Q: It’s summer and along with that come two of my least favorite things, sunburn and mosquitos. How can we enjoy the summer and not worry about the dangers of the sun, the dangers of the sunblocks, the dangers of the DEET in bugspray………... Thanks, sunburned and bugbitten
A: Dear sunburned and bugbitten, all the things you mention would sure take all the fun out of summer. Let’s see if we can make it a little more fun for you this year.
Over the last 25+ years or so we’ve been inundated with ads for this product and that product to protect the skin and keep off the bugs with a result these days of products causing the cancers and diseases they were originally supposed to protect us from.
When I was a young child we went outside every day as it got warmer and closer to summer, played outside, played ball, tag, hide and seek, walked the dog, did some weeding; later on we learned how to mow the lawn and plant gardens. The only time they slathered us with sunscreen was at the beach.
Research these days shows that the vital vitamin D we need we get from exposure to the sun. The sun provides exactly what our body needs to produce the steroid hormone that is responsible for such things as better cardiovascular health. It promotes optimal cholesterol levels, enhances muscle strength, maintains a healthy immune system, promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps produce the best blood pressure levels, and maintains healthy and strong bones. When we don’t get enough from the sun (in winter in the north) we take the vitamin D as a supplement or in food, but that doesn’t work nearly as effectively.
Using your childhood as a model, gradually expose yourself to the sun with the shedding of more layers until a substantial amount of skin is exposed to the sun, a little at a time. Stay in the sun until your skin gets very lightly pink, then cover up or go inside. It is important never to burn the skin since that counteracts all the good effects. Wear a hat at all times to protects the fragile skin around the eyes. Take the sunglasses off for a little while every day and let all those 1500+ healing wavelengths in through your eyes. This kind of sun exposure has been proven to help protect against as many as sixteen types of cancer including breast, colon, gastric, pancreatic, rectal, renal, and skin cancer, just to name a few.
For the times when you know you will be out in the sun longer and burning may result, your first line of defense is long sleeves and shade. When your exposure is greater, or skin that isn’t usually exposed will be, the last alternative is to use a 100% all natural non-chemical sun screen.
Beginning in June of 2012 the sunscreen manufacturers will be changing the labeling on the bottles. These mandated changes will remove the ‘waterproof,’ ‘sweatproof’, and ‘sunblock’ labels, and reflect more accurately what the protection factors are. Make sure it has no parabins, fragrances, Para amino benzoic acid, octyl salicyclate, oxybenxone, cinoxate, menthyl anthranilate, no unnamed inert particles, etc.…..you get the picture. Some of the sunscreens using these products have been shown to damage coral reefs if people using them go near the reefs, imagine what it’s doing to you.
A safe sunscreen should contain these two safe natural ingredients Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and can contain other skin soothing products like green tea (a natural antioxidant), sunflower oil, lecithin, jojoba oil, shea butter, vitamin E, etc. Make sure it protects from both UVA (the bad rays) and UVB (the good Vit D making rays), even good UVB can be bad in excess. Don’t forget to cover the lips with a 100% natural sunscreen product that includes no petrolatum products, only those with Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide with added moisturizers. See below for suggested safe products.
There are other factors that affect how easily we get sunburned, such as the food we eat, how much processed food we put into our system, the source of our omega oils, how much raw and leafy veggies we ingest, and the general state of our health.
Now on to the nasty mosquito problems. The main active ingredient in products today is ‘DEET.’ If you read the bottle it says not to spray it on plastic, animals, not to breathe it in, etc. If it melts plastic imagine what it does to your skin? 230 products on the market currently use ‘DEET’ as the active ingredient, some in a 100% concentration. There is long term research that proves serious damage to the brain and cognitive function from long term use of these products. Other research also indicates additional dangers when the ‘DEET’ is combined with other chemicals we are exposed to. The interaction between them is even more harmful.
With some research you can find natural, non- harmful bug sprays that use non toxic ingredients to repel insect pests. The citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, etc. have been used for hundreds of years without deleterious effects.
We’ve had some great results with the sunscreen products and bug repellent from Mercola.com . The products are around $15, completely guaranteed and no nasty side effects.
Enjoy your summer. Have fun and don’t get burned or bugged!
- Wednesday, 20 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ask Madalyn