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Tanning, Your Health & The Ugly Truth About Sunscreens

Summer has arrived. The season of long days on the beach, warm breezes in your hair, a kiss of sunshine on your skin; the wonderful warmth and joy of summer. In this article you will learn all about the good, the bad and the ugly effects of the sun on your skin, the aging process and your wellbeing.

Coco Chanel - the originator of a fashionable tan

In the late 1800's and early 1900's a tanned complexion was a tell-tale sign of the working class, and considered unsightly in the world of aristocrats and royalty. When Coco Chanel returned from a mediterranean cruise in the early 1920's, sporting a healthy tan, high society took notice. The fashion icon gave birth to the habit of sun-bathing - turning a tan into the look of health and wealth, which lasted throughout the 40's, 50's and 60's. 

Sun Protection Facts: The Ugly Truth

Let's start with a little more history: In the early 70's Australia experienced an outbreak of skin cancer due to the gradual depletion of the ozone layer, a region in Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of Sun's UV radiation. The problem with Australia is that the continent receives approximately 15% higher UV radiation levels than Europe or the US, since these ozone holes are located primarily over the north and south poles. Australias location close to the ozone hole over the Antarctic means that much higher, more severe levels of UV radiation get through to ground level.

This increased occurrence of skin cancer boosted chemical sunscreens worldwide into a multi billion dollar industry. Coppertone became the American pioneer of SPF after establishing their Solar Research Center in the 70's - (those of you old enough might remember Little Miss Coppertone, who appeared on the brand’s bottles and advertisements, with her puppy and her adorable little pale butt hanging out). Sunscreen chemicals used in 1970 were Homosalate, Oxybenzone and Avobenzone along with Petroleum, Cocoa Butter and CoconutOil bases.

Coppertone Print Ad 1955


It is absolutely stunning to me that today's sunscreen formulas - almost 50 years later - still use the same chemicals along with ingredients like Retinyl Palmitate (a form of Vitamin A which was found to accelerate the growth of cancerous tumors when exposed to UV rays). Oxybenzone and Homosalate have been reported since 2012 to be toxic to our endocrine system and are potential carcinogens. Avobenzone molecules start to break down as soon as it is exposed to sunlight and does not offer protection for longer than 30 minutes. It comes as no surprise that the occurrence of skin cancer has increased by 600% since the promoted use of these chemicals in sunscreens back in the 70's!

One of todays "High End" SPF 30 Packaging Text & Ingredients:


The above is a sunscreen that was given to one of our colleagues by his dermatologist after squamous cell skin cancer surgery - Really?!

It makes you feel very secure and believe you are doing something healthy for your skin when you read the text on this box... But then look at the ingredients! I specifically love the clause "if product is swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away". Do I really want to put that on my skin? Or on my kid's skin? No thank you! I think a sunburn might be less damaging than this stuff! 

Below is the back label of a brand that claims to be organic and handmade:

Notice the main active ingredient? Octinoxate - read about it here:

Above is one of the most common spf 50's promoted for babies. Read the active ingredients - all 5 of our toxic sunscreens are in it...

Today's sunscreens are so toxic that the state of Hawaii and the E.U. are banning them. These sunscreens worn by swimmers are damaging the coral reefs. If they can damage a coral reef, what do you think they can do to your body?

Read past the next paragraph of us promoting what you should be using - to learn all the benefits of the sun and why you should never avoid it.

Of course, we offer two truly healthy alternatives that are Hypo-Allergenic, Free of Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and Octinoxate,  Fragrance Free, Paba Free, Phtalate Free, Reef Friendly, Sulfate (SLS) Free, BPA Free, Retinyl Palmitate Free, No Animal Testing, basically free of everything undesireable:

Pure Skin Science light weight whipped Strawberry Preserve SPF 30 and Pure Skin Science water-resistant Antioxiant SPF 15 or SPF 30.  Hand made from nothing but organic, vegan, food-grade, protective, anti-aging goodness that works and rejuvenates. And if your baby accidentally eats it, he or she will be just fine, no poison control center needed!

Furthermore, our SPF's are much more than just sun protection. We use ingredients like organic plant extracts of Red Raspberry Seed, which has a naturally occurring SPF of 38-50 and is known for its ability to destroy abnormal cell growth. It is such a strong anti-oxidant that our clients report reduction of wrinkles, skin tightening, evening of skin tone and texture along with diminishing discoloration and sun damage. A winner for daily use to protect and repair your skin!

Don't Miss Out: The Healthy Benefits Of Sun Exposure

Without sun, there would be no life on earth. Sun makes life possible as we know it. For us humans, 30 minutes of sun exposure per day is essential for a healthy metabolism and the production of Vitamin D. The type of Vitamin D that your body produces when exposed to the sun cannot be replicated by a supplement. 

Modern science proves when ultraviolet B (UVB) rays touch our skin and unlock vitamin D, you have a:

  • Reduced risk of breaking a hip by a whopping 69%.
  • Lower risk of dying from 15 types of cancer.
  • 11% lower death rate from heart attacks.

And those are just some of the benefits - have you felt the immense uplift in mood and the incredible feeling of wellbeing after being exposed to a little sunlight? A lack of sunshine in geographical areas like Washington (where it's rainy and overcast most of the time) results in a much higher rate of depression and even suicide than in states like California, where you can't help but be exposed to healthy sunshine. 

The Greeks in 1500 BC already recorded the healing properties of the sun when they reported that exposure to light was essential for the restoration of health. In 1805, the Danish Physician, Dr. Niels Finsen, received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his work showing the beneficial effects of various wavelengths of light in the treatment of Tuberculosis. Over the past 30 years NASA developed LED Light Therapy for tissue repair and wound healing in space - as a substitute for the lack of sunlight and the associated reduction of cell turnover.

This does not mean you should get out there and fry yourself. While we all need the sun to live a healthy, happy life - sunburns and excessive tanning do cause aging and skin cancers. And so do sun care poducts. Read the ingredients (not just the active ones) in your sunscreen before you slather it on, thinking it is good for you - even if it was given to you by your dermatologist or claims to be "for sensitive skin" or "natural & organic". Stay away from Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and Octinoxate,  Paba, Phtalate, Sulfate (SLS), BPA, Retinyl Palmitate, and of course products that are tested on animals. 

Don't be afraid of the sun, use it for all the health benefits it offers! As with everything, moderation is key! Just like with all of your skin care products, READ YOUR LABELS and use a sunscreen that does not cause skin cancer or other illness due to a pleather of toxic chemicals.

Cheers to healthy Sun Appreciation! 

Click here to shop non-toxic SPF and receive a $50 Gift Card 

Last but not least: When using our Skin Nutrients daily as your moisturizer and after sun exposure, your skin gets all the nourishment it needs to reverse the free radical damage and associated aging that are caused by UV rays. Skin Nutrients are not a sunscreen, but our clients report that they don't burn as fast when using them regularly. 

Click here to shop Skin Nutrients & Organic SPF and receive up to 2 $50 Gift Cards

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