Danger: Your toxic sunscreen could be causing skin cancer; here’s what to look for

We all know that heading for the beach without first slathering ourselves in sunscreen (or sunblock as it’s known by many) is suicide in terms of skin cancer, right? Well actually, not right. In fact, if you are really serious about preventing skin cancer, you would be best served by avoiding sunscreen altogether.

Several studies have actually found that people who routinely use sunscreen are far more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. And surprisingly, if you do develop melanoma, the higher your previous sun exposure, the less aggressive the form of cancer is likely to be, and the more likely you are to survive it.

Though this research flies in the face of much of what we have been told about preventing skin cancer, it is really quite logical when you stop and think about it. After all, sunscreens are packed with dangerous chemicals, and it is established fact that whatever you apply to your skin is rapidly absorbed by the body.

Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the body responsible for regulating sunscreens, admits that it is “not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer.”

And ironically, sunscreens are unable to do the job of blocking harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin, because they themselves are absorbed too quickly and do not remain on the surface of the skin. So, while their cancer-causing chemicals soak into the skin, they do not successfully remove the threat posed by the UV rays themselves, which explains all those instructions to keep reapplying every hour.

This was confirmed by a study out of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Pharmacy, published in the Journal of Chromatography B in 2004. Researchers examined the ability of four common sunscreen agents to penetrate the skin after topical application by a group of volunteers. Their conclusion was that there was “significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin.”

The chemicals used in sunscreens generate free radicals in the body, producing oxidative stress which can lead to cancer. And cancer isn’t the only problem; these chemicals are also linked to hormone disruptions, infertility, allergies and behavioral changes. They also interfere with the millions of microbes naturally found on the skin, destroying its natural protective microbiome.

Fortunately, another study in 2015 by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that this damage is reversible, and that even taking a short break from using personal care products that contain chemicals, including sunscreens, can result in a substantial decrease in the presence of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.

Another problem with the use of sunscreens that many of us are probably not aware of, is the fact that sunscreen that doesn’t absorb into the skin is washed off into the oceans when we swim. Modern manufacturers often use titanium dioxide in nanoparticle form in their sunscreen formulations. These tiny particles may react to the combination of sunshine and water to form toxic chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide. When testing seawater from a beach in Majorca, researchers from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain, found that approximately 4 kg (or 8.8 pounds) of this dangerous titanium dioxide is released into the ocean each year during the summer, resulting in a 400-fold increase in hydrogen peroxide levels. The scientists noted that this would have a severe impact on marine life.

So, what should you do if you want to avoid skin cancer? Well, the hormone Vitamin D plays a crucial role in preventing not only cancer but also autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disease. To ensure we have enough Vitamin D, we need to ensure that we expose at least 60 percent of our body to the sun for between 15 and 20 minutes each day (people with darker skin will need up to 45 minutes). Non-nanotech zinc oxide is a very effective and safe UV ray blocker, and shea butter, coconut, eucalyptus or aloe vera can be applied to the skin before and after sun exposure to boost its natural protective abilities.

The sun has been vilified for too long; it is a life-giving healer and we need to embrace it as such.

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