While the safest and least hazardous sunscreen is, in fact, a hat and a shirt; you can’t always get away from exposing your skin to the sun.
Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting public health and the environment, releases a report of the safest, least toxic sunscreen products available to consumers. EWG rates products on a hazardous scale from 0-10 based on scientific studies of it’s ingredients.
EWG’s top sunscreens provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that can potentially penetrate the skin. All sunscreens on this list contain the zinc or titanium minerals to offer UVA protection, however, they do not contain any chemicals considered to be a potential hormone disruptors or contain oxybenzone.
Use sunscreen that’s effective and safe. Make sure the SPF is 30 or higher. Buy new sunscreen every year and avoid powders and sprays. Use enough to fill a shot glass. Research demonstrates that most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of this.
Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes prior to going outside. Wear daily on skin not covered by clothing.
Re-apply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Sunscreen washes off in water and can break down in the sun.
Get your vitamin D. Many Americans have low levels of Vitamin D. Sunlight triggers the skin to make this vitamin. The American Medical Association recommends that everyone get 10 minutes of direct sun (without sunscreen) several times per week. Adequate amount of vitamin D should be obtained from a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D (e.g., dairy products and fish), foods/beverages fortified with vitamin D (e.g., fortified milk and fortified cereals), and/or vitamin D supplements.
Keep kids safe since they’re more sensitive to sun damage. Use sunscreen, play in the shade, and keep infants out of direct sun as much as possible. Check our special sun safety tips for kids below.
Avoid excessive mid-day sun when intensity peaks. Summer sun is more intense between 10 and 4, also at high altitudes and in the tropics.
Seek shade or bring your own. Cover up with a shirt, hat, and UV-protective sunglasses. Remember that invisible rays can reflect up toward you from the ground, so you may still need sunscreen if you wear a hat.
Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Avoid products with bug repellent. You don’t typically need them at the same time of day, and the mixture of ingredients leads to greater amounts of the pesticide soaking through the skin.
Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds dramatically increase the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and can increase wrinkling. Tanning bed use before age 30 is especially risky.
Check your skinfor spots and changes, and remember that natural tone (not just tan) is beautiful. You know your skin best, so examine it for changes, lesions, and spots regularly. Be extra careful if you have freckles, moles, take certain medications (such as some antibiotics), or have a family history of skin cancer. Early detection is best, so consult your doctor for more information.
This entry was posted
on Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 5:25 pm and is filed under beauty , ewg guide .
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can , or trackback from your own site.
The EWG also rates moisturizing sunscreens which are great for the face. Find the 2010 EWG Moisturizing sunscreens here: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/finding-the-best-sunscreens/?search=&brand_id=&ptype=moisturizer