Do you remember that song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann? It starts off like this:
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience…
You can hear the entire *song* (which is actually spoken) on YouTube, here.
I started writing this post to rant about the toxic sunscreens on the market. I go to a specialty natural medicine store just to buy safe sunscreen because everything I’ve found at Walgreens is frightening. And I feel the dire need to inform my family, friends, and faithful readers of a potentially dangerous substance that I bet most of us use.
Those endless bottles of familiarly-scented lotion we slather all over our skin and our childrens’ skin frequently in the summer months and perhaps even year-round. We slather it on until it’s completely absorbed into our skin, the biggest organ in our body. For supposed protection.
What’s in that bottle? What is my body absorbing instead of sunlight? What would you say if I told you that you may be doing yourself more harm than good?
Instead of continuing my rant, I’m going to leave it to the experts at Environmental Working Group to give you the real information. The hard facts and the science behind them.
Go visit EWG’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide. You’ll be glad you did.
Or go straight to the Hall of Shame: What’s wrong with the sunscreen protection business?
And you really don’t want to miss Sunscreens Exposed: 9 surprising truths. The first truth? There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.
The site also makes recommendations for the best sunscreens. I’d like to reiterate the recommendation for this one, the only sunscreen I have used on my infant.
I started this post to talk about sunscreen and I thought of the sunscreen song and I went to go read the lyrics and watch the video (see below). I teared up, which doesn’t happen too often. Seriously. This song dispenses incredibly valuable, true words of wisdom that we do not hear oft enough. (Although the bit about sunscreen is debatable.) You probably know that I’m a tad bit obsessed with collecting bits of wisdom. I’ve even shared with you my favorite Words of Wisdom.
Then I thought; I would probably be far happier if I started every day listening to this song. Perhaps I should consider meditating on it each morning.
And then I remembered. Who am I kidding? I don’t even have time to take a shower in the morning. But if I did.