The information in the following paragraphs was taken from my book, There’s An Elephant in the Room–Exposing Hidden Truths in the Science of Health. My findings were recently validated in a national newspaper article. The article documented how the chemical based sunscreens are destroying the coral reefs around Hawaii. Two particular chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate are known endocrine disruptors. They are absorbed through the skin but they also bleach the coral reefs. While we in the GRM are more concerned about what these chemicals do in the body, the state of Hawaii is taking action because of destruction of coral reefs around the Pacific islands. Hawaii has banned future sales of sunscreens containing these chemicals and 70% of sunscreens have them as ingredients. See the newspaper article here. Bottom line is you want sunscreen that is not chemical based–you want it mineral based. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect UV rays and are not absorbed by the skin like the chemical ones and do not pollute the coral reefs. Here is the information taken from my book:
The chemical ingredients listed in many sunscreens contribute a large load of toxins being applied on the largest organ of the body—the skin. These chemicals are absorbed within seconds of application. Marketing of sunscreen has created a disproportionate fear of the sun to support their product. Sunlight works to create life on Earth. While ultraviolet (UV) light can cause skin cancer and prematurely age our skin, we need at least 20–30 minutes each day because it boosts our vitamin D. It’s also great to brighten our mood!
The FDA has approved nearly 20 sunscreen ingredients. Fifteen are colorless chemicals that absorb UV light and two are made of minerals that reflect UV light. The two mineral reflectors are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which sit on our skin and reflect harmful rays away. But nearly two-thirds of the 15 chemicals are known endocrine disruptors. Chemical sunscreens don’t stay on the surface of our skin. They soak through the skin and enter the bloodstream. These chemicals disrupt hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid. They can cause abnormal development of fetuses and children. They can cause early puberty and premature breast development in girls. They can cause undescended testicles and smaller sexual organs in boys. They lower sperm count and increase infertility. As mentioned before, many endocrine disruptors act like estrogen and can lead to breast and ovarian cancers in women. Some are linked to increases in prostate cancer in men.
A study conducted in October 2000 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) reported retinyl palmitate, a form of synthetic vitamin A, can speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin. “Retinyl palmitate was selected by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for phototoxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin.”
Dr. Arthur W. Perry, MD is a board certified plastic surgeon and member of the Medical Advisory Board for The Dr. Oz Show. He states, “I really do feel that people are poisoning themselves by putting ounce-quantities of chemical sunscreens on their bodies, and I cringe when I see women, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, and small children slathering that stuff on their skin.”
Coconut oil and aloe vera are very hydrating and nurturing to the skin. While they don’t block UV rays very well they can help the skin recover from over exposure and radiation damage. If we are going to be in the sun for longer than half an hour, it is important to get in the shade or wear protective clothing that will minimize skin exposure and build a suntan slowly which will be protective to longer exposure. We should be careful with using a sunscreen that is strictly chemical based. If folks feel they must use sunscreen, find a micronized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunscreen to maximize skin protection and minimize endocrine disruptor absorption. If you have sunspots from too much time in the sun, go to GRMVetted.org to request resources that the GRM has vetted as safe and trusted.
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