July 12, 2023

Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection

The Author

Jesica Williams

Since 2012, I’ve been creating digital wellness guides and researching natural beauty products, HIIT workouts, functional exercises, body positivity, self love, and tips helping you explore wellness and feel good.

truth about sunbathing and sunscreen feel more gooder

Welcome to this post: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Why you Shouldn’t Always Wear Sunscreen?

We are taught that the sun is a threat, that we need to seek protection and shielding from it at all costs, that we always need to “wear our SPF”. However, my view on this topic is that it’s an incredibly unfortunate divorce from nature to do so. Humans are born with thousands of vitamin D receptors all over the body. Thus, we are built to interact wisely with the sun and fortify our bodies with water-soluble vitamin D by doing so.

Does Sunscreen Block Vitamin D?

It’s no secret that the last few years on this planet have (hopefully) awoken many individuals in regards to taking better care of the body they were given. At the helm of immune-support and a healthy body is a physiology that is brimming with vitamin D. Adequate vitamin D levels reduces all-cause mortality, your susceptibility to illness, and prepares you to stay strong and vital in the face of many ails that have unfortunately become normal.

Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection

Vitamin D Supplementation

As a side note, supplementing is not sufficient and is simply not a replacement. The type of vitamin D that is synthesized through our skin is a water-soluble form. This means that it easily pumps this vital hormone (yep, vitamin D is better known as a hormone, rather than a trivial vitamin) into our blood – supporting, protecting, and cultivating our health for us.

Supplementation with vitamin D comes a fat-soluble form. Thus, it does not contain the same capacity to infiltrate our blood. This is an important differentiation and hopefully can help you appreciate these incredible capabilities that our bodies are born with. When you really think about it, it makes sense that our bodies’ capacity when interacting with nature far surpasses any supplement or pill. While vitamin D supplementation can be useful in climates and environments where the UV is low, it should be treated as a secondary way of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.

You can’t replace what nature innately provides. So, it’s crucial that we understand just how much of a gift the sun is.

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection feel more gooder

The Sun Symbolizes Life

Without the sun, things on planet earth would start dying. Does it make sense to you that the sun has singled us out, picked on us humans and has decided to be killing us, while it is providing life to all other living things? Our circadian rhythm is based on the sun, plant life is based on the sun, and the animal kingdom relies on the sun for life, as we do. To me, it’s so incredibly clear that the sun unlocks our lifeforce.

If you follow my Instagram account, you know I’ve been focused this summer personally on prioritizing mindful sun exposure as well as sharing what I’m learning about the sun. I’ve always had an affinity for the sun, but I have amplified appreciation for it. I start my day with it, and I’m come to understand better what light is actually communicating to our circadian rhythm, cortisol levels, our eyes (connected to the brain), and even our hormones.

In case you missed it, I posted a video on sunscreen to Tiktok and it has received upwards of 2.2 million views, and attracted over 193,000 likes, 22,000 saves, and thousands of comments. I eventually made the decision to turn the comments off, as the comments section was becoming volatile with abusive language, and name calling in re: to this topic. Who knew that it was controversial to advocate for natural sunlight and recommend sun care products that are free of harmful chemicals?

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

This summer, I’ve really been focused on behaviors and practices that are free, and are simply an adjustment in how you do your day. In other words, you can receive a lot of benefits to your overall health simply by changing your behavior and what you choose to prioritize. For example, getting morning sunlight in the eyes and watching the sunset as much as possible heavily influence your circadian rhythm.

Also, being mindful about non-natural light sources after the sun goes down has a big impact. Essentially, when you are exposed to light after the hours that the sun goes down, that light is communicating to your body that it needs to stay alert and awake. This is a problem if you are aiming for quality sleep because this inhibits the production of melatonin; which as we know, causes us to fall and stay asleep (as well as being involved in many other bodily processes).

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

And, I’ve really noticed a huge difference in so many ways. I’m sleeping better, my moods are better, my skin feels great, and overall I just feel healthier by the day, down to my cellular level it feels like. This all makes sense once you learn about what sunlight does for our mitochondria, the energy packs in our cells.

