Being the daughter of a red head means that I've thought about skin cancer. A bunch.
Practicing yoga outside and skin cancer kinda go together now... Don't get me wrong, I used to lay out on a tanning bed when I was a young-un (ok, 17-18yrs old) and the thought of actively exposing my delicate skin to Ultraviolet rays makes me feel a little nauseous. Unfortunately, unlike my red headed dad (and my pale pale husband) I tan *very* well and easily.
Weirdly, the UV index has been extremely high in the past few weeks... I never thought about it before, but it seems it's just permanently set to '9-Extremely High'. Didn't there use to be lower UV numbers?
According to the World Health Organization, there's been a marked increase in skin cancers worldwide, and although we've made great strides in eliminating ozone depleting chemicals we're still exposed to high levels of UV radiation. Exposure to Ultraviolet radiation is the cause of 20% of 12 to 15 billion global cases of blindness, 130,000 malignant skin cancers and has been linked to suppressing cell-mediated immunity; limiting the efficacy of vaccinations (WHO). According to this article in National Geographic, the ozone layer was thinner this spring- awesome. (check out this fantastic post at Balance Blog for a more in depth look at sunscreens!)
For a successful Yoga in the Park, a Yogi(ni) MUST wear sunblock (and have a 'YITP friendly' mat- a cloth mat or old mat that won't break down from the sun).
Of course, sunscreen has some pretty nasty chemicals that seep right into your skin. EEP. Oxybenzone; a weak hormone disruptor found in 95% of 6-8yr old girls' urine and found in our soil and waterways, estrogenic octinoxate, hormone disruptor homosalate and possible carcinogen enzulizole all are found in common sunscreens (Ecoholic 2007).
So- This year I was determined to find a fabulous eco-friendly sunblock for my staple weekend Yoga in the Park.
I thought Badger SPF 30 was the winner. Non-nano with certified organic ingredients and made the Environmental Working Group's best sunscreen list for 2011.
Too bad it was an epic fail as a sunscreen. (sorry no pics of the actual sunscreen, it was thrown out in a fit of anger).
Smell: Yummy, like shea butter. mmmm...
Look and texture: icky white oily paste that is difficult to rub in.
Casual walk around the city test:
Both of our arms turned pink and my arms tanned while his face pinkened.
Yoga in the Park between 10h30-12pm Saturday:
Despite both of us slathering the stuff on, we both burned to a crisp. Sadly, Andrew burned even worse as he doesn't acquire base tans. It was honestly as if we hadn't been wearing sunscreen at all. In fact, Andrew's non-sunscreened legs (yep he forgot) burned *just* as badly as his supposedly 'protected' face, arms and neck.
Andrew's lovely legs- TWO days post Yoga in the Park. Saturday evening he was crowned 'Lobster Man'. Only a very supportive husband would let me post pics of his legs on my blog... lol
Lesson- Avoid Badger Sunscreen. As it's late in the season and we're not risking any more skin cancer or cataracts, we bit the chemical bullet and bought regular sunblock. Eff-it, we'll try again next year.
Any environmentally friendly sunscreens that actually work?
Yoga Safely- wear sunblock!
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com