One of my favorite traditions was always heading to the beach the week after school ended.
We would load up the car with all our favorite foods, our boogie boards, swimsuits — and of course sunscreen — and spend a week of fun at the coast.
The one thing my kids always knew I was adamant about was absolutely coating them with sunscreen. After suffering numerous sunburns when I was growing up, I was determined to never let their delicate skin get even slightly pink. So, they would line up and wait for the slathering to commence.
As the years passed, more and more experts came out recommending sunscreen at all times. No longer just a beach trip staple, it’s become an everyday necessity.
First thing every morning, my sunscreen goes on before I even break out my makeup.
It sounds like a good idea, right? Afterall, sunscreen is considered perfectly safe; it simply sits on the surface of your skin to protect it from damaging U.V. rays.
That’s what we’ve been told anyway… but U.S. health regulators aren’t so sure anymore. Research by the FDA
The worries those regulators have is that the photoprotective chemicals found in sunscreen could do far more than sit safely on your skin’s surface. In fact, they say if those chemicals penetrate your skin and are absorbed into your bloodstream, a host of problems could result, including hormonal issues.
And what’s scary is that no safety testing has been done to prove all of those ingredients in sunscreen are actually safe because at the time they were approved (decades ago) no one even thought about them being absorbed into your body.
Now, that’s all changed.
Researchers at the FDA are now announcing the results of a clinical trial that has proved that sunscreen comes with more dangers than we ever knew.
The team found that in 100 percent of study participants who used sunscreen (either sprayed on or rubbed in), four of the most common sun-filtering ingredients — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule — do seep into your circulation.
In fact, the results of the FDA study showed that it only takes a few hours for them to spike above the FDA’s set “toxic level” in your bloodstream — and that they may stay elevated for three days after use!
Protecting yourself from your sun protection
This study has now triggered the FDA to ask U.S. manufacturers of sunscreen to submit their ingredients for additional testing. And of course testing will need to be completed to find out what the chemicals may be doing once inside your body.
In the meantime, consider using an organic chemical-free sunblock that uses the mineral zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, since they are the only ingredients that have so far been ruled safe and effective.
These minerals actually do sit on your skin and work by reflecting light and the U.V. rays that cause harm away from your skin’s surface. That’s why they are called sunblocks instead of sunscreens.
Additionally, if you’ve been a long-term sunscreen user, like me, I suggest you take steps to detoxify your body and rev up your liver function to rid yourself of any dangerous buildup.
My supplement of choice for cleaning my liver and ensuring it’s working optimally contains:
• Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) — A potent antioxidant that helps keep fats from accumulating in your liver. Plus, it’s both fat- and water-soluble, so it can help eliminate free radicals whether your liver is fatty or lean.
• Turmeric — This golden herb known for its anti-inflammatory power, turmeric helps protect your liver from oxidative stress to promote healthy liver function and protects the health of your liver cells so that they can do their job to cleanse your body.
• Schisandra — Schisandra is an ancient Chinese herb that promotes healthy liver function by activating enzymes in your liver cells that produce glutathione — your body’s master antioxidant that detoxifies your body.
• N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) — A powerful amino acid, NAC has been shown to help support gentle detoxification of tobacco and other types of carbon monoxide-rich smoke, alcohol and other air pollutants from your liver. Plus, studies show NAC can help provide the liver protection you need to keep you healthy.
• Milk Thistle — A liver booster that supports the elimination of heavy metal buildup, medication residue, environmental pollutants and alcohol.
While you must protect your skin when you’re out in the sun, many of the sunscreens you find on the shelf could be hiding ingredients that could seep deep into your skin, into your bloodstream and damage your health. Watch labels, look for mineral sunscreens without the chemicals that are proven offenders and support your liver health so it’s able to work optimally to clear toxins from your body.