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Fri, Feb 12, 2016• 00:00• Natural Living & Health
The Men’s Guide to Natural Sunscreen
We love the outdoors. We love the sun. But we don’t love skin cancer. Slapping on some sunscreen before putting yourself under that cosmic ball of fire is a wise choice, but what exactly is in that supposedly skin-saving lotion?
Different sunscreens use different ingredients, so the only way to know is to check the label. You might see oxybenzone in the small print, a widely used chemical UV filter that can alter your sperm production. Perhaps octinoxate will be on the list, another popular sunscreen chemical that can disrupt the function of your thyroid gland. Also look out for homosalate, which is known to disrupt male androgenic hormones such as testosterone.
Kaboompics ‘Sunblock’ CC0 via Pixabay
These chemicals are good at protecting against harmful UV rays, but should you be using them when they can do damage to your health in other ways? We don’t think so. Here at Dr. Squatch we don’t like putting chemicals on our skin. Hell, that’s why we created our natural soap. That said, you have to weigh up the pros and cons, because if you’re hanging out at the beach without wearing sunscreen you’re likely to suffer more than when you’re smothered in it. Ultra violet radiation from the sun causes most cases of skin cancer, and it’s the UVA and UVB rays that are the culprits.
So what’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Here’s the low down. UVA rays account for 95% of the UV radiation raining down on us from the sun. These rays penetrate the skin deeper than their UVB brothers and are responsible for premature aging of the skin, wrinkles and getting a tan. Your skin tans when exposed to UVA rays because your body is trying to turn your skin darker to combat the DNA damage being caused. That’s right, a tan equals DNA damage.
As for UVB, these rays are less prevalent than UVA and don’t penetrate the skin as deep, but are responsible for making the top layer of your skin, the epidermis, turn red. UVB rays give you sunburn, dark moles on your skin, and play an integral role in the development of skin cancer. UVB rays are literally frazzling the top layer of your skin, but it’s both UVB and UVA rays that are responsible for skin cancer.