Humans and the sun have a volatile relationship. We would, you know, die if we didn’t have the sun. However, the actual purpose of the sun, of course, tanning is measured on a razor's edge. Spend too much time in the sun, and you become a red lobster, eventually molting the sun blasted layer of skin like a snake. But without some vitamin D courtesy of the sun, we take on the pallor of a corpse, unfit for public display. Continual overexposure to harmful UV rays can lead to deadly skin cancer. Balancing a healthy, glowing suntan without overly exposing your skin is a little more complicated than one would assume. To understand why, let’s briefly delve into tanning’s history.
How The Tan Became Glam
Around the same time that leeches were the prescribed medicine for just about every ill, high societal types actually used poisonous whiteners, bleaching themselves as white as albinos. These geniuses decided the sickly white was a sign of affluence, based on the presumption that all activities worthy of aristocracy would be conducted indoors. That bizarre line of thinking may have been changed thanks to Coco Chanel.
Apparently, on vacation in Mediterranean, the influential model actually got a tan, and quickly the Casper look lost its luster. As the bronzed beauty look became vogue and medicine evolved, doctors realized that too much sun could be deadly, thus the advent of sunscreen. Problem solved, right? Not quite.
Sunscreen’s Dark Secret
Today, a suntan can be mimicked in a variety of ways, from bottles to a tanning tube in which one bakes like a loaf of bread. Of course, for many people laying on a tropical beach with a Mai Tai, is still unrivaled. However, in a strange turn of irony, instead of lathering ourselves in poison to turn white, we now use a different type of poison to protect us from the sun: sunscreen.
That may sound a little dramatic, but according to a 2012 report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 75 percent of sunscreens use toxic chemicals to “help” protect you from the sun. Oxybenzone, homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene, all unpronounceable toxic chemicals, can be found in the vast majority of sunscreens. These are linked to a host of health problems such as hormonal cancers, early puberty in girls, low sperm counts, and more.
So how has the FDA allowed this contamination to continue? It dates back to the 70s with a decision to grandfather many of these potentially harmful ingredients, as opposed to studying their effects on humans. Because of the lack of meaningful research, concrete data is hard to find. However, the EWG more recently tested over 1,400+ sunscreens and found that only 5% percent meet safety standards and over 40% may contribute to skin cancer! So whether laying under the sun is your idea of a day well spent or your objective is protecting your skin at all costs, most sunscreens are actually bad for you.
It Gets Darker..
The amount of dangerous sunscreens on the market is startling, and we haven’t even discussed the potential damage to the environment, which most chemical based sunscreens pose. According to various reports, large portions of previously magnificent reefs in the Caribbean and Hawaii are now desolate wastelands due to a chemical in most sunscreens. What once were vibrant locations for snorkeling and ocean activities are now empty. Bottom line: chemical based sunscreens are damaging, not only to your overall well being, but also to the ocean and the oxygen generating ocean plants on which we depend. Many people are concerned, and rightfully so, about mass deforestation eliminating our oxygen supply. However, marine plants provide 50-85 percent of the earth’s oxygen! Even if we saved every tree in the world but kill off the ocean’s plants, we still die. We can’t survive without our ocean’s plant life, full-stop.
What’s The Solution?
So where does that leave us? Are we forced to run and hide from the sun, limiting our exposure to minutes as opposed to hours since many sunscreens are poisonous? No, thankfully there are mineral based sunscreens, which unlike chemical sunscreens are designed not to soak into your skin. Ultimately, these still protect you from the sun, while also being ocean friendly. Unfortunately, not all mineral based sunscreens are created equal. Many still contain various ingredients that can be harmful to the oceans, such as Nanoparticles or Titanium Dioxide.
Hawaii’s Super Tan
Therefore, picking the proper sunscreen is vital to both your health and that of the planet. What better place to develop a sunscreen that not only protects you from the sun’s harmful rays but also conserves the environment than in Hawaii! Little Hands Hawaii, over years of experimentation, has invented a sunscreen devised with Hawaii’s people and nature in mind.
The Pacific Island chain is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, along with an innate understanding of the importance of nature. Not only does the entire economy rely on the preservation of our environment but Hawaii locals share a fierce obligation to maintain our natural wildlife. It is more than a place where we were born and raised; it is a part of us from birth.
Little Hands Hawaii sunscreen is safe for everyone, including your keiki (kids) for today and their future. Because if we don’t conserve the planet, we have now, there may not be a future for our children. Check out our website for more information on our life and world saving sunscreen.