Edible Sunscreen?

May 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm (*) (, , , , )

These days, sunscreen is an interesting topic around here.  Not only do we live in Phoenix, where I’m sure the temperature reaches 200 degrees in January (okay, I’m slightly exaggerating), but we now need to make sure our sunscreen is gluten/dairy free.  **see note below

Before I get onto the edible stuff, allow me to step up onto my soapbox for a while.

Have you ever picked up a bottle of sunscreen and looked at the ingredients?  Can you pronounce most of them?  If not, you should put the bottle back.  (Good rule of thumb, by the way, when you look at the ingredients on any food: if it’s more than three syllables and you can’t pronounce it, don’t bother.)  If you see poly, methyl, paraben, EDTA, or butyl, among other things, you’re better off without it.  Most of these are chemicals, synthetic materials, and fillers, none of which really contribute to a healthy lifestyle.  Polyethylene, for example, is an ingredient in many cosmetics.  This is what we use to make plastic bags.  Did you catch that?  We are putting plastic on our skin.  Our skin that is the largest organ in the body.  Do you think there might be a correlation between skin problems and our modern cosmetics?  Do you think there might be a correlation between the rise of skin cancer and these chemicals?  I do.

Now don’t get me wrong.  My house isn’t chemical free, by any stretch.  Nor are my sunscreens and cosmetics.  Not yet, anyway.  But I’m learning as I go and making choices accordingly. 

Really, it just comes down to being informed or aware, and making better choices.  Even if it’s the lesser of two evils.  That said, I will step down from the soapbox.
**edited to add: I should clarify that my soapbox/rant is really directed at manufacturers and companies that put this junk in their products.  I would encourage you all to become educated consumers!  I apologize if my rant came off as anything more than frustration.  Maybe my next soapbox should really be directed toward the FDA, eh?


Anyway, as an alternative to traditional sunscreen, we might look at using coconut oil or really research it to find a gfcf solution.

As complement to good skin care when we’re in the sun, why not eat your sunscreen?  You can find the entire article here, but Natural Health Magazine gave some interesting information on foods that help prevent damage from the inside out.  Ultimately, it comes down to antioxidants which can help reduce the dangerous free radicals in your body.  So as not to bore you, here is a list of some of the foods, broken down by their helpful ingredients:

  • Carotenoids: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, strawberries,  and red/yellow/orange peppers
  • Omega-3s: herring, mackerel, trout, salmon, or fish oil
  • Flavonoids: dark chocolate, raw cocoa
  • Polyphenols: green and black teas
  • Sulforaphanes: broccoli, spinach, chard, or kale

 Most of those are yummy, and things we eat on a regular basis.  If not, we’ll try to add more into our diets, especially during the summer months.  And we’ll probably experiment a little to see how our skin reacts sans sunscreen.

*Note: current studies indicate that gluten/casein molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin; however, since children tend to put things in their mouths, we will steer clear so as not to take a chance!


1 Comment

  1. Brandi said,

    Thank you for researching this!! I may just have to put a link on my blog, kay?

    Even though I have been using sunscreen on the kids from Sprouts, I haven’t exactly bothered to look up the ingredients.

    I am still experimenting with the coconut oil.

    Guess it should be broccoli, strawberries, dark chocolate, and green tea which we bring to the pool as snacks instead of coke and chips, huh? 🙂

    See you tomorrow!!!

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