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OK... can we have a thread about this? I have read quite a bit of conflicting and often difficult to understand info about this online. I want to protect myself from UVA and UVB without the sunscreen itself posing any risk to my body in the long term!

In the long run and short term, which is ultimately better? A commercial sunscreen (and if so which one) or a more natural sunscreen? I definitely want to prevent UV damage and skin cancer but also worry about the chemicals found in many commercial sunscreens, so your thoughts would be great right now. 

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I have looked into this and found that zinc oxide offers a natural broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays very effectively without causing any damage to your body directly. Having said that, many sunscreens are zinc oxide based and it is quite possible for a sunscreen to be both natural and commercial. The natural is very big business now as many people are becoming interested in it. This is a false dichotomy then, but zinc oxide as a sunscreen concretely most definitely does work. You have no reason not to use it. 

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Hi,

I just know that sunscreen is a necessary evil. You should apply sunscreen, whether it is natural or not. With all these melanomas about these days and great big holes in the ozone layer, you should care less about whether your sunscreen is natural and more about whether you get cancer or not.

I have never actually heard of a natural sunscreen and I'm quite into the nature thing so if you find out something perhaps you can put it on the forum as well. I usually go to health food shops and have never seen any sunscreen being sold.
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Hey,

When people talk about "natural vs commercial sunscreens", you can fairly safely assume that they are talking about home-made vs store-bought sunscreens, the latter made with all natural sun repelling ingredients. People often turn to these because 1. they are afraid that commercial sunscreens contain carcinogens and 2. making your own at home is much cheaper. The drawback is, of course, that natural sunscreens may offer some SPF but it is much lower. 

You can easily Google "natural sunscreen recipes" to get an example of what I am talking about here, but just as a little taster, they generally contain zinc oxide, coconut oil, and shea butter. Other stuff can be added in for added nice smells. Such sunscreens need to be applied all the time, pretty much, and I am not sure how well they work but they do have some SPF.

Rosie

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Not feelin' the love... LOL. I gather that them suscreens you find at Boots and like like are in the shops 'cause they've been subject to testing and safety things and like like and that they have been proven to actually work... hence the labels of SPF 30, 20, 50, whatever... no? Whereas with coconut oil yeah there may be some small sun protection going on but how much? And how well does it actually stick to your skin? I don't buy that sunscreens cause cancer, otherwise, if that was actually a known fact, no way would they be on the shelves you know? What does cause cancer is not using a sunscreen or using one that doesn't actually do much... Just MHO
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Yeah that is my thought as well, pretty much. If you are looking for organic, if you are looking for not tested on animals or in other way contributing to cruelty, you know, you don't have to opt for jars of completely natural raw ingredients. There is a lot of that stuff around these days. All you need to do is look. And you still get the added and very important benefit of a sunscreen that actually has been proven to protect you from UV rays. "Natural" and "bought in a shop" can go hand in hand, especially now...
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Talking about which, can we talk brands?
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Personally, I have very pale and sensitive skin and after being sunburned twice, I do not want to risk it any more. So my natural sunscreen consists of not going out in the sun during those hot and burning hours right in the middle of summer, only in the morning and in the evening. When I do go out, if the sun is shining, I make sure to cover up in sunscreen as well as wearing light colored clothes and long long sleeves, and wearing a straw hat as well. This works well for me. Not being sunburned is more important than a sunscreen being natural, and you also need common sense.
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Something not many people are apparently aware of is that many commercial sunscreens absolutely do contain ingredients that are very, very bad for the body. Oxybenzone is an estrogen-like component that does weird things to men's sperm counts and may cause endometriosis in women. Homosalate is another one that disrupts your normal hormone production. Octisalate is a known environmental toxin. And that is just the tip of the ice berg, people! Do your own research to find out how toxic your sunscreens can really be, and then the question natural vs commercial can be answered really easily!!!
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Whoah!!! I was just gonna come out and tell you something along the lines of yeah, load a nonsense you're talking, you do know that sun exposure without sunscreen is PROVEN to cause skin cancer right??? So yeah, I Googled more. And what I found was shocking. I've got a tab open here from a mainstream UK newspaper in which someone from Cancer Research UK, again an enormously reputable charity, is saying that yeah, there's indeed a link between skin cancer and sunscreens. Not melanoma, but other types. The same piece also says that actually, both hats and covering clothes along with staying in the shade are actually more effective cancer prevention methods when it comes to the sun than actual sunscreens are. Think I'm gonna do a 180 on this one!!! Scary stuff, actually. I now wanna know what to actually use that's safe and I wanna thank people here for bringing this issue to my attention. I'm really pale so of course I'm concerned about sun damage. But this is very, very frightening too!!!
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I know!

"Natural" resources have a very bad reputation these days. Everywhere, there are people who are very quick to dismiss anything that questions the status quo as quackery and pseudoscience. By the time those worries, first brought up by "hippies" and "quacks" reach the mainstream, people are often unable to really hear what is being said.

No, not everything being sold in stores is safe! We are, of course, programmed to believe just that, but at the end of the day, stores have the bottom line in mind and not your personal safety. X-rays were once routinely offered as shoe-size tools. We know better these days.

Everything needs to be questioned. Common wisdoms are often anything but, and sunscreens contain ingredients that are verifiably unsafe. Yet they are still on the shelves. Either drink the koolaid or think with your brain.
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See, I have to admit that that kind of talk scares me. I don't wanna be and am not a paranoid person who sees conspiracies everywhere. But this stuff isn't talked about often. You have to go like looking for it on purpose. That same piece, which I am still currently reading as we speak, says that contact dermatitis from sunscreens is on the increase. Don't that mean that more nonsense you don't want in your sunscreen is now finding its way in anyways? So dermatologists in the UK are now advising folks to do a spot test (like it's hair dye or something!) before using sunscreens all over their bodies. Just the need for that is kinda weird, you know?
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Thought I should add that that same article I was reading that highlighted some of of the dangers of modern sunscreens also went on to advise these as some of the best on the market. That should count for something, right?

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios ultra light spray SPF30
  • Creme De La Mer Reparative Body sun lotion SPF30
  • Jason Mineral natural sunscreen SPF 30

Creme De La Mer is quite obviously out of my price range, but I think I've actually used the La Roche-Posay one, definitely something by them anyways, Since these were recommended at the end of an article talking about the dangers of sunscreens, I can only guess they're at least more likely to be OK... but a person still gotta do their own ingredient research I guess.

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