#27 Fatal Conveniences™: Sunscreen: Counterproductive Chemicals

#27 Fatal Conveniences™: Sunscreen: Counterproductive Chemicals

The sun is so incredibly vital to our health. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it begins to manufacture its own vitamin D. Vitamin D production is crucial to many body functions like calcium absorption, maintaining healthy bones and boosting the immune system. So why are we slathering on chemicals to block the sun rays?

Welcome to Fatal Conveniences™. 

This is a bite-sized segment that parallels The Darin Olien Show. In these segments, we get into society’s Fatal Conveniences™. I define these as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to. These things save us time and trick us into thinking they’re actually good for us. But it’s those same things that are breaking down our health and the health of the environment around us.

I’ve spent most of my adult life obsessively researching these “conveniences.” On every show, I pick one topic, and we dive into it. My goal is to make you more aware of these traps so that you can push back on them. Remember, it starts with you and the choices you make. So, if you’re willing to look at your world from a different perspective and make little tweaks that amount to big changes, then this segment is for you.

Human beings need sunlight.

I know many of you are probably thinking “But Darin, what about sunburn? What about skin cancer?” And those are valid concerns. I go into depth on both of these subjects in this segment. But my point is this: when you apply sunscreen to your skin, you are absorbing dangerous chemicals directly into your bloodstream. If cancer is what you’re trying to avoid, you’ll be sorely disappointed to learn that the very chemicals you think are protecting you are actually increasing your chances for many different kinds of cancer.

In this segment, I identify the four common toxins found in most sunscreens. I explain what they do to your body and why you should avoid them at all costs. I also get into the delusion we’ve all been fed our entire lives about the sun being dangerous. We need the sun! Don’t get me wrong, we need to use common sense. If you have a history of skin cancer if your family, then by all means, look for ways to protect yourself. But using chemicals is not the answer. If you need to use sunscreen, I go over what to avoid and what to use instead. 

Be sure to check out The Darin Olien Show Episode #26 Matt Meruca on Letting the Sun Back Into Your Life for more great information on the importance of sunlight!

  • The 4 main chemicals in most sunscreens and why they’re horrible for you
  • The importance of Vitamin D
  • A frightening study from the FDA
  • Melanin explained
  • What sun-bathing women in Sweden can tell us about the sun
  • The magic of Nitric Oxide
  • Healthy sunscreen brands that get my seal of approval

The Darin Olien Show is produced by the team at Must Amplify. If you’re looking to give a voice to your brand, and make sure that it’s heard by the right people, head to www.mustamplify.com/darin to see what Amplify can do for you.

Episode Transcript

Darin: It’s that time of the week for another fatal convenience. This is a bite-size segment that addresses some of society’s fatal conveniences and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of them. I define fatal conveniences as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to, tap water, shampoo, sunglasses, food. I dive into the hidden truths behind some of our everyday choices that could not only be harming us but even killing us, so let’s dive in.