Does Sunscreen Prevent You From Tanning?

I realize that for many, the idea that chemical sunscreen isn’t a good option for sun protection will be brand new information. Perhaps you’ve had a dermatologist recommend it to you before, so you have never previously questioned if it was good for you or not. Hopefully, I can shed some light in this post on why it’s the worst possible choice, and you’re better off reaching for non-nano zinc sunscreen, shade, and/or clothing.

And indeed, sunscreen does prevent you from tanning, as it forms a barrier between your skin and the UV light coming from the sun. This might seem obvious. But, it’s an important 180 to realize that preventing tanning is not a health practice. Melanin is actually connected t =o our vitality and a longevity. For more on melanin, keep reading, as I mention it again later in this post.

Does Sunscreen Inhibit Vitamin D Intake?

Additionally, since vitamin D is synthesizes by the skin when it interfaces with UV-B rays, specifically, sunscreen actually prohibits vitamin D production. Most sunscreens actually separate the rays of the sun; UV-A rays are able to penetrate through without their accompanying UV-B rays, which is not as nature intends. This is one of reasons that sunscreen is problematic. Note: sunblock is different, as it does not separate the rays and blocks both wavelengths of light.

Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection feel more gooder

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Note: my skin seems to have an affinity for the sun. I do not burn easily and I prioritize sun exposure. That’s how I have been able to build a tan like this one. It has taken time and I am always mindful of listening to my body and covering up if I feel I need it. Perhaps most importantly, I feel that sun exposure has been a big reason why my EBV + mold exposure symptoms have completely resolves. With my vitamin D levels topped off, I feel awesome, strong, protected, and capable. That’s a good feeling.

Podcasts on Sunscreen & Sun Exposure

Interested in Diving Deeper on this perspective? I recommend starting with these podcast episodes:









You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Notable Social Media Posts on the Sun

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Reef Safe Sunscreen

As if avoiding the applying harmful chemicals to your skin wasn’t enough of a reason to stay away from chemical sunscreen, it’s crucial to understand the oceanic impact of this toxic all-too-common summer skincare staple for many.

Chemical sunscreens that have been dispersed into the ocean through human use are literally killing ocean life, specifically coral reefs. If these chemicals are killing coral reefs, what do you think they are doing to your skin?

What If I Get a Sunburn?

Getting sunburnt is never the goal. I always advocate to listening to your body and paying attention to how your skin feels. My personal first choice when I feel like I need coverage is to apply the Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine Oil, which contains full-sun botanicals that innately have the capacity to help you harmonize with the sun. You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Next, I’d apply clothing and a hat. If clothing is not an option for whatever reason, I would reach for a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. This type of sunscreen is mineral-based, and contains particles of zinc that sit atop your skin to form a physical barrier, rather than be absorbed into the blood stream. Some brands use nano zinc oxide as the sun-protection ingredient; this is not the best option, but it’s still way better than reaching for chemical-based sunscreens. I use the Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine Zinc Lotion and Balm for when I seek this kind of protection.

Understanding Sun Spots on Skin

A crucial point to make about sun exposure and “sun spots”, as they are commonly referred to, is the origin of how these spots of hyperpigmentation actually occur. And, even better – how you can naturally support your skin in getting rid of them and restoring your complexion.

While the sun is commonly blamed for the formation of hyperpigmentation (darker, more concentrated spots of melanin on the skin), the reason these arise actually has a lot to due with diets containing PUFAS (polyunsaturated fatty acids, like those found in heavily processed oils like canola), use of chemical sunscreen (these toxic ingredients bake into your skin, causing damage; it’s not the sun rays on their own), and increased time spent in fluorescent light instead of natural light from the sun.

You’re reading: Truth About Sunbathing & Bad Sunscreen.

Nadine Artemis, founder of Living Libations, talks openly about how she has successfully reversed spots on her skin causes by chemical-sun-care-ingredients mixed with dis-harmonious time spent in the sun by engaging with the sun more thoughtfully and with clean plant botanicals that help the skin hang the sun more beautifully.

