The 411 on the Sun

by - 4:44 PM

Recently, several articles have come out warning about the harmful chemicals in sunscreen. (I shared one of these on the FGK facebook page yesterday.)

Additionally, a major study was released which found that women who avoided sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

Who could forget Magda?

Sooo...the sun is good for us? We shouldn't use sunscreen? All of the snowbirds frying themselves down in Boca Raton are geniuses?

As a lover of the sun, I've decided to summarize what I have found about our frienemy in the sky. I also used to summarize articles on industry trends for hedge funds all day long, so this is totally up my alley ;)

Fact or Myth: Sunscreen is Bad for You

Ok so anything that you put or ingest into your body that has chemicals that you can't pronounce or buy individually is probably not the best for you. That being said, I know I've been putting things onto and into my body for 30 years, and I haven't died yet.

The most disturbing article I read yesterday was warning against the chemicals released in spray on sunscreen - which become airborne and then ingested directly into the lungs. Mainly by children.

This article from the Huffington Post issued a warning from consumer reports against using spray on sunscreen on children.

"Consumer Reports tested sunscreens in the past and found that those containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide could have nanoparticles -- particles known for causing developmental issues in animals." - (source Huffington Post)

If it causes developmental issues in animals, I would probably think twice about putting it on my kids. The FDA began investigating spray on sunscreen in 2011 and still haven't released anything (and probably never will since everyone is in bed with everybody else in DC) SO my takeaway is - put the tube stuff on them.

Better yet, here's an article from Wellness Mama on how to make your own.

Even better yet - stick them in some sun-protective swimwear. When I was in Bali, I encountered many Australian families vacationing and ALL of the kids were in long sleeves. I talked to one of the parents and she said the kids didn't know any different - they thought it was cool, and she didn't have to worry about reapplying.

Source: SunUVA


Avoid the spray. Use the cream, find naturaler stuff, make your own or wear some sleeves like the Aussies do.

Fact or Myth: The Sun Causes Cancer

Here's where we have to look at bioindividuality and genetic predisposition for certain kinds of cancer and diseases. Researchers "aren't sure" which types of chemicals can cause cancer, but one thing is for sure - we know which chemical nutrients can PREVENT and COMBAT certain types of cancer. One of these is Vitamin D.

"In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer." (source
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to multiple types of cancers, including the most deadly types of breast cancer.

Basically, avoiding the sun altogether AND using sunscreen blocks the body's ability to absorb UVB rays and naturally produce vitamin D3. If this is your MO, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. I take them in the winter so I don't lose my mind.


A little sun exposure every day is what the body needs. There is only so much Vita D your body can produce, so don't fry your butt off. This article does not discuss skin elasticity and wrinkles!


A little sun can't hurt. In fact, your body NEEDS it to produce essential vitamins. The sun is also a dangerous burning ball of gas in the sky so it's not to be used without some caution. Just like an open flame can cook your food (yay!) it can also cook your skin if you get too close to it.

My friend Christa put it best when we were discussing this topic last night: "Basically, we should just be living the way God intended us to."

Sun is in the sky, it grows our food. We have trees for shade so we don't get too much. But a little is just fine. So in summary: Sun's out. Guns out. 

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