Some of us are coming into a season of BBQ’s, camping, outdoor spots and well…just being outside as much as we can. Others, like our McKinley family in the south, have been enjoying the sun for most of the year. I think it’s important to be aware of what to look for when choosing a sunscreen for yourself and your family. We need to look beyond the number of SPF in the sunscreen and start basing our decision on what the ingredients are.
Many of you are probably aware of the many health benefits that come from Vitamin D. It has been linked to cardio-vascular health, diabetes, obesity, fibromyalgia, mental emotional health, digestive health and the list continues to grow. The only way your body can successfully manufacture Vitamin D is with 10 min of direct sun exposure…without sunscreen. Most, if not all of us accomplish this by getting in and out of our cars and walking to our destination. If you are going to be in direct sunlight for longer than 20min, sunscreen is definitely recommended.
2 Reasons to Wear Sunscreen:
1. Ages skin prematurely
2. Increases risk for skin cancer
Ingredients to AVOID when looking for a sunscreen:
1. Parabens: They are used as a preservative and you will recognize them on the ingredient list as the following, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben. They are cheap so manufacturers loved them. The problem is, In 1998, British researchers at Brunel University discovered that parabens mimic the female hormone estrogen. For men this means a possible increase in body fat and decrease in muscle mass. For women, too much estrogen can put you at a higher risk for breast cancer.
2. Nanoparticles: In short they are these tiny, tiny specks that can have very different properties and effects compared to the SAME materials at larger sizes. Although studies are still in preliminary stages, researchers have discovered that nano-particle sized zinc oxide, commonly found in cosmetics and sunscreens, may cause cancer by entering human cells and damaging DNA.
If the front of your sunscreen bottle does not say “Paraben Free” or “Nanoparticle Free”, be sure to look through the ingredients list and discover for yourself whether or not it’s the right sunscreen for you.
Below is a website that rates different skin care products and sunscreens based on how safe they are for your skin.
Through my own quest to find the right sunscreen for my daughter and myself, I have been very pleased with the brand “Kiss My Face”. We use the SPF 30 and it is paraben, nanoparticle, artificial color and fragrance FREE!. I have found it at Target, Whole Foods and online at amazon.
Click the link below to help determine what SPF would be most effective for you:
Yours on Health and Wellness,