by Associate Clinician Christa Haines
It’s finally that time of year – pool days, outside play, beach days… Along with these fun activities is the concern to protect your skin from the sun. Before discussing ways to protect yourself from too much sun, remember that it is healthy to allow your body to get some sun. The sun provides free vitamin D, as well as other beneficial things for your body.
There are times when sunscreen is needed. Whether you have sensitive skin or are going to be in the sun for a long period of time, choosing a healthier sunscreen is important. Chemical-filled sunscreen can do more damage to the body than sun itself.
Most sunscreen brands are laden with toxic chemicals such as:
- Oxybenzone, a common UV filter, which is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. It is also an allergen.
- Retinyl palmitate, which has now been proven to be a carcinogen. Government test data showed more skin tumors and lesions on animals treated with this ingredient than those exposed to sunlight.
- Octyl-methoxycinnamate causes oxidation damage of the skin, which ages your face.
- Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane, which releases free radicals into the body.
- Benzophenone 2 (BP2), which decreases the function of the thyroid (in a population that is already seriously suffering from the symptoms associated with hypo/hyper-thyroids!).
A wonderful tool we have access to is the website www.ewg.org. You can type in skin care, make up, and sunscreen products, and you will be given a rating for each product. The lower the rating, the better it is for your body. Often you can read about different ingredients found in some popular products. Not everything can be found on this website, but it has a very large selection. When it comes to sunscreen, I suggest only purchasing ones that have their rating approval.
Below are popular sunscreens that can be purchased online or in stores. The ratings on these sunscreens are a 2 or less. The Lemongrass Spa sunscreen is available for purchase at every Well of Life office as well as the Well Store!
Lemongrass Spa sunscreen
Kiss My Face – kids sunscreen and face and body mineral sunscreen
Terrasport – face stick and lotion
Babyganics – mineral based stick and lotion
Alba – green and pink containers and kids mineral sunscreen
Goddess Garden – all the non-spray formulas are good
Juice Beauty – sport sunscreen only
So as you think ahead to all the vacations and summer activities you have planned, remember to bring along a safe, non-toxic sunscreen that will protect you and your loved ones. Happy summer!