Really quick, I have to tell you about this! If I reach 7500 fans on Facebook by 8 AM EST on June 18th — next Monday — I will be giving 5 copies of Simply Summer, my brand-new cookbook, to lucky fans. If you haven’t “liked” me yet, now is the time! If you don’t win, you’ll also see some awesome launch-day specials, so be paying attention for those! You should know, though, that I usually pre-release the book and the codes to my Facebook fans the night before the launch, so…more reason to “like” me! Look for some announcements after 6 PM EST on Sunday, June 17th.
Today I have a guest post on sunscreen use from Kelley of Lithe Wellness Solutions. Thanks, Kelley!
Our family has a love/hate relationship with sunscreen. When we spend hours out on the boat, days at ball tournaments and entire weekends in the sun, we love it. When we read the label and compare it to the Environmental Working Group’s safe sunscreen list, we hate it. I especially hate forking over the bucks for something I don’t especially like spending money on.
On the other hand, our skin is the biggest organ in our body. What we put on it needs just as much thought and consideration as what we put in our mouths, our brains and in our hearts.
A couple of years ago when I read the back of a sunscreen label for the first time and realized that it could not be slathered on skin that was six months or younger, my cautious, new mama heart went “Hmmm.” If it couldn’t go on my baby’s skin because he wasn’t old enough, why? I certainly didn’t want him to burn to a diapered crisp.
I dug deeper. And deeper, and deeper. What I found completely shocked me. This stuff shouldn’t be put on our skin! Ingredients like Benzophenone (super common in sunscreen) are toxic! And according to the EWG, it isn’t something we want on the largest organ in our body, let alone put in our mouths. Other ingredients like Oxybenzone make sunscreen completely useless in the fight against cancer because they are carcinogens in their own right and others turn into free radicals when they are exposed to the sun. So, what’s a modern alternative mama to do?
There are the times that we use sunscreen — the beach, the boat and during ball tournaments.
Most of the time, though, we don’t use it. Instead:
- We run around the yard and catch the sun between the shade and let our unprotected bodies put those rays to work making Vitamin D to strengthen our bones and our moods and help with mineral absorption.
- We take shade breaks and wear hats and sometimes even UV shirts.
- In the middle of the day, when the sun is the strongest we take breaks for lunches, naps, resting or even boring indoor chores like laundry.
- By three o’clock we are back out catching rays. We even pretend we are jaundiced and let the kids run naked in our fairly private yard in those late afternoons.
But when we are back out on the lake, at the tournament or can’t avoid the mid-day sun, we use EWG’s well researched safe sunscreens. You can check out the list here. These sunscreens are a little bit hard to find and are sometimes feel really expensive.
BUT, the thing to remember is that ANY sunscreen should only be used for one year. If you already buy a giant, economy-sized bottle, that is the same price as the safe sunscreen, and then store the leftovers in the closet for the winter season, the sunscreen’s active ingredients lose potency, allowing for a burn between applications. Another way for sunscreen to fail you.
You might as well buy the smaller, expensive tube that will be used while the ingredients are all still active. This is what I always try to remember, even if I have to pay a little more for it: A sunscreen should protect us from harm and cancer, not increase the chances that we get it!
You can check out the EWG. They are a group of scientists, engineers, lawyers and lobbyists who exist solely in Washington to protect the health of consumers and push for national change. They review sunscreen and cosmetics every year and publish a list of the safest and the worst offenders. We think they are super helpful!
Kelley Suggs, CHES is Christian, work from home wife and mother of two. She is also the founder of Lithe Wellness Solutions where the focus is on fitting real food into real life and helping pregnant women prepare for a natural birth through fitness.
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