Ever since I was a little girl I thought it was odd how people thought the sun caused cancer. The sun that helps flowers blossom, vegetables and fruit grow, gives us the tans we all so dearly strive for. The sun that we all look forward to, to come out and melt the snow and heat up our pools and lakes so we can go swimming. I never understood this fear of the sun. Especially since I love it. I love its warmth, the way it makes me feel tingly and heats my skin up when I'm outside. There is nothing I don't like about the sun.
My whole life I have doubted the sun and cancer theory. One day, at my fabulous school (of course), I got the answers to this problem that plagued me. It's not the sun after all. Nope. Not the sun. In fact, it's actually us and the decisions we make without even realizing it.
Let me explain.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. That means when you put anything on your skin, anything at all, it hits everything internally and all parts of you. Ever heard of the patch? When you really think about it you're putting a band-aid like object on a tiny section of your whole body and that small object somehow magically knows where to work on what part of your body to help you quit smoking or not get pregnant. One tiny square is all it takes for your whole body to respond. Interesting, right?
Now think about this: Every day you put on cologne/perfume, lotion/after shave, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, makeup/moisturizer, deodorant, sunscreen, etc. How many ingredients can you pronounce on all the labels? How many are even listed sometimes? And what exactly do they all do? Well let me tell you my friends, they cause cancer and other diseases. I know that's tough to swallow.
Here's how it works:
You put on multiple products each day that all affect the largest organ of your body, thus affecting the rest of you. These products are full of chemicals. Full of them. Then you go out into the sun. The sun, doing it's job and heating things up, heats up these chemicals on your body and these chemicals start to "react".
Heat plus chemicals is a bad thing and is only good when used in a science lab for experiments, not on your body. This is where the bad news comes in.
Day after day, month after month, year after year of doing this will hurt you in one way or another. There's actually a website my teacher gave us that lists all the chemical names and what they do to you. That's right ladies and gentleman, once again there is something out there that would be helpful for all of us to know but no one ever told us because they wouldn't make any money if we knew. Sad but true.
You might think you only use a little bit of each product, so no big deal. Not exactly. You see, it's like the patch example. Even a little affects all of you.
Think of it like this: Let's say you wake up and shower with body wash, wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner, and then put lotion on. Let's say you only use a quarter size amount, which we will call 10% for each item that you use. So right off the bat you're at a 40% rate of chemical use on your skin, the largest organ of your body. Then, you put on perfume/cologne, moisturizer, chapstick, and deodorant. Now you're at an 80% chemical use rate. Then you put on some sunscreen (I'll get to this in a second), maybe you need gel/hairspray, and maybe you're like me and you have an addiction to body spray from Victoria's Secret. I know, it's amazing stuff. I had to give that up too. Anyway, now you're over a 100% rate of chemical use, not to mention the reapplying you do throughout the day. So in any given day you are putting excessive amounts of toxins on and in your body. Scary thought.
I personally freaked out and threw everything out. Everything. I went to Sprouts, Whole Foods, and my school book store and bought everything I needed to replace with organic, chemical free items. That was three years ago and I've never looked back. The switch over is pretty easy. It's a one day task of trashing the bad and buying the good.
As for the sunscreen issue, you probably also don't know that most sunscreens are bogus. Ever been in the sun with sunscreen on and still gotten burned? That's because there was nothing effective actually in your sunscreen. It's easier and cheaper to make bogus products, so they do.
Bogus products that are full of what? Chemicals. That do what? Heat up in the sun.
The thing that's supposed to protect us ends up hurting us. When I switched over to a new, teacher approved sunscreen I never had a problem again. I like the Alba brand, but only certain ones. I don't necessarily burn easily, but I like the sun so I spend a lot of time in it...I do live in the desert after all. Not once have I gotten a sunburn of any kind since the switch. Keep in mind that getting a sunburn is still definitely bad. There is nothing good about burning your skin ever, but a lot of the danger lies in the chemicals in and on your body.
A couple of my favorite skin care lines are Hylunia and Miessence. The ingredients are listed right on the site by the product. They are expensive but they're worth it. Some less expensive products that are better than a lot out there are the Say Yes line (Say Yes to Carrots, Say Yes to Cucumbers, etc.) and the Jason line. They're not perfect, but they're affordable and still a much better option that most things out there.
Food also plays a part in the way your body interacts with the sun. I'll save that for another blog, but just keep that in mind.
I know this can be tough to hear and to make the changes. If it helps at all, I'm not perfect at this myself. Let it be known that even with this knowledge I still must have my Viktor and Rolf perfume. I've made the conscious decision that I cannot live without it. Additionally, I'm not trying to freak anyone out. Your body and life are yours to do with as you please. I just feel that everyone has the right to be informed so that they can make the best decision for themselves.
Below is the link to the site that lists all the chemicals, the good products, and the bad. Grab your products and start researching!
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