Choosing a sunscreen shouldn’t be difficult. It’s a poorly regulated and confusing industry filled with marketing campaigns where the choice is endless. So, how do you choose a product that is not only right for you but also safe to use?
Sunscreen is designed to create a barrier, providing protection to your skin from harmful UV rays so you can enjoy a healthy amount of the sun exposure. We all know spending a small amount of time in the sun every day creates Vitamin D, an important vitamin required to help our bodies absorb calcium, process phosphorous, help our cells reproduce and boost the immune system. Too much sun can cause sun burn, a dangerous precursor to skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure can also lead to sun stroke and dehydration, and should be treated as soon as possible.
The truth is, most sunscreens on the market contain chemical fillers including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. On further inspection, some of these so called fillers, are easily absorbed into the skin causing allergies, hormone imbalances, systemic disruptions and potentially attracting the dangerous UVB rays rather than deflection - rendering the point of application useless.
When selecting a sunscreen, the only safe active ingredient you need is Zinc. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide. Always read labels so you are making conscious, informed choices.
Play safe. Wear a hat. Put on sunglasses. Cover up after a small dose of rays because once you feel like you are burning, you are already burnt and the damage is done. Check the UV ratings and avoid being outside as much as possible during extreme or unsafe indications.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has extensive information about sunscreen and these ingredients, rating their level of risk or harm. You can view this resource here.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.
Photo by Ethan Robertson Unsplash