She’s attracted her fair share of controversies over the years, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest morning routine video has sent fans into a tizzy.
Normally, when Gwyneth Paltrow makes or recommends something, I roll my eyes and take it with a grain of salt. While I’m never usually one to hate on someone, a beauty tip she shared on Vogue’s popular YouTube series, in which celebrities share their beauty secrets, is actually pretty dangerous.
“There are a lot of really harsh chemicals in conventional sunscreen so that’s a product I really want to avoid,” she claims in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Guide to Everyday Skincare and Wellness. False.
“I’m not really a head-to-toe slatherer of sunscreen but I like to put some on my nose and the area where the sun really hits,” she says, while dapping the tiniest bit of sunscreen on her cheeks and nose, you know, like you would a highlighter.
It’s terribly ironic that her chest and shoulders have OBVIOUS sun damage so… I dunno, maybe someone wants to point that out to her? And let’s just ignore the fact that she’s doing her entire routine over a full face of makeup.
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Naturally, dermatologists worldwide have reacted with a mixture of rage, bewilderment, and exasperation.
“I really wish I hadn’t watched that video,” says Dr. Shereen Idris, New York-based dermatologist.
“Sunscreen is not toxic, no one is immune to getting skin cancer from poor sun protection.”
There will be some naysayers that will protest this wasn’t an advice video, or that skincare is personal, but when someone of influence touts completely incorrect and dangerous information to the masses, some of which will take her tips as gospel, that’s a huge problem.
So, how much sunscreen should you use?
It’s about 1/3 to half a teaspoon for your face, neck, and ears depending on how big your face is.
Yes, it seems like a lot but “just go to town,” says Dr. Idris and it’ll absorb. It’s also probably better than any scarring caused by removing a cancerous growth, right?
Why is sunscreen important?
In Australia, 80 percent of new cancers are skin cancer and 2 in 3 Aussies will have some form of skin cancer diagnosed in their lifetime before they reach 70. That is a mammoth amount and ours is among the highest in the world.
They are, by an overwhelming majority, caused by sun exposure, i.e. tanning and/or burning, and therefore totally preventable.
If the UV rating for a particular day is over 3, you need to be wearing at least 30+ sunscreen and added protection measures, like clothing and a hat.
But what about vitamin D?
The common rebuttal against wearing sunscreen is that humans need vitamin D–particularly for a strong immune system and healthy bones–and the best way to get it is via the sun, which is true. But wearing sunscreen does not stop vitamin D absorption.
“Studies have never found that everyday sunscreen use leads to vitamin D insufficiency,” writes dermatologist Dr. Anne Marie McNeill.
“In fact, people who use sunscreen daily can maintain their vitamin D levels.”
It doesn’t take a lot for the body to produce healthy levels of vitamin D through sun exposure, either. Just 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week is enough. Any more than that, the body starts to dispose of the vitamin D it doesn’t need.
You can also get your fill of vitamin D through a healthy balanced diet, too. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are particularly good sources, while mushrooms, soy milk and some oats are fortified with vitamin D.
So, and I can’t believe we’re still telling people they need to do this, but SLIP SLOP and f-cking SLAP.