Our human skin is built to receive sun. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, our physiology is engineered for sun absorption through the skin. It’s not something to run away from. Rather, it’s best to practice wise, mindful, intentional interaction with the sunlight.

Melanin is Important

Many don’t understand the complexitity and importance of melanin. Also, we have three types of melanin in our body; the type that shows through our skin is just one of the kind. You can actually think of it as your lifeforce. For a more in depth understanding of melanin and its role in our physiology, check out the work of Dr. Jack Kruse.

Sun Tips & Skin Types

If you have fair skin (you can learn more about how your skin-type stacks up via the Fitzpatrick skin scale), start with small increments of time and build upwards from there. One of the most common comments I’ve received while putting more of my sun-info findings out into the world is, “I have fair skin, I have to wear sunscreen!” To that, I’d offer up – all of our skin is different and I do not advocate for going against what your body is telling you. You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

It’s all about a gradual and mindful integration of time in the sun, with protection when needed. Ways I’d recommend to protect from excessive sun exposure include seeking shade, wearing clothing, using sun-harmonizing skincare (like the Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine Oil), and applying a non-nano zinc sunscreen when you desire direct coverage on your skin.

Regardless of your skin type, you are a human being. One thing that every single human being has in common is that we need sunlight to create vitamin D, and we do not benefit from applying toxic chemicals to our skin (which bypass the kidneys and liver and go directly into the blood stream). Find what works for you and work on cultivating a more revering relationship to the natural world around you.

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Lastly, I recommend downloading the free app called D Minder. This is an excellent resource for beginning your mindful relationship with the sun, one in which you don’t run from the rays 24/7. On the contrary, you wisely interact with the sunlight so that you can recieve the benefits without overexposing yourself.

This app takes your location (UV index of where you are), cloud cover, skin type, current blood vitamin D levels (if you know it) and time in the sun into consideration and helps you stay accountable and build a sun-loving routine that is best suited for you and where’s you’re at – literally and figuratively.

My Broad Spectrum Sunscreens Recommendations

I published this recommendation/swaps post on Instagram a while back, and it felt like it helped many of your open up to the importance of using better products on your skin this summer. Here are the products that I mentioned, and where to buy them and save:

-Everybody Loves the Sunshine Zinc Lotion, Zinc Beach Balm, and Tanning Oil by Living Libations – get 15% off auto-applied at checkout here

-Skin Support by Intelligence of Nature – code FEELMOREGOODER for 15% off

-Purely Calm Gel Toner by Osmia Skincare – shop Osmia here

-Babo Botanicals After Sun Soothing Hydrating Gel – Shop at The Detox Market online

Dont Need Sunscreen Myth

I realize that when you hear something entirely brand new from the mainstream story, your first impulse may be to get angry and mock it, or completely dismiss it. However, I’d offer up that it’ll serve you to get curious about what (as humans) our relationship to nature is supposed to be. We as a populous are sicker than ever, and obviously more disconnected from nature than ever. Thus, it makes sense to me that reconnecting to nature is the answer and guide back to true health.

You’re reading: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection.

Maybe you arrived at this blog post because you were searching the web for “sunscreen myths and facts”, “sunbathing bad sunscreen truth: toxic sun protection.”, “1 hour in sun without sunscreen”, “skin healthy glowing with”, “not wearing sunscreen facts”, “sun exposure without sunscreen”, “how long can you stay in the sun with sunscreen”, “Do you tan faster without sunscreen?”, “sun damage”, “why you shouldn’t always wear sunscreen?”, “do you tan faster without sunscreen?”, “how much sun exposure is safe without sunscreen”, or “can you tan with sunscreen spf 50”.

No matter what brought you here, I’m glad you’re here: Sunbathing Bad Sunscreen Truth: Toxic Sun Protection. This is a topic I’m passionate about and I’m encouraged that you’re open-minded enough to dive deeper into the topics of mindful & intentional sunbathing, holistic sunscreen, and wisely interacting with the elements.

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