Anyone NOT use sunscreen? Do you really think it's dangerous to our health? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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Interesting.  I'm half Puerto Rican and tan easily.  I never wear sunscreen.  Okay, if I'm at the pool, I'll put some on my face so I don't look like a racoon.   I try very hard to remember to get my fair skined kiddos.   DS tans well also, but the girls not so much.   This makes sense to me as I think of dark skinned relatives who never wore sun screen ever and we do not have skin cancer in our family!  


 


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Old 05-05-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ali jo View Post

re: sunblock There are some dubious chemicals in some sunblocks, for example, some forms of retinol.  However, sunblocks that are physical as opposed to chemical in nature (e.g., titanium or zinc based) are fine though unattractive.  I'd rather have white paste on my face than cancer and there are links (not all hype!!!) between cancer and burns.  HOWEVER, it is not just sunburn and cancer but tanning and sun exposure.  So even if you don't burn block is a good idea.  Tanning damages the skin also and any time there's damage and repair there's a chance of mutation - the more often there's damage, the more likely mutation will occur.  It work like this with some scars too. I just wanted to emphasize that while burning is painful, it is not only this that should be driving sun block usage.

 

re: vitamin D It is important to get vitamin D so you don't get rickets.  15 mins of sun-block free sun exposure a day is enough.  Fair skin 'converts' sun exposure to vitamin D more readily then darker skin.  One theory in evolution holds that fair skin emerged in order to aid vitamin D manufacturing in an environment with less sun.  So, for fair people after 15 mins they can put block on and be getting enough sun for vitamin D but not get burnt or increase the odds of cancer (well, if it's crazy hot you can def. burn in 15 mins but morning sun should be safe enough)



I no longer use the titanium dioxide sunscreens because there are now suggestions they are also unsafe. I use the zinc oxide ones only at the moment - if anyone has more info I'd like to know it. Here are a couple of randomly plucked googled articles on titanium dioxide risks. I'm not vouching for the quality of the articles it was a very quick google!  

 

http://organicpassion.info/zinc-oxide-sunscreen-vs-titanium-oxide-sunscreen/ 

http://www.gonando.com/titanium-dioxide.html 

 

The one I'm using a the moment is the zinc oxide Badger unscented sunscreen - be careful the old one (that is still sold when stores have leftovers) has nano-particles but the new one does not. If anyone knows of a reason this is not a good selection let me know - I did quite a bit or research though and it seemed to me to be the safest one available in the country I live in.

 

http://www.badgerbalm.com/p-462-spf-30-unscented-natural-sunscreen.aspx 

 

 

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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HAVE NOT READ THE OTHER POSTS YET.

IF YOU NOTICE IN MOST  TROPICAL COUNTRIES WHERE IT IS HOT YEAR ROUND, THEY COVER THEIR BODIES WITH CLOTHING. THEY DO NOT SKIMP AROUND IN THE SUN IN TEESHIRTS AND SHIRTS, BUT LONG SLEEVED  BREATHABLE FABRICS. THEY ALSO HAVE HEAD COVERING.

 

IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW QUICKLY YOU WANT YOUR SKIN TO AGE  I GUESS. ALSO, IN THE PAST, PEOPLE DIDNT LIVE AS LONG ANYWAY.  ANOTHER ISSUE IS THAT THERE WERE MORE TREES, AND SHADE  IN MOST ENVIRONMENTS, WHEREAS NOW,  MOST OF THE POPULATION LIVE IN CITIES WHICH DOESNT PROTECT FROM THE SUN, UNLESS YOU ARE INDOORS.

 

THE POINT IS, IF YOU DRESS PROPERLY YOU DONT NEED AS MUCH SUNSCREEN, OR ANY AT ALL EXCEPT ON THE FACE.

 

 

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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I'm late to the thread and don't know if anyone has posted this yet ---

 

yes, sunscreen that is absorbed into the skin (vs. sitting on the skin as a barrier) can pose health risks.

 

but .....

 

perhaps the sun is more dangerous because of the ozone hole we have now.

 

 

I'm with the folks on wearing sunscreen sometimes and wearing appropriate clothing to cover up when possible.


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Old 05-05-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

HAVE NOT READ THE OTHER POSTS YET.

IF YOU NOTICE IN MOST  TROPICAL COUNTRIES WHERE IT IS HOT YEAR ROUND, THEY COVER THEIR BODIES WITH CLOTHING. THEY DO NOT SKIMP AROUND IN THE SUN IN TEESHIRTS AND SHIRTS, BUT LONG SLEEVED  BREATHABLE FABRICS. THEY ALSO HAVE HEAD COVERING.

