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Claire Snowdon-Darling Headshot

Don't Scream for Suncream

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I was verbally attacked by a woman at my Bootcamp class. The reason for this tirade of insult and anger is because I don't wear sun cream. She felt that because I lecture about health it was hypocritical of me not to wear sun cream.

There are many reasons for this choice. Firstly I am fifth generation Indian and am blessed with skin that goes brown just by looking at the sun - of course I would burn if I was to lie out in it but I learnt my lesson a long time ago after a particularly nasty incident when I was 15 involving baby oil and a really hot day followed by sunstroke and needing to sit on a cold slide in a kids play park just to cope with the searing agony on the backs of my thighs. So these days I listen to my body, I sunbathe in 10 minute slots and alternate between sitting under parasols and having a nice siesta during a hot afternoon.

Another reason is that I loathe, loathe, loathe most suncreams. If I use normal ones I end up with horrific prickly heat as my poor skin can't breathe under all that petroleum and paraffin. They use chemicals to stop the sun and as you may have heard me go on about before, chemicals cause us alot of problems.

The Daily Mail actually ran an exposé about how sun creams are causing cancers because of the Endocrine disruptor chemicals in them,

According to Skin Biology most sunscreens increase free radical damage (which causes premature aging and hardening of the arteries amongst other things) and the endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDC's) within the creams can also cause adult sexual dysfunction.

On top of this we now have a huge percentage of the population becoming Vitamin D deficient due to a combination of not much sun and the willy nilly use of suncream (have always wanted to use willy nilly in a blog, ah a dream realised).

These days if I intend to stay out for any length of time I use a physical block cream which contains no chemicals but uses zinc oxide to stop the sun. Neals Yard make a great one and this is what I am constantly slathering my daughter in to protect her beautiful smooth skin.

So actually I don't believe I'm being hypocritical - I believe I am listening to my body, science and a lot of research and making an informed choice to stay healthy and careful in the sun despite fear based propaganda from the media.

So my message is this:

Enjoy the sun carefully, it is your friend and has many wonderful health benefits if you don't abuse it and if you want a suncream choose wisely.

Happy sunbathing!