What You Don’t Know About Sunscreen

What You Don’t Know About Sunscreen

With June almost behind us, summer is in full swing which means lots of time in the sun! The good news is that it’s actually important for us to get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure every day in order to soak up the vitamin D we need for our health. However, we need to be sure we’re taking steps to protect and support the needs of our skin. Sunburned and blistered skin is never healthy and can lead to higher risk of skin cancer.

There are hundreds of sunscreens available to us and this is why it’s so important to educate yourself on healthy sun protection.  There is no need to expose your body to harmful toxins all in the name of protecting your skin.

Follow these steps to protect you and your family from over exposure to the sun:

1. Avoid sunscreens that contain these toxic endocrine-disrupting ingredients:  Oxybenzone, Octinoxate/Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Homosalate, Octisalate or Octocrylene.
2. For the cleanest (least amount of toxins) sun protection purchase sunscreens that contain: Avobenzone, Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.
3. Reapply sunscreen every hour and avoid tanning oil.
4. SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and refers only to protection against UVB radiation, which burns the skin.  UVA rays from the sun can do even more damage; they penetrate deep into the skin, can suppress the immune system, accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer.  Do not be fooled by high-SPF sunscreens.  Select a sunscreen that is a 50 SPF or less and reapply every hour. 
5. Avoid midday sun; go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon for fun in the sun.
6. Wear a hat and protective clothing to provide healthy skin protection.
7. Enjoy time in the shade…especially if you have a baby or toddler with you.
8. Sport some sunglasses; our eyes need protection too!  Select sunglasses that protect from UV radiation that causes cataracts and macular degeneration.
You can visit the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org) and find their guide to low-toxicity sunscreens for both children and adults. This low-toxicity rating means you’re getting the best coverage for your skin with the least exposure to toxins.  That’s what I call working efficiently!  This amazing nonprofit organization empowers all consumers with the ability to select the most pure, healthy products for our skin, body and home.  If they aren’t on your favorites list yet, you need to add them!

Remember that with any sunscreen option, reapplication is necessary every hour when spending the day in the sun.  This is especially important when taking part in water activities.

These brands of sunscreen are offered locally at most natural grocery stores as well as many Target stores that carry them.  You can also conveniently order online at www.amazon.com .

While these options may be a bit pricier than the standard toxin-filled sunscreens, please consider the savings you’ll gain by avoiding the health risks associated with toxic ingredients and budget accordingly for the year.  Investing in your health in a proactive way is far better than paying for surgical and medical procedures down the road.

Enjoy your fun in the sun!

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