 

IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW QUICKLY YOU WANT YOUR SKIN TO AGE  I GUESS. ALSO, IN THE PAST, PEOPLE DIDNT LIVE AS LONG ANYWAY.  ANOTHER ISSUE IS THAT THERE WERE MORE TREES, AND SHADE  IN MOST ENVIRONMENTS, WHEREAS NOW,  MOST OF THE POPULATION LIVE IN CITIES WHICH DOESNT PROTECT FROM THE SUN, UNLESS YOU ARE INDOORS.

 

THE POINT IS, IF YOU DRESS PROPERLY YOU DONT NEED AS MUCH SUNSCREEN, OR ANY AT ALL EXCEPT ON THE FACE.

 

 



This is a very good point. It isn't that people who are native to sunny climates don't burn (they do), it's that they are quite careful with respect to sun exposure.

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Old 05-05-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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I confess I didn't read the whole thread. I think a lot of it has to do with your genetic background combined with environment though. I am very light-skinned, freckles, reddish hair, with N European ancestors. Most of my childhood I spent in CA and AZ, and burned very easily and still do when I visit CA in summer. However, I moved to Finland 7 years ago and I don't burn nearly as easily this far north. The sun simply never gets as intense here. So I don't use sunscreen. I build up my exposure slowly through the spring and when the sun gets more intense I cover myself with coconut oil and/or use a sun hat. I haven't been more than a little pink in years. And it doesn't surprise me that much, because this is the kind of environment my skin evolved for. I also feel confident that I am getting enough vit D and not exposing my skin to potentially toxic chemicals. I cringe to think of all the time I spent as a kid beside the pool (soaked in chlorine) and coated in toxic sunscreen, and STILL burning sometimes. If I ever get skin cancer, that is what I would blame it on for sure, not a couple years of going without sunscreen.

 

I also think nutrition might have *something* to do with it. Since I started eating real fats I tan much more easily (in fact I would barely tan at all before) and don't seem to burn as fast.

 

I read somewhere that it's burns, not cumulative, long-term, non-burning sun exposure that leads to skin cancer - or something like that? It would make sense to me anyway since we did evolve to be outside in the sun and in fact NEED the sun for our health. If you are constantly exposed to sunlight year round as it slowly gets stronger and weaker you probably won't burn in the way that you do if you go straight from being inside all winter to laying on the beach all day.


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Old 05-05-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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My daughter that is in summer camp uses it because she's in the sun often, 5 days a week.  Otherwise, we only use it for longer outside outings. 

 

Also, I eat coconut oil by the spoonful everyday & I don't see any difference in getting burnt or not. 


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Old 05-05-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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A factor not yet mentioned here is fetal epigenetics- in other words, the nutritional status of our mothers while pregnant with us- the environment which predisposes our skin to be like it is in combo with our genetics.  Highly significant to the formation of skin is the vitamin A status of mothers, and likely none of the mothers in the 20th century industrialized nations were vitamin A sufficient.  A mother gives her vitamin a stores to the fetus during the third trimester.  It then takes from 1-3 years for her to build back up these stores.  My mother got pregnant with me at 2-3 months post partum.  She had barely had a few good meals let alone built up her vitamin A status.  My skin is fairer than my siblings, and I burn the most easily, scar easily, and have acne.  I have always been prescribed fake pharmaceutical A by doctors for acne, (retinol, Accutane).  We are of Scots/Irish/German ancestry.  My older sibling who got her original vitamin stores has better skin than me, as does my sister who was born 5 years after me, and after my mother had been eating a whole foods diet.  Likely none of us were sufficient in A when we gestated our babies, and vegetarians probably more so.  I know it is unpopular to criticize the veg diet here, but there is little preformed vitamin A or D in a veg diet, and the conversion rates for beta-carotene and ergocalciferol (D2) are much lower than previously thought.  Even those of us who ate what we thought were good diets before and during pregnancy were likely eating too much wheat and other grains, which contain lectins that disturb enzyme production in the gut, and therefore inhibit absorbtion of many of those good nutrients we were eating. 

