I think pretty much everyone has been told from an early age to always wear sunscreen to avoid getting skin cancer and early signs of aging. So questioning whether or not sunscreens are really safe probably doesn’t cross anybody’s mind! This article will hopefully provide you with some very important information that you can pass on to family and friends.
Know the Facts
Chances are that if you buy a sunscreen from any drugstore and read the back, you will see that it contains many harmful chemicals and toxins that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) deems you should completely avoid for being unsafe. Here are a few ingredients that you should avoid at all costs:
Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen
– Oxybenzone: this ingredient can cause allergic reactions because it is absorbed in very large quantities by our skin.
– Vitamin A as retinyl palmitate: vitamin A is added because it is believed to slow the aging process. However a study conducted by the FDA showed that retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, when exposed to the sun will actually increase your chances of skin cancer by speeding up the development process of lesions and tumors.
– Not enough UVA protection: over 50% of all sunscreens out there in the U.S. don’t have enough UVA protection, and most likely wouldn’t be approved to be sold in European markets as sunscreen – you are basically just applying chemical-laden moisturizer. The whole reason why we use sunscreens is to protect us from UVA light, so without proper protection, the sunscreen is pretty much useless. Aim for a SPF of at least 30 to start seeing any benefit at all, and re-apply hourly. Children should have a minimum of SPF 50 in their sunscreen to adequately protect them.
– SPF that is too high or spray: when you see a sunscreen that has 50+ protection, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are 100% safe in the sun. What that number does is give the person a false sense of protection, and they believe they can stay out in the sun longer without any harm being done to their health. Studies show that people who use high SPF sunscreen get as much exposure to UV rays as those who use lower SPF sunscreen.
If you know you are going to be outside for a long period of time, putting on a healthy (ideally organic) sunscreen without any chemicals is recommended. Please do your research when purchasing a sunscreen, because you might be causing more harm to your skin than you think.
Here are a few sunscreens that appear on the EWG’s list of top rated sunscreen’s to use:
– Alba botanica SPF30
– All Terrain SPF30
– Aubrey Organics SPF 15 & SPF30
– BabyGanics SPF50+
– Sunumbra SPF30
I hope this article has informed you of things you didn’t know before about sunscreens. Now that you know which ones to buy and what to look for, I urge you to do so. Do more research about this topic and inform yourself of the truth about sunscreens and always be on the lookout for sunscreens that are have chemicals and toxins that are harmful. Be proactive this summer, get your vitamin D and have fun in the sun!