For millions of years, all the creatures on Earth have not needed sunscreen. Since the widespread use of sunscreen in the 1970s, deaths from skin cancer & melanoma have sky-rocketed by at least 150%. We have slathered ourselves in sunscreen, thinking we are caring for our skin, but are we?
In Australia, 70% of people are diagnosed with skin cancer. In my childhood family, I am the only one who hasn't had skin cancer removed. Sure, we are pasty white people in a land of harsh sunshine, but this didn't happen to my grandparents, and they all worked in the sun all day.
Let's take a stroll down the story of the sunscreen illusion. It is controversial but true.
Sunscreen stops you from getting sunburned, but absorbing its cocktail of chemicals has the unfortunate side-effect of giving you cancer.
Your skin, the largest organ of our body, absorbs everything you put on it. The question is, what exactly are you absorbing?
You wouldn't eat any of your sunscreens, they taste disgusting, but it all goes into your body. When your sunscreen stops working after a while, it's not because it has washed off; it has absorbed into you.
There has been an enormous amount of research into the dangerous effects of oxybenzone, methylisothiazoline, retinyl palmitate and the hundreds of other ingredients. None of which have been appropriately tested. To make matters worse, these inorganic chemicals breakdown and change when you introduce chemicals like sweat, salt and chlorine.
Wearing sunscreen and swimming in the ocean & pool, or getting sweaty, creates a dramatic chemical transformation. This alchemical change then goes on to affect all your body, especially your kidneys and liver. They call it disinfection by-products, (DPB's) and they are as nasty as they sound.
The world is slowly starting to recognise that there is something astray.
In Hawaii, they have banned inorganic sunscreens because they are killing the coral reefs and sea life. Globally people are realising the ancient belief in the profound healing benefits of our Sun, and that we can enjoy it much more than we thought. Health authorities are now recommending avoiding sunscreen where possible. Using a mineral based natural sunscreen is definately better, but that is controversial too.
There are better ways to protect your skin, and wearing a hat is my favourite.
Now it's not easy to get people to wear hats. As kids, you are bossed into wearing them, and they are usually ugly and uncomfortable. That feeling lingers for a lot of people.
When you finally decide you need a hat, you buy a $50 cheapie from the pharmacy or surf shop. Not surprisingly, they don't get a lot of good feedback, and the hat goes in the back of the cupboard. Sometimes you are shamed and ridiculed, and often for good reason. Either way, you go back to drenching yourself in sunscreen.
So what does a rational person do?
90% of aging is caused by our Sun and no-one wants to get cancer and look old. But there absolutely no doubt, that caking yourself with sunscreen does not work. I know it's easy, but it is an illusion.
The only good solution is wearing a great hat - that's it.
This is what people have done, all over the world for thousands of years without any problems.
It's an old trick.
A hat trick.
p.s. It helps when you know the Secret Art of Wearing Hats