Friday, August 24, 2018

Sunscreen Selections

Sunscreen is a summer staple. For people who live in a temperate climate, it is a regular purchase as sunscreen shields the skin from harmful UV rays. Studies have shown that regular application of sunscreen prevents premature signs of aging (wrinkles and fine lines) as well as reduces the rick of developing skin cancer.

Studies have shown the benefits of using sunscreen outweigh the negatives of not applying the product. With so many sunscreens to pick from, how do you know what one will provide you with the best protection? Many researchers agree, a lotion is better than a spray as the spray can accidentally be inhaled or ingested.

What to look for in a sunscreen


Oxybenzone is considered the most troubling chemical additive in sunscreens. It is known to cause skin irritation in some people but, the biggest concern is that it is known as a hormone disruptor. Oxybenzone is easily absorbed in the skin and can even be passed from mother to child through breastfeeding.  When you are applying sunscreen to prevent one problem, you do not need to apply sunscreen and invite in a different problem. There is a push for all sunscreens to be oxybenzone free by 2020.


A high SPF value does not mean you can apply less and stay in the sun longer. That myth needs to be debunked. What one needs to look for is a BROAD SPECTRUM SPF that shields the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen needs to be applied thoroughly and often.

Minerals: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

Minerals do not break down in the sun so they provide the skin with greater protection than many chemicals alone can and with a less worry. According to the Environmental Working Group, zinc oxide is an ideal choice for sun protection as it is stable in sunlight and can provide greater protection from UVA rays than titanium oxide or any other sunscreen chemical approved for use in the U.S..Today, sunscreen makers use zinc oxide nanoparticles to formulate lotions with less white tint. Look for products that have at least 15-20% mineral content.

What Should I Purchase?

The Environmental Working Group created a guide that you can find here. The beach and sport sunscreens listed meet the EWG's strict standard for Ingredient hazard and product efficacy:
  • Health Hazards
  • UVA Protection
  • UVB Protection
  • Balance of UVA/UVB Protection
  • Sunscreen Stability

Want more information?

Read Jessica Rubio's Article Not all mineral sunscreens are created equal at Delicious Living.
Read the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Sunscreens (Updated 2018).

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