Changing Habits campaign advocate and nutritionist Cyndi O’Meara is ruffling feathers with her controversial views that sunscreen is toxic and dangerous…
If you don’t know who Cyndi O’Meara is, you will now.
The health expert has been causing quite a stir in the beauty industry recently, with her controversial view that sunscreen is toxic and dangerous. O’Meara herself won’t wear it at all and says the ‘slip, slop, slap’ philosophy is nothing more than marketing hype.
Professional Beauty sat down to get the real story from O’Meara herself on how she came to ditch one of the most widely condoned beauty products in the world…
Why do you think Aussies have been indoctrinated with the phrase ‘slip, slop, slap’?
“Marketing. Australians believe breakfast cereals, low fat milks and margarine are good for them, but it’s all about marketing to sell a product and create habits to the consumer, not necessarily about health. Slip, slop, slap was a government funded initiative which created a belief that then became a habit.”
Can you explain your personal stance against sunscreen?
“My stance is a response to the nanotechnology and chemicals used. For instance oxybenzone is absorbed by the skin and enters the body and this has been shown to disruptive to the endocrine system. There is evidence for and against this argument, but I personally don’t wish to be part of an experiment.”
Are you concerned that advocating going sunscreen free could be potentially dangerous with cases of melanoma already on the rise?
“I have never advocated sunscreen free – Changing Habits is about education, not persuading and cajoling in line with propaganda. We rather give alternative options for people if they wish to learn. I’m sensible about when I’m in the sun and if I am in the sun when it can burn then I will either cover up with clothing or put my homemade sunscreen on.”
Beauty therapists typically advise their clients to incorporate sunscreen and sunscreen containing makeup into their skincare routine to combat the ageing process, what advice would you give them on this?
“We have new, natural, mineral makeup which is an option. Most people who wear makeup I think you will find are usually office workers or in retail and are indoors mostly. If they do find themselves in the sun then either put a hat on or use a natural mineral make up with no nanotechnology. This may sound all too hard, but let’s inform and then people can make their own decisions.”
What are your thoughts on the rumours that sunscreen has actually been linked to cause cancer itself?
“Yes I’ve heard that and read it, but I’ve also read the opposite that it doesn’t. In science you can find many things to be the opposite, so it’s a matter of where you look in the literature. I’m a vitalist, I believe in the natural order of life, in that we are an evolved species that has existed in the natural environment for millions of years with foods, herbs etc without the modern day diseases we are now seeing. It is only in the last 50 years that the chemical revolution has taken over our lives in food, cosmetics, drugs etc. Many over the years have proven to be safe, but many have also proven to be detrimental to health.”
In an ideal world, how would you like to see Aussies care for their skin and health?
“Number one; eat a diet of real foods, to give the body the immunity against modern day diseases including melanomas. Secondly, put natural products on our skin as opposed to the chemical concoctions we traditionally use. Understand the power of the sun for good and bad; be appropriate with sun time, have a natural tan, not a sunbaked tan. Use clothes and hats for protection, and use sunscreens that are not detrimental to overall health.”