I know how you feel.
It seems like every time you turn around, you hear how this or that totally normal thing that you do in our world is going to hurt you, cause disease, or maim the environment.
It seems like you can’t do anything without being cognizant about it, without seeking an alternative to the mainstream convenient choice, without avoiding something harmful.
Can’t we all just get through the day without so much negativity?
If you’ve felt fatigued about all the “that’s bad” messages and warnings, if you just want to give up and quit trying, quit paying attention:
Just Listen to This One
The research on sunscreens is unequivocal and so, so serious.
I’m honored to present an interview I did earlier this week with a Stanford-trained biochemist, and the title of this post comes from the most breathtaking fact he shared:
ONE recommended application of petrochemical sunscreens on a bikini-clad woman is equal to daily hormonal therapy for menopause.
And we put this stuff on our kids! (“We” being most of America. I’m petrified to let the stuff touch my family’s skin; I’d rather burn or go inside.)
The levels of hormones in our drinking water is rising in this world of infertility struggles and an increasingly earlier average onset of puberty in girls, and there is really nothing higher than petrochemical sunscreen as far as exposure to estrogenic chemicals.
They are environmentally persistent and unable to be filtered out…so what you put on your skin is affecting my kids, and vice versa.
It’s time to stop the madness.
There is a Simple Solution…
just switch your sunscreen to a mineral-based cream.
All you have to do is buy a different brand.
You don’t have to change a habit.
You don’t have to learn a new skill.
You don’t even have to shell out much more money, especially because of the trick you’ll learn in the video about zinc oxide ‘screens and reapplication.
Time to go science geek – here’s the video, which is only about 45 minutes plus some Q&A, and you can easily listen to it in the background while you work. It’s the audio that counts.
If you can’t see the video above, click HERE to see it on YouTube.
Make the Change to Zinc Oxide
You don’t even have to do the research or look up brands or test them – believe me, I’ve done it all for you! Our family has tested over 100 brands of natural mineral sunscreen over the last 10 summers, and only a small handful have remained on my “recommended” list – in fact, I demoted one more loooooong-time favorite (Mexitan) after the information Erik shared about micronized zinc oxide during the interview.
Where to find Kabana:
I know you don’t always have time to watch/listen to a video, so I took just a few notes – no time stamps on these, sorry, BUT it’s a slide presentation, so honestly, you can get an overview by skimming through the slides.
* What are petrochemicals – Vaseline is one common example.
* Petrochemicals are very stable, sit on a shelf for eons…but also can get through your skin when applied topically. And they have no business there.
* SPF = “Sunburn Protection Factor” It only elevates your protection – nothing is impermeable to sunburn.
* Example – SPF 30 gives you 96.7% protection – SPF 50 only 98ish%…you don’t get much more protection for higher SPF after 30.
* Petrochemical sunscreens are an 8 billion dollar industry – some good science has been NOT getting much press since 2008…perhaps related…But Erik shares some well-done research studies and why they point to a big fat NO for using petrochemical sunscreens on human beings.
* “Waterproof, sweatproof, all day protection” – all are ILLEGAL terms as of 2011. Stay away from those companies.
* Zinc oxide is less likely to create free radicals and oxidative damage (vs. titanium dioxide)
I interrupted Erik a million times with questions, too! The Q&A was short because of it, but we covered solutions for chocolate-brown skin, getting enough, and the safety of zinc oxide when making your own sunscreen.
He mentions a video he made to demo the flammability of spray sunscreen – and it’s totally awesome. You gotta watch it.
Share it with your kids, especially the boys. And ask them if they see what the mom in the background is doing at about the 3:35 mark and why it’s SO darn ironic!!!!
A Few More Lessons I Learned
Erik and I talked before and after the interview and I picked up a few more nuggets of wisdom to share with you – and I also went back to edit some old posts that were a bit inaccurate:
- Zinc oxide DOES NOT reflect and scatter UV energy! It’s wrong! It reflects the visible spectrum, it looks white. It absorbs the UV energy. And because it’s so stable, it can hang onto it. Zinc oxide dissipates it as heat. Titanium dioxide releases it into excited electrons. Zinc sunscreens are NOT a sunblock or physical blocker; there’s a lot of inaccurate information out there by people who don’t know the science. Luckily my old post on how sunscreens work was actually correct (phew!), although this one was wrong (I updated it).
- We talked about my theory on parents putting petrochemical sunscreen on their kids before school to protect them at noon recess. Turns out I was a little wrong – although the bottom line, don’t do it, still stands strong! (I updated the post.) Erik said: Creating free radicals deeper in the skin would be worse than on the surface, but it’s probably not all that impactful. If using sunscreen to reduce sunBURN, better to apply in the morning than not at all. It may still work at lunchtime. But does that mean it’s safe? No. You may be giving your kids a chemical burn that’s not noticeable but is worse.
- The 15 minutes before going into the sun is more for water resistance – not for sunburn protection. He recommends to put it on when skin is cool and dry to stick to skin better. It’s harder to spread it evenly and bind to skin if you’re already wet and sweaty. He’d actually like to know more about FDA rationale behind 20 minutes ahead of time. A lot of their stuff is not scientifically based…
- Micronized particles means zinc oxide has been physically ground or crushed into smaller particles – so you’ll definitely get nano particles too that get through.
- A quick note from ME on Erik’s answer about the tinted sunscreens and how they stain clothing – all zinc oxide sunscreens have the risk of staining dark clothing with white, and the tints might stain lighter clothing – so you have to just be careful no matter what. IMO, it’s a small price to pay for safety.
Kabana has been one of my very few top picks since 2009, for good reason. Pure ingredients, good science, easy application.
Disclosure: Kabana is an affiliate, which means I’ll get some commission on purchases there (or at Amazon), but I would recommend this brand regardless. I’m so pleased Erik could join me for that uber-informative webinar.