Eco Mama – Day 22
I figured it was about time to tackle that big, bad bear called sunscreen. As Americans, we love our sunscreen just about as much as we love our hamburgers, apple pie and GMO corn. Sunscreen is now applied almost literally at birth (“The baby’s head is crowning! Quick! Squirt some Coppertone 50 on it!”) and then worn continuously through out childhood. The sun, once worshiped by our ancestors, is now just that big, glowing nuisance in the sky.
But I believe this sunscreen obsession isn’t entirely our fault. For years, we have been fed non-stop warnings and advertisements about the dangers of skin cancer and nothing gets parents to buy a product faster than fear — fear that you’re going to make a mistake like, I don’t know, GIVE YOUR KIDS CANCER IF YOU DON’T PUT SUNSCREEN ON THEM CONSTANTLY!
But what if the sunscreen we’re putting on ourselves and our families is preventing skin cancer, but causing other types of cancer? Most sunscreens are crammed with seriously nasty chemicals. I didn’t want to sound all hippie/conspiracy-theorist about my sunscreen rant today, so I went online to look for a very mainstream opinion on the dangers of sunscreen — and I immediately found it on Dr. Oz — and I don’t think you can get more mainstream than the wacky and oh-so-dreamy Dr. Oz. Oprah even nicknamed him “America’s Doctor”.
This is what Dr. Oz’s website has to say about sunscreen —
Wow, that was a fun read, wasn’t it? Now there has never been an “official” study to prove that sunscreen can cause cancer. But I ask you, who would fund such a study? Sunscreen is a billion dollar industry. Do you think the companies that make sunscreen would enjoy reading the results of that research? What would they say to all the parents who have been dunking our children in sunscreen like a dilly bar at Dairy Queen for years on end? “Oooops. It does cause cancer. Sor-ry.”
So what’s the answer? Since it’s imperitive that we still protect ourselves and our children from skin cancer, I suggest going the Eco Mama route and greening your sun routine.
Here’s what I do –
* When we’re at the beach or pool, I make my kids wear those sun protection rash guard suits that make them look they’re in a bad futuristic movie from the seventies. This gives them a lot less surface area to burn. I wear a long sleeve SPF shirt also. I find the skin tight material has the nice effect of flattening my breasts while enlarging my stomach at the same time.
* Then I let them/me play out in the sun for at least twenty minutes without any sunscreen on at all. It’s vital for our bodies to have vitamin D and being out in the sun is the only free way to get it. And it does feel good. Remember, the sun on your face? No need to fear it! (For twenty minutes at least.)
* After vitamin D time is over, I apply Goddess Garden organic sunscreen to all the body parts that are exposed to the sun.
* I never, ever re-apply it. Ever. This stuff is so good you don’t have to. I’ve been using Goddess Garden since this summer and we’ve never gotten sun burned (and that includes a two week vacation to Florida). It’s expensive for sunscreen (twenty one dollars a bottle) but I’ve had the same bottle since June and it hasn’t run out. Probably because I don’t have to re-apply it.
In addition to being 94% certified organic, Goddess Garden sunscreen is “biodegradable, reef safe, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan and non GMO.” It’s like having your own Portlandia episode in a bottle.
So that’s how I do it, but what I really want to know is, how do you do it? Any homemade sunscreen recipes? Or do you use a chemical free sunscreen that you just love?
Or maybe you just use an old-fashioned remedy called “a hat.” Let me know and we can all continue on our path towards eco mama enlightenment where organic living is essential and hairy pits are optional.