Did you know that more than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year? One in every 3 cancers diagnosed worldwide is a skin cancer. In 1944, Coppertone sunscreen became the first mass marketed sunscreen. Fast forward to today, about a billion dollars worth of sunscreen are sold each year in the United States.
Before the 1930s, the rate of skin cancer development was much lower than it is now. Though the population has dramatically increased over this period, the average skin cancer rates in 1935 was 1 in 500; it is now 1 in 55.
Before the 1920’s, a tan was not considered a desirable attribute. Fair, untanned skin indicated that a person did not have to work outdoors and enjoyed higher social standing. Fashionable people wore protective clothing, including hats, to avoid tanning. But in 1929, fashion and beauty magazines began promoting tans as signs of beauty, health, and affluence. The greater UV exposure that tanning entails, rather than the advent of commercial sunscreens, provides the most compelling explanation for the increase in skin cancers.
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. This is appalling! The diagnosis of melanoma has continually increased for the past 30 years. Since 1992, melanoma has increased 3.1 percent annually in Caucasians, but in recent years it is increasing more rapidly in young white women (3.8 % since 1995) and men aged 65 and older (8.8 since 2003). Common types of skin care are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and are easily treated if detected early. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
Canadians aren’t immune to Melanoma either, as it’s now the 8th most common cancer in Canada. Studies show older, fair-skinned men are more likely to die of melanoma than any other group. A lack of awareness of this disease and its common location in hard to see areas, mainly the back and scalp, are the hardest to detect.
What Causes Skin Cancer?
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and tanning beds play a leading role in the development of melanoma and is the most preventable cause of this disease. Experts estimate about 90% of melanomas are associated with severe UV exposure and sunburns over a lifetime.
Due to a reduction of ozone in the earth’s atmosphere, the level of UV light today is higher than it was 50 or 100 years ago. Ozone serves as a filter to screen out and reduce the amount of UV light that we are exposed to. With less atmospheric ozone, a higher level of UV light reaches the earth’s surface.
The fact remains that while sunscreen has been the most important product in protecting us from sun damage, it also interrupts the ability in our body to produce Vitamin D. There were not as many white collar jobs before the 1930s, and more people worked in the sun than they do now. However, their skins were not exposed to the extent of sun damage as our skins are today. Why? Let’s find out.
Is My Sunscreen Killing Me?
Chemical sunscreens can interfere with the production of vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that allows us to have a healthy immune system. Many sunscreen manufacturers educated us that their sunscreen sits on the surface of your skin, unfortunately, not all of it does. These poisonous sunscreen concoctions soak into your skin and quickly find their way into your bloodstream. These dangerous chemicals scatter all over your body as chemical confetti without being detoxified by your liver and can be detected in urine, blood, and breast milk for up to two days after a single application. This would be completely ok if these sunscreens were safe and non-toxic – but they’re not.
There are 17 individual sunscreen ingredients that are FDA approved: 15 of these are clear chemicals that absorb ultraviolet (UV) light and 2 are made of minerals that reflect UV light. Out of the 15, nine are known endocrine disruptors (more information coming soon). For these to be effective, chemically manufactured sunscreens need to be rubbed into their skin 20 minutes before sun exposure. These toxic sunscreens have penetration enhancers that make it easier for your skin to draw these into body systems once they hit your bloodstream. These lab processed sunscreens block ultraviolet (UV) light, but they actually lose as much as 90% of their effectiveness in just an hour as the sun shines, so they need to be reapplied often. This is not the case with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the two minerals, when used as a blocking agent in a natural sunscreen or natural sunblock. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work very differently. These two minerals sit on the surface of the skin and physically block UV light.
There are many components in sunscreens like micronized and nanoparticles that can interrupt the normal functioning of our hormones. These microscopic particles are more easily passed across the skin and into blood and body tissues. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and progesterone can be severely affected by sunscreen applications in the long run. Pregnant women that apply sunscreen daily may experience abnormal development of the fetus and children who are growing. Modern sunscreens have nanoparticles and are called micronized. However, studies support why nanoparticles and micronized sunscreens are particularly harmful to use.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. The primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, however research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin. The Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. The Environmental Working Group said consumers should not purchase sunscreens with SPF greater than 50. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays on the skin.
