The debate about sunscreens rages on. Dermatologists advise slathering up every day. Nutritionists and holistic doctors advise sun exposure to get vitamin D. Some even say sunscreens cause cancer, and a disturbing study showed that people who used more commercial sunscreen had more melanoma.
Where is the truth? We might never know. Sunscreen manufacturers need to sell their product and natural sunscreen companies have little money for research. The FDA is mute and has never said that sunscreens prevent skin cancer. It is clear that commercial sunscreen ingredients (like oxybenzone and methoxycinnamate) are potent hormone disruptors and potential carcinogens. My advice is to never use these commercial sunscreens.
What should you do? Be judicious and safe. Get sun exposure. It is the best and most reliable source of vitamin D. But avoid sunburn, which damages the skin and may increase your risk of skin cancer. Avoid baking in the sun at midday, especially those first days of summer or your beach vacation. Gradually build your tan. Wear a hat to protect your face from sunburn.
Do you want to protect your body from the sun’s harmful rays, but don’t want to pay premium prices for clothes made from high-tech fabrics that promise to protect from damaging UV rays? Think blue and red rather than yellow. Spanish scientists have found that cotton fabrics dyed deep blue or red provide better UV protection than the same fabric dyed yellow.
The researchers found that the color of a fabric is one of the most important factors in how well clothes protect against ultraviolent radiation, although scientists aren’t sure exactly how color interacts with other factors to affect protection.
Clothing dyed a shade of deep blue provided the most protection while yellow afforded the least.