I often get asked whether I wear sunscreen. It’s a complex question with a response that stirs up controversy: I don’t use sunscreen. Here’s the story behind my decision.

My formative years were spent under the lovely sun of Eastern Washington, where summer meant embracing the heat. During my teens, the trend was to achieve the deepest tan possible, leading many of us, myself included, to the harmful practice of using mineral oil to accelerate our tanning during the sun’s peak hours. With my fair skin and light hair, this resulted in significant sun damage to my arms and legs as I got older.

By my 30s, I was deeply involved in competitive bodybuilding, where success on stage was often linked to how dark one’s tan was. The darker the skin, the better the muscle definition appeared to judges and spectators. For someone with my complexion, this meant relying on tanning beds for a base tan, followed by applications of harmful tanning lotions.

Now, during my annual dermatologist visits, sunscreen inevitably comes up. Despite their advice, I remain steadfast in my refusal to use commercial sunscreens due to their unhealthy ingredients. Many contain chemicals that irritate my skin, act as hormone disruptors, and lead to itching and burning sensations. Interestingly, despite the widespread use of sunscreen, skin cancer rates continue to climb. This paradox raises questions about the efficacy and safety of these products.

My concerns extend beyond skin irritation. As someone who focuses on lymphatic health, I worry about the potential for sunscreens to introduce toxins directly into our bloodstream and lymphatic system, especially when these chemicals are heated on our skin. Considering the daily barrage of environmental toxins, I minimize additional exposure whenever possible. Dr. Mercola highlights a critical point: SPF ratings only measure protection against UVB rays, the spectrum that helps our body synthesize vitamin D. However, UVA rays, which are more harmful and carcinogenic, require broad-spectrum coverage. This insight guides my approach to sun protection.

Some good reasons to change your sunscreen habits:

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and substances applied to it can permeate through to underlying tissues and eventually enter the bloodstream.
– Many sunscreens contain synthetic chemicals associated with various health concerns.
– Research by the Environmental Working Group suggests that 500 popular sunscreens could potentially accelerate skin cancer development and spread.
– Despite widespread use, insufficient evidence supports the notion that sunscreens effectively prevent most types of skin cancer.
– Avobenzone is the only sun-filtering chemical approved by the FDA, leaving questions about the safety of other sunscreen ingredients unanswered.
– Studies conducted by German researchers indicate a potential negative impact of sunscreens on thyroid function.
– Safe exposure to sunlight is crucial for the body to naturally synthesize vitamin D, a vital nutrient.
– Contrary to common misconceptions, moderate and safe sun exposure offers health benefits rather than harm.

Here’s how I protect myself from the sun:

– I opt for safer sunscreen alternatives.
– I limit my exposure to direct sunlight.
– I prefer outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense.
– I wear hats and sunglasses for additional protection.
– I take astaxanthin supplements, a potent antioxidant that acts like an internal sunscreen.
– I choose clothing that offers sun protection.

If you find these insights valuable, feel free to share them with others. Additionally, consider exploring essential oils to keep your skin healthy and vibrant.

To learn more or to schedule a session or free consultation, click here, or you can reach out directly to Rochelle at 206-390-4731.