by Natasha Sunshine-Antonioni
The sunscreen scare is settling into my psyche at a whole new level this year. As the heat begins to kick in I keep thinking about slathering my two beautiful girls with the toxic white stuff. I’m not a fanatical about being all natural or anything – have you read my posts on skin care? Big Retinol fan here. But you can’t deny some pretty amazing numbers that are surfacing on the web.
My sweet husband shared an article from Honey Colony that pushed me into action. If not for myself, at least for the safety of my family. Here’s just a small clip from the article, 10 Shocking Things About Sunscreen – By Ann Louise Gittleman.
1. 1 in 5 Americans will have skin cancer.
2. 98% of Americans have sunscreen in their blood. (This includes breast milk.)
3. Regular sunscreens contain parabens and other toxins.
4. Melanoma cases have tripled since the 70’s.
5. Sunscreen industry started to boom in the 70’s.
Yikes. I’m finally listening and am semi-frantically looking for options. For the sake of my little girl’s bodies weighing in at a mere thirty-eight and forty pounds, I want alternatives and recently came across two that can simply be added to your morning smoothie.
Astaxanthin – not only is it one of the most powerful anti-oxidants on the planet, it acts like it’s own type of sunscreen in nature. Astaxanthin is a by-product of microalgae, among other things. As the algae bakes in the sun, encystment (carotogenesis) occurs, during which the cells produce high levels of astaxanthin as a protective mechanism against the environmental stress. Think of it as a self made umbrella produced by the algae to protect itself from the sun. Pretty cool right? So along with keeping your body, healthy and youthful, it also gives your skin in inside out protective barrier from the sun.
I recently started taking it on a daily basis and realized that I can drop a couple pills in my morning smoothie so the whole family can benefit. The brand I’m loving for the intense amount of research they do on their product development is Sports Research.
Polypodium Leucotomos Extract - comes from a fern native to tropical rainforests. It has been used in Central American folk medicine for ages. Tonics were prescribed for a multitude of ailments, ranging from asthma to heart disease. Orally administered extracts have been effective neuroprotective agents, cough suppressants, and anti-inflammatories in laboratory studies. An extract may also protect skin from ultraviolet damage, wikipedia tells us. Fairly new to the market, Heliocare, has launched an oral supplement with this as it’s key ingredient.
It is still recommended that you use a sunscreen when spending loads of time outdoors but there are brands out there that go for a natural ingredient list to keep you from turning lobster red. I personally always appreciate an inside-out approach to self care and if a couple of supplments a day can keep the toxins away then I’m all for it.
For a more natural approach to sunscreen, be sure to check out 3rd Rock Sunscreen.