Safe sunscreen guide – Summer time means BBQs, pool parties, and long sunny beach days. With so many outdoor activities, our exposure to the sun makes it all the more necessary to protect ourselves from its harmful rays. But which sunscreen is best? Countless articles, news reports, and blogs claim that certain sunscreens actually do more harm than good. So how can we know for sure which sunscreens to use and which ones to avoid?
Here’s a quick guide to help you determine which sunscreens are safe for you and your family.
Organic – Look for sunscreens that have the phrase “Organic” on the label. Then, look at the ingredients list to make sure you recognize each ingredient. Do your homework. Check the Environmental Working Group website page Guide to Sunscreens and make sure the sunscreen you are using is safe. Even weak sunscreens (SPF 8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. Sunscreen products can actually cause disease by creating vitamin deficiency in the body. Also, the toxic chemical ingredients used in most sunscreen products are actually carcinogenic and have never been safety tested or safety approved by the FDA.
Zinc Oxide & Titanium Oxide – These are normally the active ingredients in safe sunscreens. Look for creams that have a higher percentage of these ingredients.
Fragrance – Certain sunscreens can contain natural ingredients like chamomile, mint, and green tea that give the cream a pleasant scent. However, you should avoid sunscreens that contain artificial or chemical fragrances as they can irritate the skin and cause rashes.
High SPF – Avoid sunscreens with extremely high SPFs. Simply put, these sunscreens only protect the skin from UVB rays and do not guarantee protection from UVA rays which can cause cancer.
Chemical ingredients – Avoid sunscreens with long ingredient lists that include chemicals and artificial fragrances. You want to stay away from anything that contains the following: Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate, Parabens, Phthalates, and Synthetic Musks. Chemicals can cause skin irritation, hormone imbalance and, in some severe cases, cancer.
Spray on powders – These sunblocks should be avoided not only due to their chemical components but also for their risk of inhalation. Small children, especially, are at risk for sinus irritation or even lung damage if inhaled.
For an organic, natural, internal sunscreen try this combination. Take 6mg of Astaxanthin a day. Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid, it is reddish in pigment and is what gives crustaceans such as krill, lobster, and shrimp their vibrant pink color. Also, ingest at least 1 tablespoon of organic unprocessed virgin coconut oil a day. You can also apply coconut oil directly to your skin.
Lastly spending 3-15 minutes outdoors for light-skinned individuals and 15-30 minutes outdoors for darker skin tones during midday, in the unobstructed sun, with 40% of your skin exposed will provide most people with a protective vitamin D level.
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Editor’s Note – This is an updated version of a post that originally ran in 2015.