Summer = Fun in the Sun AND Sunscreen!!!

Summer = Fun in the Sun AND Sunscreen!!!

Good afternoon McKinley!!

Summer is almost here and there are some important things to think about as we get ready to have fun in the sun!  We all love the sun (and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival in Michigan), but need to be careful and protect our skin from the harmful rays that can cause skin cancer.  According to, about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all the other cancers combined :-(.

The good news is, we can protect our skin from UV rays with sunscreens and protective clothing.  As we start looking for sunscreen, we need to keep in mind that our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it can affect the way our bodies function.  When you’re choosing sunscreen or any skin care product for that matter, it’s important to read the ingredients and make yourself aware of how they can affect your health.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.  Every year they continue to review more products to assess their toxicity levels and how safe they are for us to use.  They have made it very simple to look products up and see how “good” or “bad” they are for us by giving it a score of 1 (good) – 10 (bad).  Check it out below:

  • Click here to search for sunscreens and other products you use daily:


  • You can also download their app EWG Healthy Living, and scan bar codes or search for products to see how they rate

 When choosing a sunscreen…

Say “No” to:

  • SPF above 50
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Aerosol spray and powder sunscreen
  • Oxybenzone
  • Added insect repellent
  • Nanoparticles

Say “Yes” to:

  • Hats and shade in mid-day sun
  • Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients, otherwise known as Avobenzone (at 3%)
  • SPF 15 to 50, depending on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover.
  • Use a lot and reapply every hour

Last but not least, I want to encourage all of you to have a whole-body skin check yearly.  Much like having a mammogram, it’s important to know what your baseline is and what is normal for your skin.  If you don’t have a dermatologist, call your doctor and ask if they could give you a recommendation :-).

Yours in Health and Wellness,

Meredith Mitchell


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