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Choosing A Safe And Effective Sunscreen

Choosing a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

With all the sunscreens on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to choose one that suits your whole family’s needs.  A few bad sunburns as a child, the ones where blisters form, can double the risk of developing skin cancer later on.  Here are a few things to consider when choosing your sunscreen:

  1. Does the sunscreen provide broad spectrum protection?  These sunscreens protect against UVA rays (which cause skin cancer and wrinkles) and UVB rays (which cause sunburn and skin cancer).
  2. Are there harmful chemicals in the sunscreen? 
  3. Does the sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher?
  4. Is it water resistant?

Since the skin is the largest exposed organ in our body it absorbs anything we put on it.  Data by the FDA shows that mineral sunscreens that use ZINC OXIDE and TITANIUM DIOXIDE are safe and effective ingredients to protect against the sun.  They don’t penetrate the skin and cause hormone disruption or interfere with our reproductive hormones.  Watch out for Oxybenzone!  It’s one of the most commonly used ingredients and it can affect hormone levels when absorbed into the skin and cause allergic skin reactions.  Other chemicals to avoid are avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate because they can cause skin allergies

http://WWW.EWG.ORG is a great resource for finding the right sunscreen to protect your skin and gives you tips to enjoy the sun in the healthiest way.  Here are some brands to look for:

  1. Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion = SPF 30, also comes in a stick that works great for kids so there’s less mess!
BEAUTYCOUNTER

2.  Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen Stick =  SPF 50+

BABYGANICS

3.  Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

NEUTROGENA PURE/FREE BABY

4. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 or SPF 50

NEUTROGENA SHEER ZINC

Remember infants under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible as their skin isn’t protected by melatonin yet.  A hat and shirt help too, and don’t forget to apply one ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) with each application.  Remember to apply to the ears, neck, and feet too!