Summer is the time for BBQ’s and the beach. We don’t want to have to worry about skin protection while out there enjoying those summer breezes. It’s important to protect our skin and especially our little ones from the damaging sun. But before you grab that cheap generic sunscreen, here are a few things to consider. Read more 8 Tips for Babies First Trip to the Beach
What You Need to Know
- There are dangerous chemicals in sunscreens that mimic hormones or hormone-like activity in our bodies.
- How many of these chemicals pass through our skin and end up inside our bodies?
- Many chemicals used in sunscreens can cause serious allergies.
- The chemicals in our sunscreens are incredibly harmful to our oceans.
- Our sunscreens cause coral bleaching, which is actually killing our reefs.
- Chemical in our sunscreens are not only harming our bodies and our children but they are killing our oceans and reefs.
Here’s what you need to know about sunscreens:
All sunscreen has an SPF rating listed on the label. This number gives you an idea of how long you can safely stay in the sun, without getting burned. For example, if your sunscreen has an SPF rating of 15 then you can enjoy being in the sun 15 times longer than if you were not wearing sunscreen. An SPF of 30 means you can enjoy the sun 30 times longer. You will always need to reapply after sweating or swimming regardless of the SPF rating.Read More 15 Pool Floaties and Accessories You Need for An Epic Summer
There are two types of sun rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the dermal layer of our skin. These rays are mostly responsible for photo damage to our skin. Basically, they cause wrinkles and pigmentation issues. UVB rays burn the top superficial layer of our skin. These are usually the rays that cause skin cancer. In order to protect your skin from both types of rays, you need to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
So, you will want a sunscreen with a high SPF and it needs to be broad-spectrum…but it also needs to be safe for you and the environment.
Sunscreens protect in two different ways. Some create a mineral or a physical barrier against the sun. Chemical sunscreens create a chemical barrier. That’s the one we want to avoid and here’s why…
- The chemicals used in some sunscreens DO penetrate your skin. Some have even been found in breast milk.
- By acting as hormones, these chemicals can cause all sorts of issues in your body and interfere with normal body system activity.
- Chemical preservatives used in sunscreens are not safe. It has been reported that many people have had serious allergic reactions to methylisothiazolinone, a preservative found in sunscreens and a variety of other products.
- It is not necessary for us to damage our oceans and reefs by using products that aren’t even safe to use on our own bodies.
Here is a list of ingredients commonly used as active ingredients in chemical sunscreens that you should check for.
Typically, you will find a combination of these listed in chemical sunscreens. You will want to look for and avoid them. These are the ingredients harming us and killing our reefs and oceans.
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We do have safer alternatives in the form of mineral sunscreens.
They generally contain either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as physical barriers against the sun rays. You will find that some chemical sunscreens contain Zinc Oxide along with some of the chemical barriers listed above. Always read the labels to make sure you are actually using a safe product.
Sun Bum has Zinc-Based Mineral Sunscreens. These are safe for use on adults and children. They are available in lotions and sprays. Sun Bum products are broad-spectrum and they made products specific for lips and faces.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Lotion is a broad-spectrum, mineral sunscreen. They have a specific formula available for use on children and babies.
Honest Sunscreen Spray is a safe, mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen for use on adults and children.
Ocean Safe Sunscreens
There are lots of great options for sunscreens that are known and marketed as “reef safe” or “ocean safe” sunscreens. Here are some good options:
Surface (Our kids love this brand!)
All of these are available in stores and on-line. They definately cost more than the generic chemical sunscreens but they are so much safer for us and for our environment. Zinc Oxide and other ingredients used in mineral sunscreens might not be perfect, but they are currently the best alternatives to applying the harmful chemicals found in most sunscreens.
As always, thanks for reading! And, if you enjoyed this post about sunscreen, you may be interested in reading this post – 8 Tips for Babies First Trip to the Beach.