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The Real Deal about Sunscreen Safety

The first sunscreen was developed back in 1938 by chemist Franz Greiter. And now, for more than 7 decades, sunscreen has been considered a necessity for anyone who is going to be in the sun for any length of time.

Is Sunscreen doing more harm than good?

Sunscreens were designed by utilizing different chemicals, such as oxybenzone, to block out UV-B or ultraviolet radiation in order to protect the skin from being burned. The original idea failed to take into account possible consequences. While sunscreens protected the skin from being burned by UV-B rays, they weren’t blocking UV-A rays which penetrate the skin more deeply and actually cause melanoma. Today, there are full-spectrum sunscreens that contain chemicals like avobenzone to block these rays.

Are the chemicals in Sunscreen Safe?

A study published just last month in JAMA found that these chemicals are being absorbed into the blood stream when applied topically. The levels of these chemicals found in the plasma exceeded the threshold established by the FDA. The authors suggested further study to determine if this high level of chemical absorption results in greater harm.

Another problem with sunscreens is that they do not allow the body to absorb the sun’s rays and produce Vitamin D. Despite the hype about the sun’s rays being dangerous and cancer-causing, the fact is we cannot be healthy without regular and regulated direct natural sunlight. D3 is produced by the body when in the sun and has been found to be a natural cancer preventative. Can you take a D3 supplement? Of course you can, but getting it naturally is best.

How to Protect Myself Safely from the Sun

So what do you do? How do you protect yourself while still getting adequate sun exposure to make sufficient Vitamin D? We suggest getting 10-15 minutes of sun exposure before putting on sunscreen. Next, make sure you are using a high quality sunscreen. We have two favorites. The first we make ourselves, using a recipe from Dr. Jeremy’s mom that incorporates Young Living essential oils. Check out her page at here. The second product we love is Beauty Counter’s CounterSun. The lotion is so creamy and absorbs very well. Here’s a link to more information.

You can also use nutrients to prevent sun damage. High doses of antioxidants can be very beneficial. Talk to Dr. Jeremy or Dr. Sandy about a Vitamin C flush.

And, finally, if you live in a state, like we do, where we don’t have many months of sun, you may want to consider a high quality D3 supplement. We offer a couple of different options in our office including a liquid form and ones with Vitamin K too. It is best to have your levels tested so that you take the correct dose. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please contact us!