Darin: What’s up everybody? How’s it going? Welcome to another edition of Fatal Conveniences. So, hey, I realized that’s an intense wording, and we’re gonna get into some intensity right here. We’re gonna pull back the curtains on sunscreen. I realize it’s the end of summer, but it’s also the beginning of summer in Australia. So it’s always summer somewhere, but this is super important information I’m gonna get out. Now, sunscreen, the sun, all of that health, it’s all interconnected. Vitamin D, I’m going to touch on vitamin D a little bit, but I’m gonna focus on four main chemicals in sunscreen that is going to create a context for the greater conversation around sunscreen, around our health, around our evolution of this idea of being afraid of the sun when the humans have been dealing with the sun for over 200,000 years and have been doing it very well through this thing called melanin production that creates the color in your skin. And the more you go out, the more melanin is produced and the more vitamin D is produced, etc, etc. So, this is important to start to unpack and to understand. So what is the convenience here? Well, sunscreen, cool, going outside, you gotta protect yourselves, protect yourselves from the evil sun. So people slather themselves, sun cancer, melanoma, all of these skin cancers we’re running around afraid of all this stuff. So the fatal convenience is, put this sunscreen on to block the sun under any circumstance possible. Our kids, we’re spraying it on, we’re lathering ourselves, SPF of 30 and 50 and 100 even but there are some consequences to that. And I’m gonna get into some of that right now. There are four main ones, avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. Those are the main chemicals that are very detrimental in the body. And so there’s been a lot of tests around this, and specifically around these active ingredients around, they’re finding out more and more that as soon as you put this on your skin, it goes into the blood and absorbs, and so that’s the main thing. Now we’ve been saying this, the skin is an organ, the skin is transdermal. It has transdermal effect like you go into a shower, and if you don’t get rid of the chlorine and fluoride, you’re absorbing it through the skin. The same thing that when we put on these sunscreens, these chemicalized sunscreens, they’re going into the bloodstream causing a biological effect of this chemical effect that is absolutely detrimental for our own health. So the FDA finally did their own small research. They pulled a small research division, and they actually said, okay, so what’s showing up in the blood after we put these sunscreens on and i.e., these sunscreen chemicals. And of course, what they found was that six active ingredients. It was more than just the ones that I mentioned, but the main one was oxybenzone, that by putting on normal amounts, it showed up in the blood 180 times. The FDA’s level of concern after one single application. Hello! So they’re saying, hey, you know what, these are safe, these are generally recognized as safe that they all love to say. Is that is that scientific when they say it’s generally recognized as safe and then no one does tests on it? The companies don’t do tests on it, but then when pushed, the FDA does some tests on it, as well as some other people. And it comes up with one single dose of this hormone-disrupting chemical that it comes up at 180 times. And that’s only one dose and it showed was people don’t normally just put one dose on. If they’re outside, they put multiple layers on, there are multiple doses, and then it soared at 500 times the FDA’s level of concern. And so previous research has shown that some of these ingredients, the FDA said, it can disrupt the hormones and lead to fertility problems, poor birth outcomes for babies, and perhaps, of course, cancer. So your cancer rates go up as you’re putting on these damn chemicalized blocking sunscreens. So then there was also a study that showed this may affect breast development, infant birth rate, sperm function, as well as when you’re running around, it’s killing coral reefs, it’s hurting the environment, it’s toxifying our water. So as within so without. So as you do things, it’s hurting your body, it’s also hurting the environment, and we have to keep that connected. Everything you’re doing is affecting the environment. So by trying to protect yourself from this delusion of the sun is going to kill you all the time, then you’re also toxifying the environment. From the Environmental Working Group, the fact that these chemicals are being found at elevated levels in our blood, combined with evidence that they have been linked to adverse health impacts in other studies is extremely concerning. This is the vice president of the Environmental Working Group Healthy Living Science Program. So I’ve been looking at the Environmental Working Group, and they’re doing a lot of powerful research trying to warn us all but most people don’t know what’s going on in all of these things, so hormone disruption, cancer-causing and in some instances, increasing. The other downside is by putting on sunscreen, you’re decreasing your ability to produce vitamin D. And vitamin D is 100% critical in healthy bones, calcium production, strong immune system. And many Americans have low vitamin D because they’re afraid. They’re slapping on all of the sunscreen, now your main hormone for your immune system is being absolutely compromised. And you have to have that, the production of vitamin D, which is a hormone is fat soluble, and it’s happening within the cholesterol and the interactions with the melanin in the skin, and now you’re disrupting that whole side of it, decreasing your immune system, keeping you open to other breakdowns that actually help you against cancer. So how is this possible? We seem to get everything– everything is the opposite. It’s just so weird to me. So people have been relying on the skin for making vitamin D and obviously the darker skin, you need to stay in the sun longer to receive the same vitamin D levels. The lighter skin we are, the more efficient we are at grabbing the sunlight as quickly as possible when we migrated to the north, we had less and less sun exposure so our skin became lighter in pigment so that we can maximize the sun when