Information on Sunscreen

Isn’t summer wonderful? I love the sun and have loved it a bit too much over the years, not paying enough attention to what it was doing to my skin!

I have become increasingly interested in an environmental working group that takes a very close look at products on the market today with respect to their potential hazard to our bodies. One such area that this group has researched quite intensely is sunscreens!

The topic of sun and how much sun we need to support our Vitamin D levels in our bodies, in order to stay well and help prevent a host of medical problems, including cancer is a subject becoming quite popular.

I want to make sure my patients and others have the best possible up-to-date advice they can get about this and other topics that might dispute what the medical community may have recommended in the past. I personally really try not to do the typical “knee-jerk” decision that we often do in medicine and just completely dismiss something when we find out that maybe it’s not as good for us as we originally thought; because down the road, it turns out there is more to the story???

Take sunscreens for example…

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has looked at over 500 name brands of sunscreens. They were looking at these brands to make sure that they actually contained the stated amount of sunscreen protectant and did indeed provide adequate protection, but also looked at the possibility of these sunscreens containing harmful chemical or additives that would be immediately absorbed into our system after applying them to our skin (skin being a very absorbent organ of our body.) Here are the brands that they are recommending that will provide protection without the harmful chemicals:

  • California Baby – any sunscreen
  • Mustela – “Sun Cream” or “Sun Lotion, Bebe&rdquo’
  • Mission Skincare – “Face Stick”
  • Neutrogena – “Pure & Free” or “Sensitive Skin”
  • Blue Lizard – “Face”, “Baby”, or “Sensitive”
  • Jason Natural or Earth’s Best – “Mineral Based”
  • Solar Sense – “Clear Zinc Sport Stick”
  • CVS – “Sport Sunstick”
  • Coppertone Water BABIES – “Pure & Simple”

I also want to leave you with a few tips they have provided on their website for consumers that I feel is excellent advice on taking care of your skin…

  1. Avoid mid-day sun (at its peak) 10am – 4pm
  2. Consider your own shade; bring a hat, wear clothes that can cover you up if necessary, and wear protective glasses!
  3. Purchase sunscreen with at least SPF of 30 or higher
  4. Purchase sunscreen with at least 7% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad spectrum protection.
  5. Avoid Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3; as these chemicals can cause hormone disruption, skin allergies and are heavily absorbed through the skin
  6. Do not use spray or powder sunscreens as these can be inhaled and pose additional risks to your health.
  7. Avoid sunscreen with bug repellent: this will cause you to get too much pesticide into your body; which is harmful to your system.
  8. Avoid fragrance added to sunscreens: which can cause reproductive changes and interference.
  9. Reapply sunscreen often!
  10. Wear a moisturizer under the sunscreen for added protection to your skin.
  11. Wear an SPF lip balm to protect against lip cancer

Have fun in the sun… you deserve it!

Good luck on your journey!

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