Fresh off the Banana Boat

You may have seen it on the news back in June. A Massachusetts man applied aerosol sunscreen, and then was set on fire while tending barbecue coals. It was big news for a few days. Yet no one has really mentioned it since. But as shocking as this story was—and still is—it’s just one of the scandals associated with sunscreens…

First, there are the dangers these lotions pose. Some critics question the safety of certain sunscreen ingredients, like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, and zinc oxide. All three are approved by the FDA. But reports from the Environmental Working Group suggest that these chemicals may be linked to hormone disruption and cell damage. Both of which can actually lead to the very thing sunscreens are supposed to prevent—skin cancer.

Unfortunately, the public has been brainwashed into believing that these chemical-laden lotions are our best defense against the sun’s “evil” rays. But the truth is, the medical profession is way off base in their fear of healthy sun exposure. Not to mention their focus on “sun blocking” everyone.

Many physicians and public health organizations, including the World Health Organization have been conducting a campaign for nearly half-a-century now to make people avoid the sun.

Which, in turn, led the consumer products industry to launch one of the biggest cons in history. The pseudo-scientific “SPF” scam.  

As I’m sure you’re well aware, the higher a sunblock’s SPF (sun protection factor), the more it costs. But did you ever wonder how much extra “protection” you’re really getting? A sunscreen with an SPF of 8 is supposed to absorb 93 percent of harmful solar rays. Doubling the SPF to 16 absorbs 99 percent.

And according to an FDA spokesperson, “Currently, we do not have data that demonstrate that any particular sunscreen dosage form is more or less effective than another sunscreen dosage form.”

But paying more for products with ridiculously high SPF levels isn’t just a waste of money…

While that SPF 16 is blocking 99 percent of the sun’s rays, it’s also completely shutting down your body’s vitamin D production.

Vitamin D deficiency is reaching epidemic proportions in parts of the U.S. and worldwide. And this increasing problem is due, at least in part, to insufficient sun exposure. Which is also at least partly related to sunscreen use.

And research has shown for decades that vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher rates of many cancers.

Don’t be fooled by the pseudo-scientific SPF scam. And, even more importantly, don’t be afraid of the sun!

Aim for 15-20 minutes of direct sun exposure—on the arms and legs—per day, at least three times per week. Without sunscreen.  You will need it now before the sun gets too low in the sky to benefit Vitamin D production come November.