Good Morning Everyone!
WHOA!!!! This is a really long email…I know. However, there is a lot of valuable information about staying safe while in the sun. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer so we need to be diligent about sun safety for ourselves and our families – SAFETY FIRST. If you don’t have time to read this now, I encourage you to save it for later and make sure you’re ready for that beautiful sun!
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. As you start to make your summer plans, make sure you plan to protect your skin as well. Our skin is our largest organ and it is so important to protect it from harmful UVA and UVB rays but we also need to protect our bodies from many harmful chemicals that are found in many sunscreens.
Our bodies absorb what we put on our skin, some experts say up to 60%. Just like we read the nutrition label on the foods we eat, it’s important to read the ingredient list on the skin care products we put on our skin and our kids. 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.
Here are three examples of the chemicals you want to avoid:
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. The problem is, researchers have 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.
Oxybenzone: Most commonly found in the sport sunscreens. It can penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream and act like estrogen in the body.
Retinyl palmitate: This is a form of vitamin A. Night creams with this chemical may help skin look more youthful. But on sun-exposed skin, according to government studies, it may speed up development of skin tumors and lesions.
Below is a list of 12 toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in common beauty and skin care products:
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:
- To prevent your skin from aging prematurely
- To help decrease your risk for skin cancer
EWG (Environmental Working Group) creates a sunscreen guide every year. They examined 1,700 products this year and the products they deem safe are based on how effectively they can protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays, the ingredient list and the SPF #.
Click on the link below for their full list of 217 sunscreens they would recommend and why. Below the link I have listed 9 of the least expensive products you can find on amazon and other local retailer stores.
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30 ($2.32/ounce)
- Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 30 ($2.65/ounce)
- derma e Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen, Body, SPF 30 ($2.82/ounce)
- Earth’s Best Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 ($1.79/ounce)
- Goddess Garden Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 ($2.82/ounce)
- Jason Sun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 ($2.13/ounce)
- Safe Harbor Natural Suncare Sensitive Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 30 ($2.50/ounce)
- Tropical Sands All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen, Coconut Scent, SPF 30 ($2.49/ounce)
- The Honest Company Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($2.33/ounce) –
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:
Below are sunscreen ‘How To’ tips according to the American Academy of Dermatology:
1 Choose sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays.
2 Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
3 Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.
4 Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard-to-reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide-brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.
5 Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.
I hope you plan lots of fun activities this summer – plan to protect your skin too!!