Sunbathing can be hazardous to your health years from now!

I have had some exciting sunburns over the years. The first memorable one happened as a teenager at a lake party – swimming, canoeing, just having fun, and enjoying life. My lobster-like appearance burned that memory into my brain forever.

Number two on my hit parade was an afternoon on Midway Island in the early ‘70s. The water is shallow – so shallow that you can walk nearly a hundred yards offshore and not be underwater. My bright red skin clashed with my white military uniform.

The Navy does not want you unable to do your assigned duties because of sunburn – you can be penalized for it. The memory still vivid in my mind’s eye was my Commanding Officer’s face as I stood in front of his desk. I remember telling the skipper that I had been sunburned off and on my entire life, and this was minor.

Abruptly, I slapped myself viciously hard across my forehead and the top part of my head to show that there was no pain associated with my sunburn. It took him a long moment to come back to reality. He told me to get out of his office. I never heard another thing about sunburn. Of course, I never did anything that stupid again either – while I was in the Navy.

Sunburn,gives%20skin%20its%20normal%20color. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or other artificial sources can produce a red burn-like appearance on the surface of the skin. The skin feels warm, along with pain and tenderness when touched.

There may be swelling, headaches, fever, nausea, and fatigue with severe cases. Blisters may also appear a couple of days after the exposure – and then there is the pealing of the skin from the blistered skin.

The skin may show deep wrinkles, dryness, roughness, fine veins on the face, an increase in freckles, and premature aging with continued overexposure to the sun. Give enough time (decades); it is not uncommon to see skin cancers develop.

Sunscreen & Sunblock A sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UVA sunlight and convert the light into heat. The skin releases the heat to the air. Sunblock protects the skin from absorbing UVB sunlight. The time of the day determines whether you are receiving ultraviolet A (UVA) light waves – longer wavelength or ultraviolet B light waves – shorter wavelength.

UVA is associated with skin aging, while UVB is linked to sunburn. Both sunscreen and sunblock lotions must be evenly distributed over the skin to provide protection. Sunscreens disappear into the skin in a few minutes, while sunblock lotions remain as a white pigment on top of the skin.

Chemicals Many of the chemicals added to sunscreens are harmful (toxic), such as benzophenone 3, avobenzone, Cyclomethicone, formaldehyde, hydroxymethyl glycinate, and more. The FDA recognizes titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE). Trolamine salicylate and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) are commonly found chemicals that are not on the GRASE list.

Dozens of other chemicals are considered toxic in sunblock, sunscreen, and hundreds of personal care products. The European Union bans over a thousand chemicals that are not prohibited in the United States.

Sun Safety The FDA was petitioned this past week to recall forty batches of sunscreens and after-sun products because they had high levels of benzene. The MSDS ( Material Safety Data Sheet provides details on the toxic nature of benzene.

Almost 300 batches from nearly 70 companies were tested for benzene. Over one-quarter of them were above the safety limit. Prolonged exposure to benzene can cause cancer.
Which is worse, cancer from the chemicals in sunscreen products or cancer from overexposure to the sun? and links provide good information to make decisions regarding products you put on your skin.

There are so many chemicals in sunscreens and other personal care products; how do you know which are good and bad? is an excellent source to determine the safety and efficacy of various chemicals added to everyday products.


I sunburn easily. I know I have an issue with how much time I spend in the sun. I also know that nearly everything I put on my skin will penetrate deep into my body – the good and the bad. I avoid any skin-care products, sunscreen being one of them, as much as I can.

I believe we need a regular dose of sunlight for vitamin D3 creation in our bodies. I use coconut oil for those times when I know I will be outside for a while, and it is possible to get a bit too much sunlight – playing golf, for instance. I apply coconut oil (as unrefined as I can find) about every thirty minutes. It is not rated as sunscreen, but it does a decent job for me.

Additionally, it puts the fire out when I get sunburn and prevents blisters from forming when I get terrible sunburn. Read labels and learn what you are allowing into your body. Today, it is extra-easy to type a chemical into Google and find out whether it is a toxin or a safe product.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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