Don’t Wear Sunscreen, revisited

I have an allergic reaction to sunscreen, which becomes a lot worse if I get overheated while wearing sunscreen. As such, I’ve basically stopped wearing traditional sunscreen and switched to uv clothing and hats when possible, and translucent Zinc Oxide Cream when not. The Zinc Oxide cream is different from regular sunscreen in that it’s a physical block between skin and UVA/UVB rays – like that white solid stuff that I remember lifeguards in the 90s wearing on their noses. Except th new stuff is translucent, so not a solid white cream anymore – it’s not really visible at all, although it does feel kind of thick on the skin. It’s been working fairly well, I think – haven’t been burned in a while, and I don’t have skin cancer.

Today in the news there is a suggestion that Sunscreen may be bad for our health. I’ve believed as much for years, what with the extreme pain and burning I feel when I put the stuff on. Granted, that isn’t what they’re talking about – the suggestion is that the sub-microscopic particles in sunscreen can negatively affect one’s immune system. Not that they offer any alternatives, nor do they suggest you don’t use sunscreen at all… just be aware that it might make you more prone to getting sick.

One more thing that makes me believe that the chemical environment we immerse ourselves in (without knowing it most of the time) is the root cause of all this cancer in the first place. But don’t take my word on it, it’s not like I’ve got research or learning to back any of that up. It’s just a hunch.


  • bebby

    May 17, 2006 at 6:18 pm
  • cyn

    May 17, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    regular sunscreen gave me horrid rashes until i switched to PABA free. the body shop makes a good one, Aveda makes a GREAT one. expensive, but the skin on the face is worth it!

    a lot of body products are chock full of chemicals. it’s beyond creepy that people don’t think about what they’re putting on their skin as long as it feels & smells nice.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      May 17, 2006 at 6:26 pm

      It’s not the PABA for me, it’s any of the Methoxycinnamate and ingredients related to it (there are a bunch). I tried PABA-free, but still had the same reactions, so now it’s just plain Zinc Oxide and hats.

      • cyn

        May 17, 2006 at 6:28 pm

        wacky. but… you already knew you were wacky, didn’t cha?

        hats & trees & parasols are the best!

  • luxography

    May 18, 2006 at 6:21 am

    I get a rash on my skin when I use most sunscreens/sunblocks… I’ve pretty much stopped using them completely for the past several years. I think it’s the methoxycinnamate that does it for me too, because I had found one brand (I forget which one now) that did not contain a bunch of compounds normally found in other brands, and I was fine with it.

    I should perform a more conclusive study on myself this summer… buy a dozen different brands with different compositions, and rub some on different patches of skin. Then see which patches get rashy. 🙂

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      May 19, 2006 at 10:18 pm

      The L’oreal Ombrelle stuff seemed all right for a while, except that last time I wore it, I got heatstroke, and that just made everything go weird. Not that I got heatstroke from the sunscreen – that would be strange. I got heatstroke because it was 34 degrees, I was mountain biking, and I didn’t drink anywhere near enough water.

      Anyhow, the getting of heatstroke seemed to make my skin break out more. Not the burning sensation I get from some sunscreens, but I got blotchy and red and rashy.

      Chemicals are fun!