Sunscreen Don’ts and EWG’s 2017 report!
EWG who’s motto is Know Your Environment, Protect Your Health has the most comprehensive list of sunscreen reviews out there. Their site allows you to plug in what you have at home and they even go the extra mile in reviewing, Best and Worst for kids, which ones have more moisturizer, which is better for sports and so on. Got questions? They have answers!
Here’s a few additional do’s and don’ts that are important to keep in mind!
- No spray sunscreens! Super-convenient, sure, but they may pose serious risks if inhaled and they make it too easy to apply too little or miss a spot.
- Super-high SPFs (SPF 50 or higher) are not your friend. SPF – sun protection factor – refers only to protection against UVB radiation and has little to do with protecting you from UVA rays – the ones that accelerate skin aging and have been linked to skin cancer.
- Oxybenzone can mimic estrogen. That’s right, estrogen. A number of sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates skin, gets into the bloodstream and may act like estrogen in the body! It can also trigger allergic reactions.
- Retinyl palmitate may harm your skin. On sun-exposed skin, the retinyl palmitate found in some sunscreens has been shown to speed development of skin tumors and lesions.
- Skip sunscreen/bug repellent combos. Studies suggest that in some cases chemicals that filter harmful ultraviolet rays can interact with insect repelling chemicals in ways that decrease sunburn protection. Also, if you apply these products every two hours (as you should for proper sun protection!), you may be overexposed to the repellent chemicals.
- Keep away from sunscreen powders and towelettes. Even the FDA’s weak sunscreen rules bar these products! Their level of protection is quite dubious.
- Seriously – no tanning oils! Tanning oils are just a bad idea. They barely – if at all – protect you from the sun.
Stay safe in the sun this summer!
Christina Martin, L.Ac.
Tao to Wellness Acupuncture Inc