 

We also sunburn less eating coconut oil, other saturated fats and taking natural - vitamin cod liver oil, even a 'lesser' kind than fermented, even me, who is super fair with a history of terrible sunburns (yeah when the docs give you retinol for your skin it makes you sensitive to the sun- but when you're 14 you sometimes don't follow directions!).  We have been too poor to have much CLO or coconut oil this winter, so we will be using a non-micronized mineral sunscreen at the pool.  I'm glad I saw this thread so at least we can get in a month of megadosing before pool season starts.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post




yup, welcome to my life...I am very fair skinned with family that is predominantly Irish and german...As a family we don't tan well

 

 

I could have written this. I was one that burned in 20 minutes in the sun, my entire life.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblingBrooks View Post

We take fermented cod liver oil every day, and we have zero reaction to the sun as a result.
No tan or burn at all. And that is just one of the benefits if offers!

ETA prior to taking the oil, I burned severely without sunscreen.


We began taking FCLO, among many other dietary changes, in January. This week I was out for 2 hours in mid-day sun for the first time of the year. Later in the day my mother noticed my shoulders and upper arms were beet red. I was bummed that I'd burned and put it out of my mind. I later asked my husband to check out my burn and put aloe on it. He asked "What burn?" Sure enough, all of the redness my mother had seen was gone! It was only then that I'd realized that I'd not felt any of the very familiar feelings of sunburn...

 



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Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post

 

There are some studies using omega-3 supps to increase the amount of time it takes to burn, but when you factor in: how much omega-6 do you consume in your diet, how much omega-3 do you consume, do you have any unusual sources of oxidative stress which can use up omega-3s a lot faster than average, it can be tricky to figure out how to make an impact on any one individual.  Plus, if your balance is quite off, it can take a couple years after a change in diet to see a change--for me it took almost 2 years after I switched to a high saturated fat diet (really reduced my omega-6s when I moved to a lot more animal fats and coconut oil).  When the change happened, it was quite abrupt and shocking.  Cause really, I was the kid/adult that burned in just a few minutes of sun, and then suddenly, it stopped (meaning I *could* still burn if I stayed out quite a while, but most of my trips to the park, or working out in the yard, didn't result in any pink skin anymore). 

 

There are also a few studies on orange veggies, apparently the beta-carotene that we don't convert to vitamin A helps protect against burning in the sun. 

 

Also been upping our Omega-3s in many forms, especially chia seeds in our smoothies. I believe I now get the 3:1 ratio of 6 to 3 recommended by those in the know.
 

To a PP, I believe when people in this area are referring to "nutritional status" they are referring to a traditional foods diet, full of raw milk, animal products/fats from grass-fed animals, Vit D, A, and Omega 3s, etc. Not just not eating junk, or eating salads, etc, as most of America believes is "healthy".

 

Here's another good article, where I first saw the connection between nutrition and sunburn. http://www.foodrenegade.com/should-you-use-sunscreen/ It also mentions that getting sun is good for preventing and treating cancer. And take a look at the comments. One references the book Survival of the Sickest, "I read somewhere that when you wear sunglasses, your eyes tell your brain to tell your skin that the sun isn’t as bright and therefore you are more likely to get burned."

 


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Old 05-06-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

 

Wouldn't mud be a "natural," barrier sunscreen?  Coat yourself in it and give new meaning to the phrase "dirty hippy"   wink1.gif

 


And it would make fair skinned people look tan! I think you're on to something. You need to bottle it and sell it for $$$$.

 

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Old 05-06-2011, 06:02 AM
 
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Quote:

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I will mention that every single sunbather I've ever met (including many from 20-30 years ago) has slathered themselves in suntan lotion, which also contains who-knows-what chemicals. I think that, in North American culture, at least, it's very hard to separate the effects of the sun, and the effects of products people use in the sun. It's been a long time since the majority of us were spending significant amounts of time in the sun without being slathered in something.

 

I do agree that genetics are probably the biggest single factor, though.

I do agree...and I tend to think that it's not just products that people put on specifically to go in the sun, but products they use on a regular basis....lotions, soaps, creams, make-up.  I think anything you put on your skin is absorbed by the skin (even soaps and things that rinsed off).

 

I think cancer, like all disease has so many factors...some of which include genetics, nutritional status, product (chemical use) a where you live (a far skinned person of Dutch descent is just going to have to be super careful if they live in someplace like FL or CA , etc. It's too simplistic to say that it's just one factor, I think it is many factors.

 

I also think it is interesting to note that traditionally people in dry, desert climates would cover up quite a bit to protect from the sun, while people in more humid/jungle climates wore very little clothing.


