Description: The sun is central to our health and well-being. Moderate tanning throughout the year is better than avoiding the sun altogether, and has numerous health benefits. Overexposure to the sun and sudden strong bursts of vacation sunbathing is unnatural and dangerous; our natural protection to the sun needs to be built up slowly. Every individual reacts to the sun differently, so appropriate lengths of sun exposure vary depending on diet, skin color, medications and more. Sunscreens are products which block UVA/UVB rays from penetrating our skin, as overexposure is harmful. For those who experience prolonged exposure to the sun, sunscreen is important.

What to look for: There are two types of sunscreens, a chemical block and a physical block. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays while the physical blocks actually reflect them. Look for all natural/organic product lines and a sunscreen which contains the minerals Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, to ensure a physical block. These minerals do not penetrate the skin and reflect/scatter the sun’s harmful rays. Some organic sunscreens may also have Paba Ester which is another natural and effective ingredient.

Uses: Apply at least 30 minutes before exposure to the sun and reapply after long periods of time outside.

Where to find: Salons/Spas, Health Food Stores and Online Resources.

Avoid: Any sunscreen which is not natural and organic, as they are extremely toxic and loaded with many known carcinogenic chemicals. Avoid the ingredient Octyl methoxycinnamate, which is commonly found in 90% of sunscreens on the market. As always, avoid any products tested on animals.

The Healing Sun: Sunlight and Health in the 21st Century by Richard Hoboday.