Despite What Gisele Bundchen Says, Sunscreen is Key

Photos of Gisele Bundchen

Skin cancer is a big deal. A really big deal. According to the National Cancer Institute, in fact, it is one of the most common forms of cancer with over 68,000 new cases each year and an annual death toll of 8,700.

And the problem is, no pun intended, growing. With tanning booths and the narcissistic need for the elusive golden glow resulting in increasingly dangerous sun exposure, those numbers …

… are going to skyrocket.

Which is why Gisele Bundchen needs to shut the hell up. Seriously. Because she said with regards to sunscreen useactually said—while pimping her new skincare line Sejaa, “I cannot put this poison on my skin. I do not use anything synthetic.”

Of course, she’s backpedaling those long legs pretty hard now, with her rep claiming that the quote was misinterpreted due to a “language barrier” and that Bundchen wouldn’t minimize the risk factors for skin cancer because some family members have actually experienced the horrors of melanoma.

From People:

So what did Gisele intend to express? “She simply stated that her all natural skincare line does not include an SPF product,” the rep continued. “She followed that line of questions saying she tried to stay out of the sun when it is the strongest between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.” And yes, Gisele does use sunscreen–just not harsh formulations. “When using sunscreens she selects ones that are free of parabens, oxybenzone, PABA, and retinyl palmitate,” says the rep. “She buys her sunscreen at Whole Foods, so she can find ones that are free of harsh chemicals. She says, ‘Of course I put on sun block. I don’t want to look like a shrimp!’”

Is it wrong that I find this so upsetting? Hawking her crappy face creams in her home country of Brazil, Bundchen is “misquoted” and is now suddenly all about sunscreen because she doesn’t want to look like a shrimp? Oh. My. God.

Okay, here’s my big issue. I live in New Hampshire, and as such my football team of choice is the New England Patriots. Bundchen is, of course, married to Pats quarterback Tom Brady, which leads me to believe that she’s got to have some sort of grasp of the English language—a good enough grasp to keep this sort of “misquote” from happening, anyway. (And that’s not even counting the years she dated Leonardo DiCaprio)

Otherwise, I can only imagine the chaos in the Brady/Bundchen household.

Tom: Gisele, did you change the baby’s diaper?
Gisele: Sí, él hizo un muy apestoso uno! Me dieron ganas de correr al aire libre con una pinza en la nariz.
Tom: Oh, you didn’t get a chance to? I’ll go take care of it now. Maybe we should call the doctor … he hasn’t had a BM in over a week.

Or how about this?

Gisele: Tom, tigre. Usted no es el único de esta familia que puede manejar las bolas. Voy a ser el mariscal de campo esta noche. Usted simplemente sentarse y disfrutar del viaje, mi amor.
Tom: Oh, you’re not in the mood tonight? Okay, sleep well. I’m going to go moon over my reflection in the mirror.

It just doesn’t compute that a woman who has lived in the United States for many years and has thrived in the often catty world of “supermodel” could make a faux pas of this magnitude.

I actually like Gisele Bundchen. She’s done a lot of charitable works for causes such as AIDS awareness, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, breast cancer, and survivors of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

However, she’s made arguably offensive comments before—notably over breastfeeding—and it just seems to me that a language barrier is hardly an excuse for a woman who seems to get by in her personal life and, current situation notwithstanding, her professional life as well without issue.
Especially when you consider the severity of the skin cancer situation.

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41 thoughts on “Despite What Gisele Bundchen Says, Sunscreen is Key

  1. I slather on sunscreen whenever I go out (usually a 4 or 8, I tan easily and don’t burn). My husband is a ginger and we put nothing less than 8 on him, usually 15. Because of him, I’ve become much better about reapplication and all that.
    I also tan in a booth. Not often, once or twice a month at most. My psychiatrist suggested it as a quick n easy way to battle winter depression. My dermatologist suggested it as a way to ease my psoriasis.
    Bottom line, as with everything, moderation is key.

