Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gisele Bundchen Speaks Out Against Sunscreen

The avant garde can be a dangerous place to be. Especially so when one is a public figure. People tend to collectively hold on to conventions with rabid conviction and if you dare to question those conventions you are likely to be attacked.

Such is the case with Gisele Bundchen. The Brazilian model, who recently launched an organic skincare line, made statements in the press calling sunblock "poison" and added that she steers clear of all synthetic ingredients. Various media outlets were quick to ridicule and rebut her claims with statements from an assortment of cancer "experts" and pro-sunscreen pundits. Even scarier than the dismissive coverage is the public reaction, as seen in comments sections across the web. Predictably, people bash her with just-a-pretty-face style comments. One commenter wrote, "just because people call her a "supermodel", there is nothing super about her brain." Because, of course, a woman couldn't possibly be beautiful AND intelligent...

Sadly, many mainstream media outlets neglect to delve into Bundchen's statement, and instead just capitalize on the sensational angle. It's too bad because she really has some good things to say about skincare and overall wellness. Take a peek at the promo video for her new line Sejaa below.

One of the highlights of this pieces starts around 1:15, when Bundchen points out the importance of the skin as the body's largest organ. Accordingly, what you put on your body is every bit as important as what you put in your body. So maybe this woman has a point and we should a take a closer look at sunscreens. Here's the ingredients list of a well-known brand sunblock
Active Ingredients: Homosalate, Octyl Salicylate, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone

Inactive Ingredients: Water, PEG 8, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Cetyl Phosphate, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum)
Note the inclusion of  oxybenzone, which has been shown cause hormone disruption and cell damage. Also see the assortment of parabens, including the propyl- variety which has been shown to reduce sperm count. Further, studies show that by inhibiting the absorption of the UV rays that produce vitamin D in the skin, sunblock actually promotes the development of cancer.

Ultimately, it's up to each of us to do our research and make choices accordingly. It may seem heinous for corporate conglomerate to peddle "poison" and call it good, but if you are well informed you won't fall for the half-truths and misleading promises. Personal responsibility is key!

1 comment:

  1. this is a long-form (and much more well-thought-out) version of what i thought when i heard her statement: "she's right." in fact, there was just a huge story not many months ago, originating from the huffington post, on this very topic. sure, gisele has a horse in this race considering she's selling her line, but it doesn't mean that she doesn't have a point. that and her stance on breast-feeding just adds up to good sense, in my opinion.