we had it to increase our vitamin D production. So the dark skin around the equator, the Africans producing black skin, they could be out in the sun because they were at the equator and their ability to produce vitamin D took longer because of the increase of skin pigment and melanin. So Africans away from the equator need to get out in the sun without sunscreen more so that they increase their vitamin D production, extremely, extremely important. So we need to understand this from a melanin perspective. The more tan you get, the increase of melanin, the longer you need to stay out in the sun to keep your vitamin D production high. And obviously, when it turns in the winter, wherever you’re at, it’s probably a good idea to take in vitamin D if you’re not getting sun exposure without sunscreen. It’s very interesting when you look at Center of Disease Control and Prevention have found that Mexican Americans and African Americans are two to three times more likely than Caucasians to have low vitamin D levels. This is directly from the CDC in 2011. People who use more sun protection or way more than average are also more likely to suffer. So that tells you it right there. And human epidemiological studies have linked low vitamin D to increased mortality from heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, etc. The other great thing that sun exposure without sunscreen is it increases nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. So did you know that sun exposure without sunscreen helps dilate blood vessels, increases the nitric oxide so it dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure? And this is extremely important. This is directly with sun exposure to sunlight making nitric oxide. People hear this stuff. This is common sense. This is it. There’s a lot that we can get into around this but let me leave you from a Nobel Prize in Physiology in medicine, Dr. L. Lindquist, tracked the sunbathing habits of nearly 30,000 women in Sweden over 20 years. Originally, he was studying blood clots, which he found occurred less frequently in women who spent more time in the sun, and less frequently during the summer. Lindquist looked at diabetes next. Sure enough, the sun worshipers without sunscreen had much lower rates. Melanoma, question mark, true, the sun worshipers had a higher incidence of it, but they were eight times less likely to die from it. So even though it can show up, melanoma can show up just like cancer is in us and on us but the body is regulating itself. But the fact that your immune system is strong because of the sunlight, etc, this creates an incredible long term big expanded view of what the sun is. So Lindquist also decided to look at overall mortality rates and the results were shocking. Over 20 years of study, sun avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers. There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Lindquist team put it in perspective, avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking in terms of life expectancy. Whoa, that is huge. So sure enough, when we have exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen, their nitric oxide levels went up and their blood pressure went down. Because of its connection to heart disease and strokes, blood pressure is the leading cause of premature death and disease in the world. And the reduction was of magnitude larger enough to prevent millions of deaths on a global level just by exposing yourself without sunscreen to the sun. So I’m gonna leave it at that. I want you just to leave those questions that I left open because this raises a massive question of even putting on sunscreen or using sunscreen. Okay, so what can you do about this? Honor where you’re at, honor what your ancestors have. If you have history of melanoma in your epidemiological past family, then just be aware of that. Be aware of where you’re starting, how much melanin you have, how much tan you have will give you an indication of how much you can stay in the sun. Do not burn. That is clear across all research. Burning is not a good idea. And they found that if you’re putting on slather and you have been out in the sun much and you slathering on SPFs that people have a higher chance of burning with using sunscreen. So you have to use your common sense. If you’re with light skin, if you’re out too long, put on hats put on clothing and cover-up after a certain period of time. And then you can use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which does not go through the skin and cause harm. That’s clear on science. And like I said before, bigger SPF is not better and it’s showing that most of the sprays could be infinitely worse in terms of the chemical proliferation that it’s causing opportunities. I have a bunch of information in the show notes. So please go to darinolien.com/fatalconveniences or just fatalconveniences.com and it will take you there. So I have a lot of information from an Environmental Working Group. Couple of brands that I looked at, Mad Hippie, Goddess Garden, also as prebiotics to help the skin keep balanced, Badger SPF 35 and Blue Lizard are some of them. So, super helpful. Vitamin D is extremely important for the overall health. So we realize that we’re using all of this stuff, it’s detrimental not only to keeping your body in balance, but also eliminate this exposure to these chemicals. Please do not buy any sunscreens that have these chemicals in them, and as well as do your homework. If you can eat it, you can put it on your skin. Okay, everyone, that’s a big one. I realized I opened up a can of worms on that one because I think you’re starting to get that you should not be afraid of the sun. There’s a much bigger picture to apply here. And we’ll get into that at some point. But today, it’s focused on these chemicals that are absolutely harmful, hormone-disrupting, cancer-causing, and they should not be in any sunscreens or put on any skin whatsoever. And that using sunscreen also blocks very important pathways. Nitric oxide, which lowers overall mortality, as well as it lowers your vitamin D production, which also lowers the immune system and opens you up to overall mortality levels of death. So there you go. All right, I love you. Thanks for tuning in. That was the next installment of the Fatal Conveniences.