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Old 05-06-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ali jo View Post

 

re: vitamin D It is important to get vitamin D so you don't get rickets.  15 mins of sun-block free sun exposure a day is enough.  Fair skin 'converts' sun exposure to vitamin D more readily then darker skin.  One theory in evolution holds that fair skin emerged in order to aid vitamin D manufacturing in an environment with less sun.  So, for fair people after 15 mins they can put block on and be getting enough sun for vitamin D but not get burnt or increase the odds of cancer (well, if it's crazy hot you can def. burn in 15 mins but morning sun should be safe enough)


This is partially true, but there is more to it.  The 20 minutes of sun exposure needs to be in mid-day sun (10-2) and it needs to be 40% body exposure (like a one piece swimsuit).  Also, there are many more reasons you need vitamin D other than rickets.  Many cancer rates drop drastically with proper vitamin D levels, among other diseases.

 


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Old 05-06-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

 

I also think it is interesting to note that traditionally people in dry, desert climates would cover up quite a bit to protect from the sun, while people in more humid/jungle climates wore very little clothing.



That is an interesting point. Mind you, I've heard it said many times that people in the dry, desert climates are actually cooler in their clothes, which makes sense to me. (I'll never know first hand. I do very badly in the heat, and visiting a desert is not on my "bucket list"!) I also suspect that some of the protection is from the sand. The one bad sunburn I ever got was a combination of the sun and the sand (in the water) scouring my skin. In addition to sun damage, someone walking around in a desert in a bikini would be scratched up pretty badly in any kind of windstorm, yk?

 

I'm still not 100% sure what I think about all this, but I've definitely edged back to no sunscreen in most situations.


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Old 05-06-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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I am etremely fair skinned with a german/irish heritage, and I can tell you now that if I dont wear sunscreen and Im exposed for more than 25 minutes, Im bright red. Big hats, sunglasses, scarves, and shade trees are my friends. Unfourtantly, I love to garden and be outside all the time, so I usually have some part of my body that has a burn all summer long. I dont buy that bit about poor nutrition because eat very healthy food, and have gotten plenty of D for years.

I usually only wear sunscreen on my shoulders, face, and neck. We like the kissmyface spray, but I recently bought some Eric Carle facescreen and it works great.

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:43 PM
 
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I would definitely be interested in knowing how to make my own! I think your on to something there! I'm gonna dig into that because I'm Irish so i burn easily and i do like to spend full days out in the sun i think its really good for you but..... I have had some really bad burns this year alone (one right now actually). I don't feel good about smearing myself and my children down with the sunscreen you'd pick up at a drug store and like you said even the natural ones have certain things still in them. You've caught my interest. I'm going to do some research and try to come up with a recipe...

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Old 05-06-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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fascinating stuff, i don't burn but the rest of my little family basically can't tan. i'm really interested in learning more about the nutritional component, we just give vitamins since my 3yo eats like, well, a 3yo and the little one follows her lead.

 

my question for you wise mamas:

 

there was a rumor in my mom's group last year that coconut oil applied topically was a natural UV blocker and a few swore by it. of course it seemed counterintuitive to use oil for protection but it did work well for us. i see a lot here about ingesting coconut oil, any advice on substituting for sunscreen?


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Old 05-06-2011, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post

To a PP, I believe when people in this area are referring to "nutritional status" they are referring to a traditional foods diet, full of raw milk, animal products/fats from grass-fed animals, Vit D, A, and Omega 3s, etc. Not just not eating junk, or eating salads, etc, as most of America believes is "healthy".

Ah ha... I don't really buy into that... plus I know lots of people that don't burn and also don't consume much (if any) in the way of animal products, supplements, etc. But it does help to know what some of you are talking about when you say "nutritional status!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post

One references the book Survival of the Sickest, "I read somewhere that when you wear sunglasses, your eyes tell your brain to tell your skin that the sun isn’t as bright and therefore you are more likely to get burned."

This is really intriguing. I wonder if artificial/indoor lighting has does something weird too then. Hmm.
Quote:
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there was a rumor in my mom's group last year that coconut oil applied topically was a natural UV blocker and a few swore by it. of course it seemed counterintuitive to use oil for protection but it did work well for us. i see a lot here about ingesting coconut oil, any advice on substituting for sunscreen?

Interested in this as well! (That would be even easier & safer than making my own sunscreen....)

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Old 05-06-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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From my reading and personal usage, coconut oil does provide a bit of sun protection topically (SPF 4 IIRC???). I wouldn't rely on it at the beach or pool, though, but I have used it on hikes and random occasions. It was more a secondary line of defense, though, since I was wearing a hat, etc.

