Summertime fun in the SUN! Let’s talk sun safety. Protecting yourself from skin cancer is always a top priority, but unfortunately, sunscreen isn’t an easy solution. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) heavily researches sunscreens every year, and this year, they found that over two thirds of the 650 products they tested contained harmful chemicals or didn’t properly protect against UV rays.
Don’t worry as there are a few natural alternatives. Here are some ways you can protect yourself against skin cancer without subjecting yourself to harmful ingredients.
The Problem with Sunscreen
When you’re loading up on commercial sunscreen, your body takes in chemicals that worry many health experts—and shockingly, some may even increase the risks of cancer. Oxybenzone, found in many sun blocks, is known to disrupt the human hormonal system and has been linked to cancer in some studies. Lab research has shown that retinyl palmitate, a type of vitamin A found in commercial sunscreens, may increase skin cancer risk when exposed to the sun.
Even without sunscreen, there are tons of ways you can stay safe in the sun this summer! Try some of these natural alternatives and keep your skin healthy and sunburn free all summer long.
Dress Appropriately During Long Periods of Exposure
While a small amount of exposure (15 to 20 minutes) is beneficial, too much can be dangerous. Avoid sun damage when exposed for long periods by covering your head with a hat and your body with regular or sun-protective clothing. The sun’s rays can still penetrate through non-UV treated clothing, but at a much lower rate.
Use Zinc Oxide
Lifeguards use this on their noses for a reason! Zinc oxide, in its natural form, is a safe and effective sun block product. Widely available at pharmacies and health food stores, mix zinc oxide with your favorite organic body lotion for an alternative to commercial sunscreens.
Eat Your Greens Green
Leafy vegetables are great additions to our diets for many reasons, including the fact that they’re chock full of carotenoids. This antioxidant prevents sunburn and stress that can lead to the development of melanomas.
Lycopene, found in watermelon and tomatoes, is a natural sunburn protector. When tomato paste was mixed with olive oil for absorption, eating this combination reduced sunburn in participants by 41 percent in a German research study.