Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sun protection strategy

Perhaps some people are wondering why I wouldn't just pop into the chemist or grocery store and buy any of the suncreens that are on the shelf to use for myself and my kids. So I will give you a little background information about sunscreens and then direct to what our plan is for summer and the products we will being to use as soon as I recieve the items I have ordered.

Early morning walk on Strandfontein beach
I must just start off saying that the sun is good for us. In the correct doses it provides what we need to synthesize Vitamin D which regulates calcium levels and absorption. It is necessary for healthy bones and teeth and is aso important for healthy immune function, nervous function and for insulin/blood sugar regulation, numerous endocrine and digestive functions.

You can read a very comprehensive article here on the other benefits of sunlight to us humans...God does not make mistakes.

So why do we need to protect ourself against the sun?

Well, its kind of obvious for anyone who has suffered sunburn or like me is over 40 and abused my body by irresponsible sun exposure. But deeper in is the concern about skin cancer and melanoma which is linked to unwise "intermittent or intense sun exposure." (Skin Cancer Foundation)

What are the problems with most sunscreens?

Looking to Cape Point
Based on Beth Greer's research which she published in her book "Supernatural Home" there are a few issues around general sunscreens.

Nano particles are the first issue she addresses. These "wonders of modern chemistry" are able to pass into the bloodstream and the longer they are on your skin the more they are absorbed. The world of nanotechnology is way beyond this mums brain but there is enough information on the web where it is pointed out that they can cause damage to DNA. While millions are being poured into creating these miniscule particles very little about the long term health risks is being researched.

Besides for nanoparticles there are other issues too with the majority of sunscreens. Many of the ingredients are made from petrochemicals which can cause a false estrogen to be made by your body which you can read about in this article I wrote on my old website.

Products that are safe to use?

Time to read labels again...stay away from anything on this list:

~Oxybenzone dixoybenzone
 ~PABA (para amino benzoic acid)
~Cinnamates (octyl methixycinnamate and cinoxate)
~Digalloyl trioleate
~Menthyl anthranilate

Layers of defense...

And after all of this it is important to know that  sunscreens are only able to protect for a certain amount of time and should be applied 1/2hr BEFORE going into the sun for in that time you are unprotected.  You also need to know that sunscreens are not adequate protection against skin cancer and melanoma on their own.

These are the layers of defense we plan to make use of this summer and then continue to use sunblock during winter when in the garden or walking.

1.As our girls do not wear bikinis they have full piece costumes and boardshorts. They also wear sun vests when out for longer than 1/2. Boys are in sunvests and shorts too.

2.Sun hats and sunglasses unless swimming.

3.Umbrellas for outdoor picnics and beaching

4.Sunscreen applied 1/2hr before exposure on all showing skin parts

5.Stay out of the sun between 10 and 3

What sunscreens/block I have found to pass the test?

Our annual haven - De Mond
I didn't have to look to far to find the right stuff thankfully. Wellness Warehouse stocks a number of brands that we can choose from but the ones that passes all the tests are:

Sunumbra (adult and kids)


Bema Natur&Sun

So that's the plan. I also have a friend who says that orange veg and fruit aid in sun protection so the mangos, carrots and papino we eat can now have an added benefit in our home!

Hope this helps some other South Africans as we begin our long hot summer holidays!


sally said...

there was also a fascinating documentary on tv a while ago about how lycopene found in tomatoes increases the skins ability to protect itself.....once again, god has provided veg containing just what we need when the sun in shining!

Cath said...

Thanks for this. Helpful and informative.