HEALTHY LIVING  | 5.17.16  |  by Julie Rhodins

We’re so happy to see more and more information coming out about sunscreens.  Which ones work, which ones are better for your skin and family, and which ones just shouldn’t be used at all.  Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes out with an annual sunscreen guide.  And we love the updates for 2016!  Sunscreen safety is so important.  Here are the top tips for this year.

Important tips for sunscreen safety this summer 

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Avoid these ingredients

About 75% of the 750 sunscreens that were evaluated by EWG in 2016 offered inferior ingredients and effects.  A lot of us read labels for food, but are you also reading your labels for your personal care products?  According to EWG, these are the top ingredients you should avoid when purchasing a sunscreen.

  • oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor
  • retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin

Look for these ingredients

Among the sunscreens that continually rated well in EWG’s analysis were those that contained mineral ingredients.  Says EWG, “They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.”  Look for sunscreens with —

  • zinc oxide
  • titanium dioxide

Don’t buy more than 50 SPF

It would seem like the higher the SPF the better.  But just because a product lists a higher SPF doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.  And most people who are buying high SPF’s are doing so because they are wanting to spend more time in the sun, a whole other problem.  Instead, take a closer look at the ingredients to choose the most effective, spend less time in the sun (or reapply your sunscreen more often), and use other ways to protect from the sun than just sunscreen (like hats and clothing).

Don’t buy sunscreen sprays

There’s even more sprays on the market than ever before.  Says EWG, “They don’t provide a uniform coating and you don’t want to inhale them and coat your lungs with sunscreen.”  Plus, there’s also the chance you could accidently get sunscreen in your eyes with a spray.  Just avoid.

Check EWG’s Sunscreen Guide

Just type in the sunscreen name or brand into the search bar at EWG’s Sunscreen Guide.  Look at the rating.  Look at why it’s rated — any scary ingredients will be listed with an explanation.

The more we educate ourselves as parents, the better choices we can make for our families.

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