Safer Sunscreen

 

It’s summer, and it’s time to talk about sunscreen (or not). I say “or not” because I’m not sure that there’s conclusive evidence that wearing sunscreen protects you from most kinds of skin cancer.  In fact, there’s growing evidence that getting gradual and consistent amounts of sun can be protective against skin cancer. Before you run outside with your baby oil, I am NOT saying that you should never wear sunscreen!  Just question how you’re using it, and whether you really need it.

One reason not to wear sunscreen all the time is because it’s the best way to get your FREE Vitamin D.  I definitely cut back on my Vitamin D in the summer.  Here’s what I do for myself and my kiddo.  We sunbathe WITHOUT sunscreen for 15-20 minutes (exposing our arms, legs, and face), working up to this amount beginning at the start of summer.  Then we wear sunscreen for the duration of the time outside.

Once we get that nice base tan, then we go without sunscreen the rest of the summer.  I remember in childhood a very gradual exposure to sun, much like this, and never getting burned.  The key is getting gradual and consistent amounts of sun.

When you DO use sunscreen, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2018 Guide to Sunscreen for their well researched best picks.

If you don’t have time to read, here’s what they recommend in a nutshell:

AVOID:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
  • Added insect repellent
  • Sprays
  • Powders
  • SPF above 50

INSTEAD, LOOK FOR:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Avobenzome
  • Mexoryl SX,
  • Cream
  • Broad – spectrum protection Water-resistan
  • SPF to suit your needs, 15-50

Happy summer, get out and ENJOY!



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