You’re obviously thinking by now: “How do I protect my skin from sun damage if sunscreen is damaging it in other ways?” Well, our beautiful planet gives us gifts in the simplest of ways. With natural ingredients like red raspberry seed oil, you can block the harmful UV rays of the sun naturally with no side effects!
A Natural, Healthy Alternative To Toxic Sunscreen
Switching from chemical based products to natural and organic skin care products provides you with many healthy benefits. In the case of red raspberry seed oil, it carries a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value from 28 to 50, depending on the optical transmission of red raspberry seed oil.
Red raspberry seed oil may act as a broad spectrum UV protectant and provide protection against both UV-A, an exogenous origin of oxidative stress to the skin. This makes it ideal for most skin tones and has equivalent protection to chemical sunscreens that have titanium dioxide.
By simply applying red raspberry seed oil 20 minutes before you leave for the outdoors, you can naturally protect your skin from oxidative damage. It also contains antioxidants and fatty acids that account for great skin healing properties. In fact, red raspberry seed oil has been used for centuries to heal eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. The oil provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays naturally and within a wallet friendly budget. We have tried this and it works, plus it’s truly natural!
A Natural Solution: It Comes Down To Diet!
Natural, plant based foods are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. These substances (antioxidants and phytochemicals) are needed for your body’s repair mechanisms to function most optimally. If one’s diet is low or obsolete in fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts, the body cannot be supplied with enough micronutrients for its cells to defend itself from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Nutrients penetrate every cell in the body and are needed in every cell, including skin cells. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals from sunlight exposure can be counteracted when a healthful diet rich in antioxidants is consumed. Vegetables, both raw and low heat cooked, offer much needed protection from skin cancer, as they do for other types of cancers. Green vegetables, most notably the cruciferous variety, win the competition for cancer defending properties. The concept of consuming a high-nutrient, plant based diet has been supported in a recent study conducted in Australia. Researches analyzed the diet, skin color, and sunlight exposure of 1,360 adults, aged 25-75, who participated in a community-based skin cancer study from 1992-2002. Two main eating patterns were identified: a meat and fat pattern and a vegetable and fruit pattern. Not surprisingly, the meat and fat pattern diet was positively associated with the development of skin cancer, and even more strongly associated in participants with a skin cancer history.
Increased consumption of the vegetable and fruit dietary pattern reduced skin cancer occurrence by 54%, with the protective effect mostly attributed to the consumption of green, leafy vegetables. Research shows that a dietary pattern characterized by high meat and fat intakes increases skin cancer odds, while a dietary pattern characterized by higher consumption of green vegetables decreases it. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Cornell University and author of the The China Study states, “one study on melanoma has been published in the peer-reviewed literature that shows convincing evidence that cancer progression is substantially halted with a plant-based diet. A variety of evidence shows that cancers and non-cancers alike can be stopped even after consuming a poor diet earlier in life.” Remember, you can’t poison your way to health! It’s never to late to start eating your way to a healthier you.
Food for thought; “Moderation kills! I prefer to go the whole way, not because we have fool-proof evidence showing that 100% is better than, say, 95% for every single person for every single condition but that it is easier to avoid straying off on an excursion that too often becomes a slippery slope back to our old ways. Moreover, going the whole way allows us to adapt to new unrealized tastes and to rid ourselves of some old addictions. And finally, moderation often means very different things for different people.” ~ Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, the Cleveland Clinic surgeon who reversed his own heart disease with a plant based diet.
We hope you’ve enjoyed another healthy moment from face naturals.
- 25 Dangerous Chemicals Commonly Used In Cosmetics
- Natural Oil Sunscreens: What You Need to Know and Badger Balm for Fool-Proof Sun Protection
- Good Eating is Skin Deep
- Can Your Sunscreen Pose a Health Risk?
- Skin Cancer Experts
- A Cure for Cancer? Eating a Plant-Based Diet
- Avoid Sunscreens with Potentially Harmful Ingredients, Group Warns
- Ask the Expert: Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer?
- Malignant Melanoma
- Your Sunscreen Might Be Poisoning You
- 2009 Skin Cancer Fact Sheet