    • My skin is very fair, and I hate wrinkles, so I use SPF 50+.
      My Dr. said that as long as I put it on right as I’m headed into the sun the 15 minutes that it takes to activate will be enough to get vitamin D.

  2. This is to be expected when we grant status beyond what a person has earned. She’s a model, not a Nobel Prize candidate. I basically ignore everything that celebrities have to say, unless they have proven to be intelligent outside of their craft.

    I have never burned in my life, most likely because of my ancestry – largely Black Welsh (Welsh with an infusion of Spanish pirate/raiders) and Scots.
    However, I developed Rosacia at the age of 30. I quickly learned that sun was a trigger for me. i won’t deny that I am vain, so I got the laser treatments to eliminate the redness and have used SPF 90 Neutrogena sunblock ever since.
    There are a couple of side effects – one being my skin is in excellent condition. The other is that after a recent physical my labs came back showing a vitamin D deficiency. It’s something easily taken care of, fortunately.
    And, it beats the hell out of more laser treatments.
    Katie? Pats? Please say no. Please?

    • My grandmother was English with Welsh and a little Scottish as well. She had jet black hair, fair skin and hazel-blue eyes. My mother has Rosacia and I developed a bit a few years ago but my pregnancies seem to have changed something and it hasn’t flared up in a few years. Sure it will return… :/

      I agree that sunblock can save the appearance of one’s skin. There is too much proof of women not using it over a lifetime here in AZ…in addition to being smokers, these ladies can’t be more than 45 and they look like a sun-dried apple.

      That said, I don’t get out a whole lot so I need some sun. If I’ll be out in it longer than 15 min or so, sunblock it is. I use hats on my babies and sunblock from head to toe when we go swimming. I’m wary of what’s in the sunblock, but I know we use it sparingly and in appropriate situations.

      Blanket sdtatements made by individuals in the public eye are dangerous because some poeple won’t think for themselves. Therin lies “survival of the fittest” I suppose.

      • Jess, I know what you mean about women’s skin out here. Not only from the sun but from the lack of humidity. I use so much dry skin cream it’s unbelievable. I am one of the fortunate ones with darker skin and don’t burn usually. I don’t put sunscreen on my face, but a nice hat is a necessity while boating or on the lake.
        One has to wonder about all of the chemicals in sunscreen, I’ve really never given that a thought.

  3. Actually, when Gisele said this it got me wondering: have there been any studies done about whether or not putting such strong chemicals on your skin on a regular basis could actually be detrimental? My father has a dermatologist friend who swears that this whole “wear sunscreen all the time” thing is unnecessary, and that actually some natural exposure to the sun is good for your skin – as long as you’re not burning yourself all the time. Moreover, it is hard to believe that constant application of chemicals to your skin could be completely risk-free. I still use sunscreen, of course, because most people and doctors say that it’s the better way to go, but is there any support for the other side?

    • My niece went to a dermatologist recently who said that slathering yourself with 50+ SPF can cause a vitamin D deficiency, but I’m not sure where that doctor was getting her information. And last year there were several reports saying that the chemicals in sunscreens, especially the super high SPF’s, can cause free radicals. But I’m not sure how comprehensive any of this information is.

  4. I don’t understand the desire to stay out of the sun. Really? That just makes you sound like a hermit who wants to live in a cave. I just don’t see why you would limit outdoor activity. Whenever I got out and plan to be outside all day, I put on sunscreen, though, so maybe I’m going about this wrong.

  5. There have been a slew of reports about how sunscreen causes cancer in the last year. It just isn’t good for you period to put chemicals on your skin constantly. Using an organic powder makeup with protection could be a good solution though :p. Of course there are many organic sunscreens out there, but if you are using body lotion with a bit of protection and wearing some powder with protection, you should be a-okay. If you are going to the beach, then use an organic sunscreen which doesn’t have ridiculous levels of vitamin a, which slows aging but speeds up cancer.

