Many years ago, sunscreen was not a tool parents had in their arsenal to help prevent their children or even themselves from sunburn. Instead, little was known about the damage that sun exposure could do to the skin. Fast forward to present day and it is hard to believe that, with the research at hand, some still neglect to take advantage of routine sunscreen application. Some wrongly believe that wearing this lotion is only important throughout the summer. However, research suggests that wearing sunscreen is necessary year-round. With science being so advanced the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been able to discover that not all sunscreens are alike and not all are best for our skin. Throughout this blog we will discuss the benefits of sunscreen, the sunscreens you should try to avoid, and other methods of sun protection.
The Benefits of Sunscreen
Although many are not aware as to how exactly sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer, research suggest that it does have an impact. Skin care professionals suggest that sunscreen helps scatter the harmful rays of the sun which can prove to the the culprit of skin cancer. It is advised that everyone, especially those who have a family history of skin cancer, should make wearing sunscreen a daily habit. Wrinkles are nothing to look forward to and can be difficult to prevent. However, there is no need to invite them to your skin earlier than necessary. Skincare experts suggest that those who refuse to wear sunscreen routinely increase the chances of developing premature wrinkles. If you are one who would prefer to avoid the wrinkling reality of the aging process earlier than necessary, it is time to begin wearing sunscreen when you head outdoors. Sunburns can be brutally miserable. For those who have experienced this, you understand the pain and misery that can be brought on by such sun exposure. Skincare experts advise the best way to avoid sunburn is to apply sunscreen before spending any time outdoors, no matter what the season (or weather) may be. With all the varieties of sunscreen available, and the knowledge of how damaging too much sun can be, it is time to add applying sunscreen routinely to your daily skincare regimen. Stop by your local store and make the investment today. It is never too late to begin making your skin care a priority.
Sunscreens to Avoid
Some sunscreens prevent sunburn but not other types of skin damage. Make sure yours offers broad spectrum protection. Don’t fall for high SPF labels. Anything higher than SPF 50+ can tempt you to stay in the sun too long. Even if you don’t burn, your skin may be damaged. Stick to SPFs between 15 and 50+. Pick a product based on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover. Reapply often. Avoid sunscreen with vitamin A. Eating vitamin A-laden vegetables is good for you, but spreading vitamin A on your skin may not be. Government data show that tumors and lesions develop sooner on skin coated with creams laced with vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate or retinol. It’s in 12 percent of all sunscreens we reviewed in 2018. Avoid any skin or lip product whose label includes retinyl palmitate, retinol or vitamin A. Avoid oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and can disrupt the hormone system. Look for products with zinc oxide, 3 percent avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. They protect skin from harmful UVA radiation. No insect repellent. If you need bug repellent, buy it separately and apply it first. Pick a good sunscreen. EWG’s sunscreen database evaluates the safety and efficacy of SPF-rated products, including approximately 650 sunscreens for beach and sports use, 250 SPF-rated moisturizers and 115 lip products. We give high ratings to brands that provide broad spectrum, long-lasting protection with ingredients that pose fewer health concerns when absorbed by the body. Reapply cream often. Sunscreen chemicals sometimes degrade in the sun, wash off, or rub off on towels and clothing. Got your vitamin D? Many people don’t get enough vitamin D, a hormone manufactured by the skin in the presence of sunlight. Your doctor can test your level and recommend supplements if you are low in this vital nutrient.
Alternative Sun Protection
According to Washington D.C. based non-profit Environmental Working Group’s website, “The best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt.” Why? Because it means “No chemicals for the skin to absorb,” and “no questions about whether the product works.” It’s even better if the clothing has a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, which ranges from 15 (good) to 50-plus (excellent). “Three things you can use to protect yourself from the sun are a hat, shade and sun protective clothing with a UPF of 50 or higher,” she says. “The hat should have a broad brim of at least five inches to protect the neck and chest area, especially for women. It should also have a UPF.” Before you go out and purchase a high-UPF bikini, be warned that it won’t do much to protect the rest of your skin. Instead, opt for a something with more coverage that is still stylish.
Overall, the sun is no joke and neither is sunburn so be sure to cover up in any way you can to keep yourself from too much UV exposure. We know the weather is beautiful but so is your skin so take care of it!