Darin: Thanks for tuning in everyone. I hope that left you feeling inspired to take a closer look at the every day choices you’re making and how they could be impacting your health and even planet. If you want to learn more about life’s fatal conveniences, head over to fatalconveniences.com. You can sign up for the exclusive access to Fatal Conveniences episodes, news, insights, and more. And all these great stuff gets sent each week straight to your inbox, making it really easy. Now, that’s a convenience without the negative side effects. It only takes a few seconds to join. Just fill in the form and take that amazing step towards making better choices. Remember, small changes can have big impact. So, keep diving my friends, keep diving. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the interview, I released earlier on the week, here’s what you missed:

EP#26 Matt Maruca on Letting the Sun Back in Your Life

Matt: 30% of our volume is mitochondria. So we are largely water, but a lot of that water is within and around the mitochondria. So can you imagine like 30% of my weight is mitochondria? It’s pretty ridiculous. I didn’t know that until recently. So that is our body. These things are us, we are them. It isn’t like they’re this other thing. They are us and the better they work, the better we work. And so I’m sort of, you know, with sharing all this, my goal is to get people to be friendly with our mitochondria because just like you said, the old model is the nuclear model, which is like I have these genes and these are my genes. And it’s like, yes, but those are just like we talked about, it’s almost like a grocery store. It’s like you can go in and get anything you want. It all depends on what you choose. And the way you choose is by being friends with your mitochondria and doing things in your environment in your life that make them work better. And that makes all the nuclear genes be expressed better too.

Darin: This episode is produced by my team at Must Amplify, an audio marketing company that specializes in giving a voice to a brand and making sure the right people hear it. If you would like or are thinking about doing a podcast or even would like a strategy session to add your voice to your brand in a powerful way, go to www.mustamplify.com/darin. That’s www.mustamplify.com/darin.

  • Sam Alban
    Posted at 23:47h, 09 October Reply

    Super, Darin. Way to make me question everything I’ve ever learned about sunscreen. I’ve been using the stuff since I was 15 and now, at 43, my blood must be no less than 50% chemical grossness. Now, I gotta “do my homework” and figure out where the hell I go from here. Le sigh.

  • Sam Alban
    Posted at 23:48h, 09 October Reply

    Also…good show.

  • Janice Summers
    Posted at 16:33h, 17 October Reply

    Thank you for this! I have been creating natural and organic skincare products for over a decade now. Every year I get requests from people to make a sunscreen. I wont do it even though it’s very lucrative for revenue. I tell people to eat lots of veggies, gradually introduce yourself to the sun, do not burn, wear protective clothes and stick to the shade when the sun is at the harshest point.

  • Melanie
    Posted at 17:36h, 19 October Reply

    After getting malignant melanoma in 1985 (when I was 23), I am not going out in the sun unless absolutely necessary, lol. Bi-annual check-ups w/dermatologists since then take their toll. My mother (red head) and grandfather also had issues with skin cancer. In SW FL, we get plenty of sun year round by driving (rays coming in via windows and windshield), walking to the mailbox, etc. I am not afraid of the sun, but I’m not gonna hang out in it unless I’m covered up.

  • Marlene Engleman
    Posted at 22:41h, 04 November Reply

    My Baru’kas just arrived😁😇
    They are Marvelous tasting…What are side effects if you eat too many at a time
    like 15/20????

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