Busting the Sun & Sunscreen Myths

by Christine Awram, WOW Founder

Have you been congratulating yourself on taking care of you and your family by staying out of the sun and/or religiously slathering on the high-SPF sunscreen? If so I applaud your great intentions, but you might be shocked by this article. Be prepared to find out why almost everything you believe to be true on this subject is probably a myth.

Why protect yourself in the first place?

To clarify: Why are you staying out of the sun and applying sunscreen in the first place? To prevent skin damage and cancer. Right? Wrong! Here's the surprising 1-2 Punch right out of the gate, because studies conclusively show that:

1) sunlight helps prevent numerous cancers and chronic disease
2) most sunscreen ingredients are toxic with links to cancer (ironic), Vitamin D deficiency, free radical damage, hormone disruption and accelerated aging.

Are you wondering if you just read that right?

And even though more people are using sunscreen than ever before, skin cancer continues to rise - with a higher incidence of malignant melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer) among sunscreen users!

Some common sense from Dr. Joseph Mercola MD

Dr. Mercola says this better than anyone, so let me quote him:

"Can excessive sun exposure cause skin cancer and damage? Absolutely. However, adding toxic sunscreen is NOT a good way to limit your sun exposure.

Most of us have been bombarded about the dangers of the sun by experts and the media. However, because it's one of the most pervasive and inaccurate myths persisting in most of the patients I see, this myth has contributed to massive amounts of disease and illness in our society.

Although the American Academy of Dermatology will have you bathing in sunscreen, it's one of the LAST things you want to put on your body. It contains toxic chemicals.

Appropriate sunlight actually prevents cancer. Exposure to the sun provides many benefits, such as promoting the formation of Vitamin D. We also have strong evidence that sunlight is protective against MS and breast and prostate cancer.

Please avoid getting sucked into the hype that sunlight is dangerous. We ALL need sunshine - it is one of the essential ingredients for staying healthy."

This doesn't mean that we should go out and get sunburned. The key is obviously not to burn. Adding toxic sunscreen however is NOT a good way to limit your sun exposure. Limit your exposure to chemical sunscreens - they are not necessary and can actually irritate your skin, affect your hormones, accelerate aging and increase your risk of disease.

Now what?

I can hear you asking, "So if I'm not supposed to wear toxic sunscreen or totally avoid the sun, what exactly AM I supposed to do?"

Good question, and the good news is that I've got some very effective strategies for protecting and nourishing your skin, preventing disease, slowing the aging process and creating vibrant health, from both the inside out and the outside in.

Before we go there, I have to share a bit more of the nonsense about sun and sunscreen because this myth is so huge it's almost unbelieveable. I read an article by Mike Adams, a natural health pioneer who can be a bit out there but has also written literally thousands of important articles, reports and consumer guides. Here's some common sense on what he had to say:

"The next time you see an ad urging you to smother yourself and your children with sunscreen chemicals, think hard before taking action. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have the chemicals in sunscreen been safety tested by the FDA? [apparently not in 34 years despite heavy lobbying]

  • What is the environmental impact of sunscreen chemicals washing off into the ocean (or lake or river or pool) or down the drain?

  • Sunscreen manufacturers say your skin doesn't absorb their chemicals [balderdash!]. If that's true, then how do nicotine patches work? Whatever you apply to your skin absorbs into it, through it, and into your bloodstream.

  • If the sun is so unhealthy, then why is the vitamin it generates (Vitamin D) so healthy? Why did we evolve a mechanism for generating this essential vitamin from sunlight, if we weren't supposed to be exposed to sunlight in the first place?"

There is no question that too much sun is harmful, like almost ANYTHING is in excess. But a reasonable amount of sunlight is good for you, and most sunscreen is not.

So what's the solution?

We all thought it was so simple to protect ourselves from cancer and wrinkles from the sun. Just slather on the sunscreen and you're good to go, or stay out of the sun. Worst case scenario, if the sunscreen doesn't help much, at least it doesn't hurt. Right? Wrong again. Here's more on what recent studies reveal:

  • Sunscreen does not reduce melanoma (one of the worst cancers).

