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Green Girl Blocks the Burning Sun

Green Girl Blocks the Burning Sun

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I am very pale. I’m the kind of person that is white all year long, gets a sunburn, and then immediately turns white again. Well, I guess I should say gets sunburns, plural. Because I burn very, very easily. Even with sunscreen! It’s sad.

Perhaps it wasnít the best idea for me to get a job working outside eight hours a day, five days a week all summer. After three weeks, my arms have gone from bright red, to a hint darker than my normal pale, to bright red again, to a little bit darker than the previous pale with a highly attractive peel. The rest of me is still practically albino.

And when Iím not working, I’m trying to relax. Which this past weekend, when the temperature was 100 degrees, meant sitting outside on my porch in the sun, reading and drinking iced tea. Sounds like the life, right? Well, it was wonderful. But, no matter how much sunscreen I put on, I always seem to miss small parts, which immediately turn into bad sunburns.

Iíve been putting on 15 SPF, so this weekend I went out and bought 30. I may have to move up to 45. According to a study by the cosmetic safety database, 86 percent of sunscreens on the market are either ineffective against the sun or raise safety concerns because of their ingredients. Many contain microsized and nano-scale UVA filters with toxic properties, and some contain ingredients that absorb into the blood and may have toxic effects, acting as hormone disruptors, releasing free radicals into the skin, and causing allergic reactions. The Cosmetics Database gives detailed information about which sun blocks are safe and effective and which are not. The sunscreen that has worked for me is Alba Botanicalís SUN, and it is paraben-free.

If you still can’t stop that sunburn, treat it with aloe vera gel, but none of that nasty blue aloe! Instead, try Lily of the Desert’s Aloe Vera Gelly, which is 99 percent aloe and free of artificial color and fragrance. Believe me, it feels beyond amazing on a sunburn.

Note to self: Sunburns are no fun. Use sunscreen. Effective sunscreen. And chemical-free sunscreen.

Read more: Blogs, Green Girl Adventures, Skin Care, , ,

by Lily Berthold-Bond

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Lily Berthold-Bond

Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a freshman at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.

18 comments

+ add your own
7:40AM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

noted

1:20AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Thank you for the post

5:04AM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:04AM PDT on Jun 28, 2010

Thanks

10:26PM PST on Dec 20, 2009

Know the difference between sunscreen and sunblock: sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet rays; sunblock reflects them. Both protect your skin, but sunscreen takes about 20 minutes to start working. Dermatologists recommend a teaspoon of sunscreen for the face and a shot glass full for the rest of the body.

vitamine

9:02PM PDT on Jul 3, 2008

I just bought sunscreen the other day, so after reading this wanted to figure out how healthy mine was. By clicking on the "cosmetic safety database" link (above) I found a great chart with further links to a site where you can search for your sunscreen. Here is the direct link to see if your sunscreen is safe: http://cosmeticdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008/findyoursunscreen.php?sunscreens=1&haz=g&eff=g&nothanks=1
I'm really glad I looked up my sunscreen! As it turns out, it's one of the really toxic ones! I highly suggest this site!

Thanks, Green Girl!


4:45PM PDT on Jul 2, 2008

even better than sunscreen - cover up! i'm a landscaper in florida, and i wear a large hat (with uv protection), sunglasses, pants and at least a short sleeved shirt in the sun to work. of course that doesn't work for the beach, but its good for the rest of the time. you get used to the extra layers. also, there are clothes with uv protection in them.

1:42PM PDT on Jul 2, 2008

hi again, i noticed someone giving a website where organic sunscreen and skincare was available, so i will do the same http://loveorganics.net/sunscreen.html
enjoy!

10:41AM PDT on Jul 1, 2008

Of course, there is always wearing a lightwieght, white, long sleeved shirt. :) I was an archeology major out in the field in Utah and New Mexico during the summer, and they recommend being covered with light weight, light color pants and long sleeved shirts. Because I was getting dirty, I went to Goodwill and bought button up dress shirts for really cheap that I wore over a light my t-shirts and didn't mind if outer shirt got destroyed.

8:56PM PDT on Jun 25, 2008

hi there, if you would like to know about a beautiful organic sunscreen that has absolutely nothing toxic in it, drop me a line.
cheers, gabriel

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