in the sun. I want to get a healthy amount of sun but I don’t want to get too much. Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D there is! And, it’s free!
I read a great article today about how Vitamin D boosts the immune system. That’s super important, and summertime is a great time to get those vitamin D levels up naturally.
When I do use sunscreen, I buy mineral-based products. I have fun with the zinc. Remember those days of white noses at the beach when we were growing up? (Ah, the nostalgia.) And, guess what? Using zinc topically is a great way to get a little extra zinc, another way to help boost our immune system. WIN!
One of my secret weapons to check out the ingredients and see reviews for the products I use is EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens and Research. It has all kinds of summertime sunshine safety information.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when you spend time in the sun:
- Apply and reapply sunscreen if you’re out in the sun all day.
- USE A NON-TOXIC SUNSCREEN, Zinc based products are my fave.
- Put on a hat with a big brim.
- Children under 6 months are not supposed to use sunscreen, so, keep them in the shade.
- Avoid the sun between 10a-2p (this is when the sun is the strongest).
- Cover up with clothing.
- Keep in mind that young children put everything in their mouth, so don’t put sunscreen on their hands.
- Remember that even under an umbrella at the beach or pool, the sun reflects off the sand and the water, you still need to apply and reapply.
- Put sunglasses on children as early as the will tolerate them, the sun causes cataracts.
- If your child takes medication, make sure this doesn’t make them more sensitive to the sun. (i.e. tetracycline).
- Stay hydrated!
So, with those little tidbits of information, I hope you find creative ways to get outside to enjoy the sun and boost your immune system. I hope you all have a fun and safe summer!