Gimme, Gimme that Sunshine~

Summer and sunshine are two of my favorite things.  Growing up as a child I was slathered in sunscreen and burnt often.  We thought this was due to my fair skin and the harmful rays of the sun. Now I know better. 

In this blog I will share a few of the main things that are key to know when enjoying the sun this summer while keeping your skin youthful and as healthy as possible for you AND your family.

When it comes to the topic of the sun and sunscreen (and honestly, most things that CAN be a topic where people hold VERY strong opinions) I like to take a BOTH/AND approach, rather than an EITHER/OR.

It is not that the sun is EITHER BAD (in many circles of thought) OR GOOD.  It’s that the sun has many benefits AND there are ways to enjoy it in moderation.  Isn’t that really the key to life anyway? To enjoy in moderation?! 

From this blog you will walk away with an understanding of how our family enjoys the sun.  I will also share my favorite products for my face, body and children’s bodies while enjoying the sun so you can grab yours for this summer. 

 Don’t fear the sun.  

For whatever reason we are taught to fear the sun.  Although the sun has always been around, skin cancers are on the rise. Something VERY IMPORTANT to note here when slathering on sunscreen in order to helpfully protect your skin is that many chemicals that used to be used (and have now been taken out of most products) and some that are still there can actually contribute to changes on a cellular level that may increase our risk of skin cancers.  

Ever heard of the “sunscreen paradox.”  The sunscreen paradox highlights the conundrum that the more people use sunscreen the more skin cancers are on the rise.  Although you can look this up and have information spoon fed to you on why that is (they’ll say we aren’t wearing enough sunscreen, we aren’t using it indoors etc) I highly encourage you to think this one through on your own and ask deeper questions perhaps based on some of the information shared below. 

Benzene, a known human carcinogen was found to be in many of the most common sunscreens in 2021. Although this ingredient was not added intentionally, concerning amounts of it were found in some of the most popular brands of sunscreens including: Neutrogena, Aveeno & Coppertone.  The products containing this ingredient have now been recalled, but nobody is sure how much it may have contributed to the rise in skin cancers we are seeing today.  

Rather than fearing the sun, you can become empowered with knowing more about how to protect yourself and family from overexposure as well as some really affordable, easy to find products that are free of any harmful ingredients.  I will link all my favorites below.  

Choose “Broad Spectrum” Products: 

Many sunscreens block UVB rays- the part of the sun that makes you BURN, but NOT UVA which actually causes the damage.  When you hear UVB think “Burn” and when you hear UVA think “Aging.”

 This gives us a false sense of security.  We might think that since were not burning were all good, when in actuality we are missing an important indicator that it’s time to give our skin a break from the sun.  

 EAT your oils

By now you have probably heard about the importance of avoiding certain vegetable and seed oils in your diet.  Many processed foods our children eat are LADEN with these oils.  When we fill our diet with healthy oils and limit or avoid toxic, inflammatory oils  we actually start to build up more of a natural protection from any harmful effects of too much sun exposure WHILE reaping the many, many benefits of the beautiful sunshine 

Avoid/Limit: Canola, Sunflower, Corn 

Include more of: Olive, Coconut, Avocado, Walnut 

Remember, the sun has MANY, MANY benefits:

  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced Immune System
  • Vitamin D
  • Improves Mood
  • Kills Bacteria 
  • Lowers Blood Pressure 
  • Fights Depression 

In our nature loving family we are in the sun often.  In general, we avoid spending a lot of time in peak sun and cover up as needed if we have a day out on the water etc.  

I wear a hat often and use a daily sun protection on my face and neck so my skin stays youthful. 

Build Up Your Base: 

There is nothing worse than going on your vacation and getting burned to a crisp.  It doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good, and it’s DEFINITELY not good for us.  Head out in the morning and evening and get some off-peak time sun exposure on your skin and build up your base gradually. 

Avoid these chemicals: 

Oxybenzone: This ingredient found in many sunscreens has raised significant concerns as it has the potential to disrupt hormone levels in the body. It can mimic estrogen which can cause hormone imbalance and reproductive problems.  It has also been detected in human breast milk which can be passed down to babies that have less of a buffer an ability to detox these harmful chemicals.  

Octinoxate: This chemical is devastating to the ocean reef.  It has also been tied to skin reactions and irritation.  I can’t help but wonder if much of my “sensitivity to the sun” I had growing up was actually a reaction to the toxic sunscreen that was being applied to my skin. I knew back then that it hurt and I didn’t like applying it, but little did we know my little body actually knew it didn’t work for me. Now, that I eat great oils and use natural oils on my skin, I rarely ever burn.  

This chemical has also been shown to disrupt thyroid function in animals studies which raises concerns for its impact on humans as well, particularly children.  

Avobenzene While there is no direct evidence linking avobenzone to cancer, some studies suggest potential endocrine-disrupting effects, which may indirectly contribute to cancer risk. Small amounts can accumulate in the body overtime.  While counties like the EU limit the amount of avobenzene allowed in their products to a concentration of 5%, the US has no limit and sunscreens are permitted to include higher levels.  

Homosalate: This chemical has been found to accumulate in our bodies over time and studies suggest that prolonged exposure may disrupt hormone levels & contribute to reproductive issues.  This chemical also poses a risk to marine life and coral reefs.  

When choosing a sun protection look for these key phrases and ingredients: 

  • Mineral Based
  • Broad Spectrum (UVA AND UVB protection)

My favorite products: 

For my face: 

https://bit.ly/3R1Xk5d

Use code: BeInspired for a discount 

This is HANDS DOWN my favorite product. I use it every single day and LOVE what it does for my skin. I apply to face and neck and it feels sooo good.  My skin feels youthful, hydrated and protected.  Although it costs more than the other products I have shared below, it lasts FOREVER! Like I said, I use it daily and purchase it twice a year, even living in sunny Florida. 

For my body: 

I rarely use sun protection on my body and instead cover with light layers if I have been out too long or seek out the shade.  But people ask often so I loaded up an Amazon list for you with the best Body product as well as some super parent and child friendly and easy apply face sticks that go on clear.  The adult and child face stick have exact same ingredients, the only difference is the child stick is scented so feel free to just use the adult one on your kiddos too.  

Here is the cart: 

https://amzn.to/3R0flRC

In here I added:

  1.  Badger Face Stick for adults and one for kids.  This one is so easy to apply. It is somewhat thick, but spreads clear.  Super easy and fun for kids to use as well. 

  2. Badger Reef Safe Sport Sunscreen.  Also goes on clear and checks all the boxes.      

   

I’d love to hear your thoughts/comments and feedback on these products.  Let me know in comments or feel free to email me at: InspiredMama@BeInpsiredMama.com