I'm taking a break from my standard "Flashback Friday" in order to mention something important. Today, I woke to the news of McDonald's doing a voluntary recall on 12 million Shrek drinking glasses because they contained cadmium. This is actually kind of ironic, because the only thing that I watched on TV last night was a documentary on the presence of cadmium in millions of pieces of jewelry made in China (and imported into the United States). Beware of cadmium, people! I'm sure that I've purchased jewelry for my niece before that was made in China, and it no doubt contained this harmful metal.
Some of you who have been around for a while (or know me in real life--HI KARIE!) know that I'm more concerned than the average person about chemicals residing in everyday products. I try to keep things in my universe pretty natural, and I also try to avoid eating foods with added chemicals and such. I clean my house with peroxide rather than using artificial chemical cleaners, and I also use peroxide in the laundry in place of bleach. Maybe I'm paranoid, but what began as a way to keep my asthma at bay has now turned into a genuine issue with harsh chemicals.
There's no shame in my game. I'm paranoid.
I keep my eye on the news when any updated information comes out regarding potentially harmful chemicals in our environment. The Environmental Working Group just recently released their annual report to consumers. In this report, they stated that Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer. Although there has been debate for years on whether the harsh chemicals used in sunscreen are safe, the issue with cancer acceleration seems to be the addition of Vitamin A and its' derivatives (isotretinoin, tazaroten, adapalene and tretinoinas--or any retanoid) as antioxidants to prevent skin-aging. Apparently, the FDA has known about the risks of sunscreens which contain Vitamin A for at least 10 years, but has not notified the public.
Way to go, FDA. You're awesome.
As a result of that fantastic article, I threw away all of the sunscreen that I had (because all of it contained Vitamin A), and I started searching Amazon for an organic, Vitamin A-free version. There are a ton of options, but I finally decided on Loving Naturals Organic SPF 30*, which contains the main active ingredient zinc oxide, as well as a number of other natural oils and moisturizers. Although most zinc oxide used commercially is synthetically produced, zinc oxide is a compound that occurs naturally in the earth's crust. Call me crazy, but this makes me feel a little more safe than all of the random chemicals that standard sunscreens are chock full of.
Prior to the past couple of years, I never worn sunscreen. I don't remember wearing it as a child, and we were outside all the time. These days, I slather the stuff on before I go outside to run or bike. It's been especially hot these days, so sunscreen is a must. Not only am I paranoid, but I'm also fair-skinned. I am the queen of sunless tanning lotion to try to mask the fact that I'm not a blue-eyed, fair-skinned girl of Scottish decent, but trust that I am Casper-white under all of this Mystic Tan.