  • Sunscreens have no effect on free radicals (and it's free radical damage that contributes to accelerated aging, disrupts your DNA, and is linked to cancer and disease).

  • A study published in the prestigious Cancer Journal indicates that exposure to sun actually decreases cancer rates, especially breast, colon and ovarian cancer, and tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum and stomach.

  • SPFs over 8 can block up to 95% of rays needed to trigger Vitamin D synthesis. And it's Vitamin D that helps protect against cancers and other disease. Sunscreens actually shut down your production of Vitamin D, a dangerous deficiency. As noted by Dr. Holly Fourchalk, Vitamin D synthesis happens between the 3rd and 4th layer of the skin - and sunscreen prevents this from happening.
  • HIgh SPF products are no better and are misleading. They give a false sense of security, with the user soaking up more radiation. And the higher the SPF factor, the higher the chemicals that pose health risks.

  • Many SPF ingredients come with labelled side effects including dry skin, acne blemish increase, burning, itching, stinging, rash, allergies and drug interaction.

  • As published in The Sunday Times (London) by Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent, "The main chemical used in sun lotions, OMC (octyl methoxycinnamate), is toxic, particularly when exposed to ... sunshine!" How ironic and schizophrenic is that? Dr. Christensen, a biophysicist from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, comments that the reaction between the sunscreen ingredient OMC and sunlight created an effect that was twice as toxic as the chemical alone. Who invented this stuff?

  • Disturbingly, a form of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate or retinol) in sunscreen is now proving to be a bad idea because of how it interacts with sunlight, becoming photocarcinogenic. Daily natural skincare used indoors and internal supplementation of Vitamin A is great. But studies indicate that when retinyl palmitate is applied to skin exposed to sunlight, it speeds development of skin tumours and forms free radicals that damages DNA. This is a real problem, as retinyl palmitate is in over 30% of sunscreen products.

  • Another common sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone (or benzophenone-3), is such a concern that scientists are warning parents to avoid using this ingredient on children due to allergic reactions, penetration concerns and hormone disruption.

Let's take it step by step - this is a big subject

Are you getting overloaded yet? I don't blame you - my head was spinning while I researched this subject. I already knew that most sunscreens were problematic because of the chemical ingredients in them, but I had no idea how deep this issue really was. What an eye-opener!

Step by step, here are seven powerful and simple strategies you can start using right now to protect you and your family from the harmful effects of overdoing the sun and using toxic products. Protect yourself from cancer, health risks and skin problems, and learn how to support radiant beautiful skin.

Enjoy sensible sun exposure.
Reap the benefits of sunlight. How much sun you get obviously depends on where you live and what time of year it is, and people with naturally darker skin pigments need substantially more than those with lighter pigments. Avoid direct exposure to sun during the peak summer hours (11am-2pm). My personal formula is to get out in the sun bare-skinned for about 20 minutes, and if I'm going to stay out longer in the summer then I add a NATURAL sunscreen or protection after I've given my skin a chance to synthesize some Vitamin D. You can cover up with light fabrics and floppy hats or ballcaps during those peak sun hours.

Avoid commercial sunscreens like the plague.
Chemicals, chemicals. Toxic, toxic. Aging, aging. Bad, bad, bad! If I haven't made that clear by now, I should be fired.

Become an ingredient label-reader.
Avoid the very worst-offenders like Oxybenzone, OMC (octyl methoxycinnamate) and 4-MBC. Also avoid Vitamin A in sunscreen (retinyl palmitate or retinol) as its interaction topically with sunlight can be photocarcinogenic.

Use natural sunscreens.
Yes, there are some options here. Pure jojoba oil has a natural SPF of 12 and it's GREAT for your soft silky skin. Natural products with zinc and titanium rate well with the Environmental Working Group because they block harmful radiation without penetrating healthy skin, are not allergenic, don't break down in sunlight and don't disrupt your hormones. But avoid them in powders or sprays, because inhalation may have unknown consequences.

