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Choosing a Sunscreen

Too much sun and choosing the wrong sunscreen could be hazardous!

With so many different sunscreens on the market, making the right choice is challenging.

Do you select the largest bottle with the cheapest price, the exotic high-priced tube, 50+ or weak 15+ UVA/B protection, or something in between? Are you looking for a sunscreen that offers a honey-bronzed “desirable” tan, or a sunscreen spray?

Hazard 1: It is well known that sunburns cause skin damage and premature aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. Speak to an aged sun worshipper for confirmation!

Hazard 2: The ultraviolet (UV) absorbing chemicals found in many sunscreens contain complex chemicals that have structural similarities to human hormones. UV filters belong to a family of chemicals called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These EDCs have the ability to block or mimic human hormone actions that can contribute to cancer, and affect sperm, reproductive hormones, the foetus, sex of children, metabolism (related to obesity and diabetes), and development of the child/adolescent.

Hazard 3: Fragrances add yet more EDCs, and act as sensitizers in sunscreens.

UV absorbing chemicals are pollutants of emerging concern.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between harmful UV radiation, and sunscreens that have the potential to cause harm.

  1. Choose a mineral sunblock that includes zinc oxide with an inert, vegetable-based cream that is fragrance-free.
    • Zinc oxide is an essential mineral that deflects ultraviolet light that causes cancer. If mineral particles make their way into the water or body tissues, they dissolve or are handled through normal bodily processes.
  2. Follow these sun safety tips
    • Check the UV index before going out. Depending on your skin type, you can enjoy 5 to 15 minutes of sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
    • Avoid the sun when the UV index is highest between 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
    • Find some shade.
    • Wear sunglasses, hats and protective clothing. Some clothing brands are designed for UV protection.