We use sunscreen more and more frequently. This is because, after years of research, alarms have been raised regarding the dangers posed by high exposure to the sun, especially UVA rays, which are the main causes of skin diseases, such as premature aging, appearance of melanomas and skin cancer.
Not all sunscreens are recommended since, most of those sold in pharmacies and supermarkets, are formulated from chemical products that are a real toxin bomb for our body. In addition, later they also end up in the environment contaminating it. However, we have a simple alternative to protect ourselves from the sun and avoid the use of these chemical photoprotective creams, which are the sunscreens without chemical or ecological filters. They work differently from the traditional ones, but they are much healthier and completely respectful of the environment. Keep reading Green Ecologist and we will tell you all about them.
When we talk about sunscreens we are referring to any product that is spread on the skin with the aim of protect ourselves from the sun's rays and the burns they cause. These protectors can be presented in the form of cream, oil, mouse, etc. But, in all cases, its function is the same: to prevent the sun's rays from burning our skin when we are exposed to UVA and UVB rays (the two types of radiation responsible for most skin problems).
However, despite the fact that all sunscreens aim to avoid solar radiation, not all work in the same way. And this is exactly where we must be careful with the protectors that are sold in conventional stores. Broadly speaking, we can say that there are two types of sunscreen, those with chemicals and those without.
The chemical sunscreens They carry a whole series of toxic products that, although they fulfill the objective of avoiding most of the problems derived from solar radiation, also entail a series of health problems, mainly if they are used in excess, and the environment that they are just as worrisome as the problems they prevent. On the contrary, chemical-free or nanoparticle-free sunscreens They also avoid the problems derived from solar radiation but, in this case, they are natural products that do not affect our health when we use them and that do not pollute the environment when we dispose of them.
Chemical sunscreens are formulated with many different substances but, in all cases, they are substances that, when we put them on our skin, penetrate inside it and produce chemical reactions to carry out their effect. In fact, this is the reason why it is recommended that they be applied half an hour before sun exposure, since you have to give the skin time to react with chemicals in sunscreen.
The problem stems from the fact that these chemical reactions that take place inside our skin, in addition to protecting us from the sun, also involve a series of collateral damage to our health and the environment:
The main problem with these chemicals in sunscreen is that they act as endocrine disruptors. That is, they alter the normal functioning of our body's hormones. Hormones are substances that our body secretes and that act as messengers within the body. There are many types and with very varied functions but, in all cases, they are fundamental substances when it comes to enjoying good health.
Endocrine disruptors are substances that interfere with this normal functioning of hormones and, consequently, cannot do their job well. This leads to a wide variety of diseases, which can range from not being able to synthesize vitamins, infertility in the case of both sexes, sleep disturbances, fluid retention and even cancer.
Another important and very negative element that the use of chemical sunscreens entails is that they prevent the normal sweating process. This may seem irrelevant a priori. Despite this, we must take into account sweat is one of the main ways that the body has to eliminate toxins, so by preventing sweating in a natural way we are preventing our body from cleaning itself inside, with all that this can entail.
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in the human body and the main source to obtain it is through exposure to sunlight (which should be moderate, ten minutes a day would be enough). When we use sunscreens of any kind, this synthesis of vitamin D does not take place. However, the problem really arises with sunscreens that carry chemicals, since these, when penetrating the skin, remain there for a long time, until the body is able to eliminate them through the urine. In this way, the normal production of vitamin D is avoided, which can lead to diseases related to its deficiency.
In addition to all the aspects that directly affect our health, chemical sunscreens affect the environment. After these toxic substances damage our body, our body eliminates them and they end up spreading in the environment, especially in the seas. What leads to chemical contamination of water, which directly affects its quality, as well as the plant and animal species that live in it.
The solution to the problems posed by chemical sunscreens is not to stop using sunscreen. In fact, it is essential to protect yourself from excess solar radiation to avoid the diseases mentioned above. However, to avoid the damages derived from the use of sunscreens with chemicals, it will be enough to select a sunscreen without chemicals or ecological, which must be reflected on the packaging by means of the corresponding certification and seal of "ecological product" or "toxic free product".
These sunscreens are not made with artificial chemicals, but with natural substances extracted from different sources, both mineral and plant. These types of substances do not harm our health or the environment. In fact, it works differently from chemical sunscreens.
In the case of ecological or chemical-free sunscreensWhen we spread the cream on the skin, it does not penetrate inside it, but what it does is cover the outer surface of the skin, which means that the sun's rays do not penetrate but, at the same time , neither do the substances that protect us from the sun. For this reason, they are also often called natural sun blockers.
Thus, we are facing a type of product that acts as a barrier against solar radiation from the outside, in the same way that clothing fabric would. In fact, this is one of the reasons why these sunscreens leave a whiter color on the skin after application since, in reality, it covers the skin leaving a layer that reflects sunlight, so it does not penetrate in the dermis.
In this way, we have at our disposal a type of sunscreen that acts from the first moment it is applied without having to wait half an hour, does not harm our health, does not interfere with the synthesis of vitamin D because washing does not alter the nature of the skin, it does not harm the environment, since it does not contain chemicals, and most importantly when we buy a sunscreen, we perfectly protects from solar radiation.
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