Sunscreen; Doesn’t Work, Use It Anyway

I love logic. It’s especially interesting when logic is completely illogical. This article I received today in a newsletter, Cosmetic products with SPF’s may not provide adequate protection, makes a nice contrast to this one that came in a week ago titled, Sunscreens should be used despite lack of clinical evidence. These two together are similar to the logic of the Steven Wright joke where he puts a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same room to fight it out.

One thing for sure, the sunscreen issue is consistently at the forefront of personal care. I’ve already written about it several times. I do understand the logic of using sunscreen despite the evidence of effectiveness. I mean, protecting from UV damage is a good idea right? So, why not use botanicals to do this where there is evidence of effectiveness? I have accumulated a vast amount of clinical evidence supporting the use of botanicals as effective sunscreens. I wrote a paper on it that you can find in the proceedings for the 7th Scientific Wholistic Aromatherapy Conference: Essential Oils, Cancer, Degenerative and Autoimmune Diseases.

OK, so my logic is contradictory of the “should be used” article’s logic. Meaning, I’m suggesting using botanical sunscreen with ample evidence of clinical effectiveness, rather than using sunscreens that lack  clinical evidence. It is suggested in the article that the clinicals used showing sunscreens lack effectiveness, primarily in preventing skin cancer, is based on old formula, and that recent advances have improved efficacy. OK, so I guess that means the clinical studies are lacking effectiveness as well?

Cosmetics, as in moisturizers, serums and make-up, have, over the last several years, begun including an SPF to the formula. With the sun paranoia so prevalent in our society, SPF cosmetics have become extremely popular, and necessary due to consumer demand. Though the demand is there, it appears that the protection is not,  according to the article regarding cosmetics and inadequate sun protection. Here, though, the researchers suggest that the products “are not designed to be reapplied during the day and do not provide the level of protection required.”

So, a solution would be a sunscreen that would not have to be reapplied. How about food? I’ve written about this several times. For instance, broccoli, chocolate and tomato paste, all have shown to be effective in protecting the skin from UVR damage – that would be sunburn, photoaging and cancer! And, the cool thing is, it’s in the diet or supplements, there is no worry of reapplying throughout the day. There is concern in getting it right though, which requires the proper dosage and daily use, ideally both internal and topical.

I am my own test subject, having used only botanicals for protection for several years now. It is effective.



  1. I agree that it’s better to eat foods that can boost our body’s natural skin protection.

    In addition to your list, I suggest the following: carrots, vegetables (fresh, green and leafy), whole grains, raw nuts and oily cold-water fish. These foods contain beta-carotene, vitamin E, carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, lycopene and omega-3. They should do the work of protecting your skin from sunburn, less the harmful toxins you get from sunscreens.