Boost your INTERNAL sunscreen.
Increase your antioxidant-rich foods and boost antioxidant supplements to increase your skin's natural UV protection from the inside out (it takes about 30 consistent days of optimal nutrition to boost skin protection internally). The Total Health Packs (which I've personally been taking for years now as my optimal supplement system) include Green Tea Extract for even more of an antioxidant boost, which also helps increase metabolism. Interestingly, according to findings presented at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, a protein called JNK-2 appears to be directly related to the development of skin cancer. Importantly, this protein is blocked by Green Tea polyphenols.

Antioxidants boost your ability to handle sunlight without burning.
That's not to say you can just pop antioxidants and stay out in the sun unprotected all day. But potent antioxidants help protect against radiation, and they help repair and prevent free radical damage, thereby preventing disease and unnecessary wrinkling (besides all the other wonderful healthful properties they have). Some of the more common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E and green tea extract. If your goal is excellent health, vital energy and youthful radiant skin, you ABSOLUTELY need a complete therapeutic supplement system. If you'd like to know more about the easy and effective Total Health Pack system that I use personally (plus receive their free consumer report on how not to flush your money down the toilet with supplements), go HERE. Quite frankly, most of the products on store shelves are all about marketing and are completely inadequate.

Moisturize, rejuvenate AND protect skin with 100% natural skincare.
Skincare is used every day, so use all-natural skincare as your first line of defense and to promote more radiant youthful skin. Commercial personal care products will put an average of 160 toxic chemicals into your bloodstream every single day! After exposure to the sun you can further rejuvenate your skin cells with a nourishing natural lotion that includes ingredients like aloe vera and rejuvenating essential oils. Please start integrating 100% natural skincare and haircare into your lifestyle and your family's - not products with a few ingredients used as a marketing gimmick. Beware of toxic ingredients like Parabens (read the ingredient label). For more information on how to have gorgeous radiant skin and hair, please read my article HERE.

Consider Vitamin D supplementation

Especially during the winter months or if you live in rainy BC like I do. Ensure you supplement with natural D3, not synthetic D2. The Total Health Packs contain a good therapeutic level of D3, and I add extra Vitamin D drops to my water during our long dark rainy fall and winter. The more research I do, the more I'm convinced that a big chunk of the population is suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency, which contributes to conditions like arthritis, fatigue, weight gain, PMS, diabetes and depression.

In summary

Phew! This is a big topic, and there is always more ground that could be covered. For now, I'm hoping that my intention to bring these dangerous myths about sun and sunscreen to light has been accomplished (if you'll pardon the pun), and that I've left you with a solid course of action that is easy and simple to follow:

  • Use sensible sun exposure before covering up
  • Don't use toxic commercial sunscreens (read ingredient labels)
  • Use natural sunscreens like pure jojoba oil
  • Avoid worst ingredients Oxybenzone, OMC, 4-MBC and Retinyl Palmitate
  • Use INTERNAL sunscreen with the Total Health Pack system
  • Use exquisite all-natural skin and hair products every single day
Please tell your friends and family about this article - everyone needs this important information.

And enjoy your healthy fun in the sun!



This article has made mention of the Total Health Packs, an optimal nutrition system that I use personally myself and just love. It's therapeutic grade, it's easy, it's convenient, and it's wonderfully cost-effective because it's only sold direct (not MLM and not in retail stores - developed by Brenda Eastwood RNCP). Handy little packs you can carry with you anywhere in your purse or briefcase, no more managing dozens of bottles.

Here's what I recommend and invite you to do for FREE.

Go to their website HERE and do two things:

1) Get the complete ingredient list, so you can shop & compare.
2) Get their FREE Consumer Report ($39 value) - no more hype!

Once you realize the benefits you can start experiencing from this easy and effective system, and the money you can save, go back to their website HERE and order (free shipping even!).

You can trust the system that I use myself. I've done the research - it's excellent, results-oriented, cost-effective, easy and convenient.

And coming soon, the best all-natural leading-edge skincare system I've discovered in over a year of diligent research. Stay tuned, or send an EMAIL for more info if you just can't wait!

Christine Awram, Founder
Woman Of Worth WOW Worldwide
Celebrating the empowered leadership of women
Because every woman ... is a Woman Of Worth

Copyright 2006, all rights reserved.



This article was written by Christine Awram, and is under copyright protection.
The opinions and research expressed in this article are intended to
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