    • Ya know Gigi, I think almost everything we do now can cause cancer or ill health. Plastics are another big bone of contention, and through personal experience and research, I do believe that the PVC in all plastic products do cause health problems. It’s a double edged sword. Without its inventions, we wouldn’t have so many of the products we have today, but with it we can suffer from many forms of diseases.
      I’ve been now reading how diet soda can increase your risk of heart attacks or strokes. I just hope I have the big heart attact and end it instead of suffering through a partial stroke!
      We humans can be our own worst enemy at times.

  6. Technically speaking, if she really does stay out of the sun most of the day, she probably doesn’t need sunscreen.
    It’s much better to stay out of the sun, and cover up while in the sun than to use sunscreen all the time.
    So I don’t think she was completely far out – just took it too far with the sunscreen=poison part.

    That said, I’m a dark-skinned person who lives and works outside. I wear a little SPF 15 at the beginning of the summer when the sun is hotter than I’m used to, and even then only on the really sun-hit areas. And then most of the rest of the year I wear none. I figure my skin was made for the sun and sunny places, and considering how far north I live, it’s only a small part of the year that we get any of it, and as long as it doesn’t bother my skin, I don’t worry about it too much.
    I fully expect to have seriously wrinkled skin when I’m old. To me, that demonstrates a life lived rather than a life hidden.

    • I respect anyone who looks like they’ve spend their lives working outside. Of course, I live in Montana so there’s quite the abundance of people that do this.
      Kai, can I ask what your ethnicity is? I had a couple of Indian friends that I worked with this summer who darkened up because we worked outside all day, so they still wore sunscreen so they didn’t burn.

      • Mixed European. Really really mixed. I can claim second-level ancestry from at least six countries.
        I look roughly Balkan, so by ‘dark’, I do mean only ‘dark for a caucasian’.
        I confuse most people, and am often mistaken for various Mediterranean or Hispanic backgrounds, depending on where I am, and the time of the year. I burn only if I’m out all day in hot sun with no sunscreen right at the beginning of the summer with winter skin.
        I wear sunscreen more often when I’m further south, but still tend to do fairly easily.

        • Good point about location.
          Before I developed Rosacea, I would go whitewater rafting – sometimes 12 hour trips without sunscreen. I think if I were laying on the beach in Florida in the summer, I possibly could have burned. I’ve never been to Florida in the summer, though.

          • I got a touch pink the first time I was in Mexico and forgot to put sunscreen on my winter skin. But that’s about it.
            I wonder at what colour I would settle if I lived in the tropics and got sun with heat steadily for more than three months a year.
            I suspect that I’d wear a little more sunscreen if I was further south, but even when I have been on vacation, my skin settles into a dark tan that won’t burn before too long.

        • I am so jealous of that.
          My husband, who is mostly French, doesn’t burn either. He turns dark pink at the most.
          If I even look out my friggin window without sunscreen I turn red.

          • Due to the mixed background in my family, there are a lot of options. My sister is white enough to blend into walls, and burns as you do.
            As a person who spends a lot of my life outside, I’m incredibly grateful for my skin. I don’t care about the visuals, but not burning makes life much easier.

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  8. You are sooooo IGNORANT! Why did you put Gisele’s dialogue in SPANISH? SHE’S BRAZILIAN!!! The language in Brazil is POR-TU-GUEEEESE!!! So stupid!

  9. You are sooooo IGNORANT! Why did you put Gisele’s dialogue in SPANISH? SHE’S BRAZILIAN!!! The language in Brazil is POR-TU-GUEEEESE!!! So stupid!

  10. You are sooooo IGNORANT! Why did you put Gisele’s dialogue in SPANISH? SHE’S BRAZILIAN!!! The language in Brazil is POR-TU-GUEEEESE!!! So INCREDIBLY stupid!

  11. You are sooooo IGNORANT! Why did you put Gisele’s dialogue in SPANISH? SHE’S BRAZILIAN!!! The language in Brazil is POR-TU-GUEEEESE!!! So UNBELIEVABLY stupid!

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