Contrary to popular belief, exposing skin to the sun may stop certain cancers from growing, including skin cancer. While previous studies have implied this protection comes from skin cells (damaged by the sun) committing suicide, cutting the risk of cancer, two studies propose the reduced cancer risk stems from an increased production of vitamin D made by sun-exposed skin.

The two studies found:

+ Sunshine helped beat the deadly skin cancer malignant melanoma: Melanoma patients with increased levels of sun exposure were less likely to die than other melanoma patients; also patients who already had melanoma and a lot of sun exposure were prone to a less aggressive tumor type.

+ The sun helped with non-Hodgkin lymphoma: The risks of developing cancer was reduced by 30 percent to 40 percent when exposed to UV rays from the sun and sun lamps; findings were based on interviews with more than 3,000 lymphoma patients and 3,000 healthy members of the public. Source: BBC News February 1, 2005

This is in no way saying that OVER EXPOSURE to the sun won't damage cells and lead to skin cancer! There have been numerous studies which show that a person's likelihood of developing skin cancer increases at a proportional rate with the number of sunburns a person has in their lifetime. If you are going to be in the sun for more than 20-30 minutes you will need to use a sunscreen.

But, are sunscreens safe and effective?

Chemicals in Sunscreens Include:
Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)
PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)
Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octylmethoxycinnamate)
Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)
Digalloyl trioleate
Menthyl anthranilate
Avobenzone [butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789] - This is the only chemical sunscreen currently allowed by the European Community. However, its safety is still questionable since it easily penetrates the skin and is a strong free
radical generator. These chemicals are ALL toxic in even at small doses to the body!

Do Chemical Sunscreens Increase Cancer?

Worldwide, the greatest rise in melanoma has been experienced in countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted The rise in melanoma has been exceptionally high in Queensland, Australia where the medical industry has vigorously promoted the use of sunscreens. Queensland now has more incidences of melanoma per capita than any other place on Earth.
(Garland, Cedric F., et al. Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk? American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1992, pp. 614-15).

Dr. Gordon Ainsleigh in California believes that the use of sunscreens causes more cancer deaths than it prevents. He estimates that the 17% increase in breast cancer observed between 1981 and 1992 may be the result of the pervasive use of sunscreens over the past decade (Ainsleigh, H. Gordon. Beneficial effects of sun exposure on cancer mortality. Preventive Medicine, Vol.
22, February 1993, pp. 132-40).

Recent studies have also shown a higher rate of melanoma among men who regularly use sunscreens and a higher rate of basal cell carcinoma among women using sunscreens (Garland, Cedric F. et al. Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of melanoma growth in mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp.
798-801 :Larsen, H.R. "Sunscreens: do they cause skin cancer." International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 1994; 12(12): 17-19; Farmer K.C. & Naylor, M.F. "Sun exposure, sunscreens, and skin cancer prevention: a year-round concern." Ann Pharmacother, 1996; 30(6):662-73)

Drs. Cedric and Frank Garland of the University of California have pointed out that while sunscreens do protect against sunburn, there is no scientific proof that they protect against melanoma or basal cell carcinoma in humans (Garland, C.F., et al. "Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk?" American Journal of Public Health, 1992; 82(4): 614-615.) The Garlands believe that the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic.

Alternative to Chemical Sunscreens

Natural sunscreen should be:
- Totally natural ingredients, 100% Natural, completely Organic
- SPF 15 and above
- Safe to apply to an infant's skin
- Up to 4 hours water and sun protection
- Protects against both UV A, & UV B rays
- Antioxidant & anti-aging oils to prevent weathering of skin
- Totally biodegradable formula
- Absolutely No Animal Testing
- No PABA, OMC, benzophenones etc
- No mineral oils
- No fragrance
- No parabens
- No eye sting
- Non whitening
- Non allergenic

You will see many big brands claiming themselves "natural" but they contain things like Parsol (Avobenzone), parabens etc - These are not natural, they are just cashing in on the "term". Unfortunately, most consumers are easily fooled by advertisements in glossy beauty magazines and swanky cosmetic counters.

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