Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a great Mother's Day weekend!
Today I want to show you the benefits of Melaleuca sunscreen vs. name brand sunscreens and point out some down right SCARY facts about the ingredients in most sunscreens.
**Sidenote- if you are new to the blog and have never heard of Melaleuca or would like to read more about it, you can click here.**
Now that the weather has warmed up around the country, and we are preparing for "swim season", I'll bet most of you are starting to stock up on sunscreen or will be starting to soon!
Wearing sunscreen is SO important to protect our skin against the sun and help prevent skin cancer! It doesn't matter what type of skin you have, pale, olive, or dark, a dermatologist would tell you "everyone needs to wear sunscreen"!
According to skincancer.org....
*Each year in the US, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer
* 1 person dies of Melanoma every 57 minutes
*Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon!!!!
*Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined
*One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.5
*Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either BCC (basal cell) or SCC (squamous cell) at least once
*Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow
*Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US.
*As many as three thousand deaths from advanced basal cell carcinoma occur annually in the US.65
*Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.8
*Approximately 65 percent of all squamous cell carcinomas and 36 percent of all basal cell carcinomas arise in lesions that previously were diagnosed as actinic keratoses.
*About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
*Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent
So I think the obvious point here is that we ALL need to wear sunscreen, especially when participating in outdoor activities for extended periods of time. BUT, have you ever looked to see what exactly is in your sunscreen that you are using to protect your body? I never did until having a baby and let me tell you it's just as eye opening as the facts you read above!!!
Most name brand sunscreens like Banana Boat, Coppertone, Neutrogena etc. contain scary ingredients that are hazardous to your health and some of them are even known carcinogens!
According to Women's Health Magazine (entire article here), there are 6 main ingredients to look out for. Here is a list of the 6 most scary ingredients in sunscreen and why you want to avoid them at all cost...
1. Oxybenzone This penetration enhancer (i.e., chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin) undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. When oxybenzone is absorbed by your skin, it can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction that can spread beyond the exposed area and last long after you're out of the sun. Experts also suspect that oxybenzone disrupts hormones (i.e., mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels) which can throw off your endocrine system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 97 percent of Americans have this chemical circulating in our bodies, as it can accumulate more quickly than our bodies can get rid of it.
2. Octinoxate One of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens with SPF, octinoxate is readily absorbed by our skin and helps other ingredients to be absorbed more readily. While allergic reactions from octinoxate aren't common, hormone disruption is: the chemical's effects on estrogen can be harmful for humans and wildlife, too, should they come into contact with the chemical once it gets into water. Though SPF products are designed to protect skin from sun-induced aging, octinoxate may actually be a culprit for premature aging, as it produces menacing free radicals that can damage skin and cells.
3. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) Just like the vitamin A we eat, retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant. As an ingredient in sunscreen, it's function is to improve the product's performance against the aging effects of UV exposure, However, certain forms of vitamin A found in sun protection products—namely retinyl palmitate, a combination of retinol (vitamin A) and palmitic acid, an ingredient found in tropical plants such as palm and coconut—can be cause for concern. When exposed to the sun's UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer. In fact, FDA studies have shown that retinyl palimitate may speed the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure, so steer clear of skin sun products that harbor the stuff.
4. Homosalate This UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient helps sunscreen to penetrate your skin. Once the ingredient has been absorbed, homosalate accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones.
5. Octocrylene When this chemical is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts. Plus, it can be toxic to the environment.
6. Paraben Preservatives Associated with both acute and chronic side effects, parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-) can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. While butylparaben was reported to be non-carcinogenic in rats and mice, but it has been previously suspected that parabens and other chemicals in underarm cosmetics may contribute to the rising incidence of breast cancer.
So after learning this I was like "great! now what am I suppose to do? I can't not wear sunscreen or not put sunscreen on my baby!?" Then I did some further research and found that there are some safer alternatives. However, you do have to be careful about some of these brands that claim to be safe and free of the 6 scary ingredients because 9/10 times, these products don't work! Then you're right back to square one with a sunburn!
I have found that Melaleuca sunscreen is both safe and effective in protecting my family from the sun!
Melaleuca sunscreen comes in a spray bottle or a lotion. I LOVE the spray bottle because it goes on very light but not watery (not thick and sticky) and rubs in immediately! I also love the cream lotion for our baby. (*You should never use an kind of spray bottle for children who cannot hold their breath and/or purposely keep from inhaling mist.) Our little boy has very sensitive skin and bad eczema so we have to be extra careful about what we put on him! He has never had a breakout or irritation from Melaleuca sunscreen. I've always found both forms of Melaleuca sunscreen to be effective in protecting us from the sun! They also make a daily face moisturizer that contains sunscreen (it's part of the Affina skincare line by Melaleuca) that is light enough to wear under your makeup everyday! I will talk about this in a future post.
Here are 2 more articles about "Mineral/Physical" vs. "Chemical" sunscreens and a breakdown of why these 6 scary ingredients that I mentioned above are bad for you.
Check your sunscreen ingredients out today and stock up on the right stuff for your family this summer!
Remember, when life hands you lemons, turn them into something lovely!
Labels: carcinogens, Melaleuca, melaleuca monday, mineral, non-toxic, sunscreen