 

As for internally, I don't know. I was using "nutritional status" more loosely than the PPs above...just in the sense that I have become healthier overall due to changing what I eat and drink...not necessarily a TF diet, though. For several months, I was eating VCO daily due to a gum/tooth issue. Around that time is also when we started using VCO as a cooking oil. Shortly after is when we started supplementing vitamin D, too, so it is hard to isolate the most effective factor.


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Old 05-07-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynbabymama View Post

 

there was a rumor in my mom's group last year that coconut oil applied topically was a natural UV blocker and a few swore by it. of course it seemed counterintuitive to use oil for protection but it did work well for us. i see a lot here about ingesting coconut oil, any advice on substituting for sunscreen?


I actually didn't know that it had a SPF until I read it on this thread, but I used it all last summer and intend to do it this summer too. I put it on my skin before I go out and when I get in out of the sun. It doesn't keep me from getting pink, but it does seem to soothe my skin and help the pink fade/turn into a tan overnight. I also almost never get a real burn. But I think the oil is just one of many factors in that.

 


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Old 05-07-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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Sunscreen scares me a little.  That's a LOT of exposure to those chemicals if it's daily or nearly so.  And I liked what a pp said about the false sense of security causing us to simply choose to be in the sun too much.

 

Since I have melasma I am supposed to wear sunscreen to minimize it and because of the lack of melanin in the white areas. Unfortunately I hate it and usually avoid sun and wear hats.  I finally have a couple of low SPF mineral sunscreens that I can stand but only use them a wee bit.

 

However, my melasma (after four years+) is clearly disappearing after nutritional interventions.  One was tyrosine supplementation.  When I saw that it not only was it a precursor to thyroid hormone which I suspected I had issues with, but that it also was a precursor to melanin, I had a very strong feeling that it was something that I should try and I definitely think it helped.  However, my symptoms had already started to improve a little before that.  I had cut out some sources of xenoestrogens and started a low-carb high omega-3 diet (including CLO) and worked on some thyroid-correlated deficiencies such as B vits, magnesium, and iodine.

 

So, here I am able to be in the sun again.  The areas all over my face that would burn and turn back to white after sun now are blending in to a light tan.  I am so happy!  This was so weird looking every summer the past few years.  Anyhow, my hormone issues were obviously part of my sun-sensitivity.  I wonder how much this can be the case for others and possibly be connected to why diet can similarly affect our sun sensitivity.  (After all I was upping my A and D and switching out my fats as well for months before starting the supplements.)  Estrogen somehow wiped out a bunch of my melanin, and one of the amino acids that helps with thyroid also helps with melanin?  Wow.  How much do hormone disruptors decrease our tolerance for sunlight?  Can the case of my melasma really parallel general sun sensitivity?  Many people are affected by undiagnosed estrogen dominance and thyroid problems.  Could this make sun risks worse?  How curious I am about this!

 

BTW I have also read that sesame oil has a useful sun protective factor.


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Old 06-06-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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bumping this thread...we don't use sunscreen very often....i think it's good to get the D.  But for a day when we will be out all day I like to get some...what is the best brand that the whole family can use...from baby up to grandma and that I can find in a regular store like Target or Kmart?  Thanks so much!

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Old 06-06-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I ended up getting Badger (they sell it at Whole Foods & other places or you can order it on Amazon)... it was the only one I could find around here that didn't have a million chemicals -- just zinc oxide and various oils etc., I understood everything on the label!!

I still want to try coconut oil but wasn't gutsy enough to try it for a day at the beach -- need to try it on a day when we won't get SUPER burned if it doesn't work for us!!


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I ended up getting Badger (they sell it at Whole Foods & other places or you can order it on Amazon)... it was the only one I could find around here that didn't have a million chemicals -- just zinc oxide and various oils etc., I understood everything on the label!!


This is what we have used for years and I am very comfortable putting on my LOs.

 


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Old 06-07-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Thanks guys!

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Old 06-07-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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My son is 14 months and I have never used sunscreen on him. I am just careful that he is not exposed for too long and put a sun hat and long sleeves on to protect him when necessary. Apparently shea butter has a mild SPF of about 6 - havn't tried it yet though - planning on trying it out this summer. I myself haven't used sunscreen in over 5 years. I find that if a gradually spend more and more time in the sun that I get a good tan (which is actually our bodies way of protecting ourselves from the sun) and don't burn. I've had a few mild burns but that's it.

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