Sunscreens or not. The risk versus reward of using sunscreen

Posted on Jun 17, 2016


It’s that time of the year when mothers everywhere get really nervous about their kids being outside in the summer sun. In years past, moms didn’t seem to go to the extreme lengths they do nowadays to keep their kids’ bodies covered up in clothing and/or sunscreen to protect them from the seemingly harmful UV rays.

Indeed, most people just assume it’s a logical choice to cover any exposed body parts with sunscreen if they’re going to spend time outdoors. Their chief motivation? “I don’t want to get skin cancer.”

Skin is your body’s largest organ. Whatever you put on it gets absorbed into your cells, tissues and organs rather quickly. Did you ever stop to consider what ingredients make up sunscreen? Is sunscreen a good thing to use?

A century ago skin cancer was rare, but today it’s all too common. The numbers will scare you: 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year according to the CDC, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

But what about all the people using sunscreen? Shouldn’t their use of sunscreen be bringing those numbers down, helping to protect people from problems like skin cancer?

Here’s the deal: the sun is not your enemy, yet by applying sunscreen you’re inadvertently messing with nature. Normally, when the sun hits your skin your body produces Vitamin D which is then used by every cell in the body and helps prevent all sorts of diseases. Sunscreen, however, blocks the production of Vitamin D– not good!

You’ve heard of UV rays. Specifically, there are UVA rays and UVB rays. Suffice it to say that sunscreens, until recently, only blocked the UVB rays. Exposure to UVA rays, which penetrate deep in the skin and cause free-radical damage, increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

Sunscreens may not do what people expect them to do. Furthermore, sunscreen ingredients can cause skin irritations. If you take a look at your sunscreen and see para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), retinyl palmitate, and benzophenones listed, you should do some research to discover those ingredients may actually be helping to damage your skin and leading you down the path to a skin cancer diagnosis.

Are there natural products that can help protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun? Yes. Look for products with coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and jojoba oil.

For more information on Sunscreen’s please call Lakewoods Chiropractic at 651¬464¬0800 or send us an email at lakewoodschiropractic@gmail.com

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