Posted on July 12, 2017 by Alanna Hinds
When summer comes out to play, so does your skin – and considering how much warmer it’s going to get over the season’s course it’s extremely important to protect your skin from overexposure and sunburns, especially with the rise of skin cancer. But what if I told you that the sunscreen you lather and rub into your skin actually causes cancer? That “sun protection” is actually a “cancer invitation’?
It may not be common knowledge yet, but more than half of store bought sunscreens contain chemicals that promote cancer as the chemicals used to absorb UV light are largely carcinogenic, meaning they’ve been PROVEN to cause cancer – the very thing these products claim to protect against!
One of the most common chemicals used in sunscreen known as PABA or padimate-O, for instance, is essentially harmless out of the sun – but when exposed to UV light it attacks the DNA within your cells.
Additionally, sunscreen contributes to skin cancer as it blocks both the production of Melanin and of Vitamin D.
Melanin is the pigment in your skin that is responsible for the tanning response, and is also inversely correlated with the amount of DNA damage that occurs due to excessive UV radiation. In other words, the tan produced by sunlight protects your skin from damage. Sunscreen blocks your skin from producing this protective pigment and prevents your body from naturally tanning, making you even more susceptible to burning with regular use.
Vitamin D is highly protective against internal cancers and has been shown to cause melanoma cells to self-destruct; it is critical to your body’s anti-cancer defense system and sunscreen virtually eliminates its production: An SPF of 8 reduces your ability to produce Vitamin D by 95%, an SPF of 15 – more than 99%.
If you fell victim to the lack of circulating information about conventional sunscreens like I did, luckily it’s an easy fix. Once you run out of the sunscreen you have, promise to never purchase a conventional, chemical-ridden sunblock again and GO NATURAL.
Although it is recommended to use protective clothing like large hats and sleeves instead of product; there are many oils that contain a natural SPF that can be used as protection, including hemp seed oil.
With an SPF of 6, Hemp Seed Oil is a natural sun protectant. Natural properties of Hemp Seed Oil that make it a good organic sunblock:
◊ It is high in chlorophyll
◊ Stimulates cell repair
◊ Helps deflect some of the UV rays (UVB rays)
◊ Doesn’t affect the very important absorption of vitamin D, which most synthetic chemical sun protection products do.
To purchase an organic sunblock at a health food store, look for a sunblock with a combination of hemp seed oil and other ingredients in a non-nano zinc oxide formula (non-nano meaning it won’t absorb into your skin and, therefore, bloodstream) as this will provide you with the benefits of the hemp seed oil and the extra UVA and UVB protection; Or find one that fits your needs online.
Hemp seed oil, as well as most plant oils, only protect against UVB rays. If you want a purely natural oil sunscreen, only red raspberry seed oil protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has a higher SPF of 28-50 (dependant upon oil quality).
Determining the exact SPF factor of an oil is difficult given that natural oils oxidize, or lose some of their medicinal properties, over time and when exposed to light. Additionally, since not all oils are created equal, the SPF can also vary when it is on your skin. As Hemp Seed Oil already has a low SPF, it’s important to ensure that you are purchasing your oils from a recommended, high-quality source.
I would personally recommend the use of Hemp Seed Oil as a sunblock for indoor outings, after-sun care, or in conjunction with other UV blocking ingredients; especially if you have fair-colored skin and require the extra protection! (I’m personally very tan and use a baseball hat and organic coconut oil if I plan on being in the sun, but I’m looking to try the raspberry seed oil next!)
Raspberry seed oil: SPF 28 – 50
Carrot seed oil: SPF 38 – 40
Wheatgerm oil: SPF 20
Avocado oil: SPF 4 – 15
Coconut oil: SPF 2 – 8
Olive oil: SPF 2 – 8
Macadamia nut oil: SPF 6
Almond oil: SPF 5
Shea butter: SPF 3-6
Jojoba oil: SPF 4
When choosing your natural sunscreen ingredients keep in mind that a homemade sunscreen, although free of parabens and unnecessary chemical additives; hasn’t been tested by a regulatory organization for exact SPF and it’s important to be cautious as the sun protective ability of the final product depends on the amount of each ingredient used as well as ingredient quality.
Bottom line: SAY NO TO CONVENTIONAL SUNSCREEN. Do your own research when it comes to your daily products; use common sense when getting sun exposure and, if you need to use sunblock, use one with natural ingredients. Pre-made natural (organic, non-nano) sunscreens.
About the author: Alanna Hinds is a millennial entrepreneur in the legal cannabis/hemp space whose passion is to promote conscious consumerism in her readers.
She has published numerous articles on the benefits of the cannabis plant family and offers her content as a means to increase student involvement in the building of the green economy in the United States.
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