This post discusses the Safety of Sunscreen – Wisdom from Laird Hamilton.
Safety of Sunscreen – Wisdom from Laird Hamilton
I’ll preface this post by saying that I am hoping to provide some good information here, and maybe help open a few minds–not to rant or force my thoughts on anyone. I just believe it is worth mentioning! 🙂
During a conversation with my mother today on the phone, she planted a seed of an idea in my mind that I instantly realized was very important and worth addressing and discussing in my blog: Sunscreen.
Being a Florida native, participating in outdoor activities where sun exposure is frequent, the topic/necessity of sunscreen is mentioned often. My ideas and beliefs pertaining to sunscreen have changed quite a bit since becoming more aware of the ingredients in my beauty products.
Just like any other beauty product you can pick up at the drug store, sunscreen contains a laundry list of harmful chemicals that you should not ignore. Many people immediately are in disbelief when they hear that.
“What do you mean? Sunscreen PROTECTS my skin!” Well, unfortunately, that’s not completely true.
If you care about the toxins that enter your body via the largest system in your body: the integumentary system (which includes your skin) then this is important.
It is good to remember that if you would not eat it, you might want to consider why you are putting it onto your skin (substances are absorbed through skin and go DIRECTLY into your bloodstream, unlike food that gets the benefit of kidneys and a liver to filter out impurities).
To put it simply, just because you can buy it at the store, does not mean it is good for you. One way to be more aware of what you apply to your body is to read the ingredients! Don’t blindly use products. If you pick up a bottle of sunscreen, it is likely that you do not know what most of those ingredients are, and you probably can’t pronounce them either–that’s because they are not made to go into your body.
If you need to hear this from a more credible source;
Take Laird Hamilton for example. Laird is a professional surfer, health and fitness genius, son of surf legend Bill Hamilton, husband of health and fitness guru Gabrielle Reece, and has been deemed the “best athlete in the world” by many renowned athletes.
He is also lives in Kauai, Hawaii part of the year, and Malibu, California the rest. I believe it is safe two say two things about him: His knowledge is respected and virtually always right on the money, and he knows a thing or two about being in the sun.
Here is a direct Laird Hamilton quote:
“I hate sunscreen, it has a lot of toxins in it….Have you ever really looked at the labels on processed foods & products? The list of ingredients is surreal. Here’s one: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Sounds like something you’d find in battery acid, not in food and products that go into and onto your body.”
Wouldn’t you think twice about sunscreen after hearing that? I sure did.
He goes on to discuss that a large portion of skin damage due to sun is the result of skin temperature getting too high. He suggests that submerging yourself constantly in water to keep your skin cool does a lot to minimize damages of extensive sun exposure. A good rule of thumb to always keep in mind in regards to your health is moderation; it’s never a great idea to over-do it, especially when talking about being in the sun.
Which Precautions are Worth Taking
In all of this, I am not suggesting that precautions should not be taken to avoid over exposure, rather, which precautions?
We are so quick to reach for the sunscreen when we should be reaching for a t-shirt, hat, shorts, sunglasses, or umbrella. Lots of sun protection & no toxins.
In the advancing market of natural and organic substitutes for everyday items containing harsh and harmful substances, there are many health-promoting companies that are changing the sunscreen market. My favorite is 100 Percent Pure, you can check my favorite sunscreen out here. They are creating sunscreens with lots of organic ingredients and zero toxins.
Awesome right? So, if you must, you can use sunscreen in moderation and feel more assured that you aren’t harming yourself as you are covering up with sunblock.
These words from Laird came from a sit down interview titled “As It Lays” (you can watch it on youtube.com) and also from his book: “Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, and, Of Course, Surfing.”