Sunscreen: Why it doesn't protect you as much as they want you to believe
Surely you have heard many times the need to cover yourself from top to bottom with a good sunscreen. Of course it is necessary to avoid sunburn, but no one tells you the dangers that using sunscreen entails.
Of course, the best strategy for sunbathing is not to cover yourself from top to bottom with a good sunscreen. If you do this, it is unlikely that you will burn yourself, but paradoxically you are taking risks, which no one wants to tell you about.
THE BEST SUNSCREEN
Most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays but not UVA and although the skin does not burn, it is damaged.
It is precisely UVB rays that are associated with greater production of vitamin D and as this study suggests, people who abuse sunscreen have up to 10 times less vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin is associated with greater incidence of melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer). It is true that 30 to 40 minutes in the sun are enough to produce the vitamin D we need, but with the trend of bathing in sunscreen, we do not give the body that daily time it requires.
Additionally, not all sunscreens are created equal. There are protectors with a chemical barrier and others with a physical barrier.
Many of the compounds they contain are harmful since they cross the skin barrier.
Oxybenzone , octinoxate and homosalate are the most used and there is a lot of talk about retynyl palmitate since it is associated with a higher risk of developing tumors. In addition, many of these compounds are endocrine disruptors and supplant hormones in the body.
These chemical sunscreens prevent sweat that contains an acid, which is a natural protection. They also eliminate our body's natural alarm , when your body turns red, it tells you that you have had enough sun.
As if that were not enough, the icing on the cake is that they pollute a lot . Most are derived from petroleum, and apart from how polluting this industry is, they end up in the oceans and are a serious threat to coral reefs.
They are based on minerals that reflect UVA and UVB rays from your body. The most widespread are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They usually leave the skin very white, which is why the term is used: total screen .
For them to be effective, you must ensure that the active ingredient is greater than 22%. Some brands have begun to replace chemical components with these minerals, but make sure that apart from these, they do not also contain chemicals.
We highly recommend those that contain zinc oxide, although titanium dioxide also seems to be safe. In both cases, make sure it does not have nanoparticles.
You can tell if a sunscreen uses nanoparticles if it has the word nano in parentheses on the label. Law EC 1223/2009 requires it to be specified.
The best sunscreen is to listen to the signals that our own body gives us, without masking them with chemical or physical protectors.
If you want to get tan, do it gradually, don't try to go from not sunbathing at all to lying on a towel for 8 hours. Try to take 30-40 minutes a day and protect yourself with a hat and sunglasses. If you overdo it or see that you are going too far, a simple t-shirt can solve the problem.
If you want a sunscreen recipe with natural ingredients, you can find some in this article .
WE NEED THE SUN . You just have to improve your relationship with him. In Spain we have the lowest levels of vitamin D in all of Europe.
Even if we talk about cancer, in many types (prostate, lung, colorectal), greater exposure to the sun is related to lower risk.
In this study it is stated verbatim that avoiding the sun is a “mortality risk factor equivalent to smoking”
There are other studies that speak of a higher risk of melanoma in indoor workers than in outdoor workers and the highest rate of melanoma in areas of the body with little exposure to the sun. And you may be surprised if I tell you that patients with melanoma improve when exposed to the sun.
The sun is not bad, but the new way of relating to it.
EAT THE SUN CREAM
Apart from protecting ourselves externally, we can also do something from within, so that sunbathing is only something healthy. And food has more impact on our health than any other factor.
- Eat foods rich in beta-carotene . Yes, carrots have a lot of beta-carotene, as does sweet potato, but surely you didn't know that other foods like spirulina also have it; But we had an ace up our sleeve, too, matcha tea . And if you don't, look at this comparison between these two foods.
Comparison of beta-carotene between Matcha Tea and carrot.
You are not going to drink 100 g of Matcha Tea, but by drinking between 1-3g you are taking in a significant amount of beta-carotene.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants . Here, we show you a comparison of different foods on the ORAC scale that measures the absorption capacity of reactive oxygen species .
As you can see, açaí wins by far.
- Eat foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6 : The current imbalance between omega 3 and omega 6 is responsible for many current chronic diseases, but it also influences our skin's ability to protect itself from the sun.
- Drink green tea : Studies link the consumption of this type of tea with a lower incidence of tumors. Another point for Matcha tea .
We hope this article has been helpful and opened your eyes regarding sunscreen.
It seems that once again, nature helps us and protects us, if we know how to make good use of it.