Being in the sun and getting a dose of Vitamin D is beneficial for us, though it’s important to limit out time in the sun and use sunscreen. Not only should you apply, and reapply sunscreen when outside for extended periods, you should also apply it correctly in order to avoid a bad sunburn. It’s important to use sunscreen appropriately.
Here are a few ways that people incorrectly use, or misuse sunscreen:
- Using old sunscreen. Unless you’re in the sun for hours and hours each day, chances are you won’t go through an entire bottle every season. Pay attention to the expiration dates and the ingredients that protect you do indeed have a shelf life reducing the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
- Improper storage. Don’t leave your sunscreen in a golf bag, a beach bag or anything that you leave in the car or exposed to heat. Excessive heat can break down the ingredients that protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Relying on makeup. While some foundations and makeup products report SPF in their products, far too many women believe that makeup will provide adequate protection. Part of the reason for this is that it’s unusual for women to use enough makeup to enough protection and because it also wears off during the day, makeup isn’t reliable enough to protect your face.
- Apply, apply, and reapply. Most people simply do not apply enough sunscreen throughout the day. If you’re golfing, doing other outdoor activities, applying sunscreen is NOT a once-and-done process. And more importantly, regardless of whether your sunscreen claims to be waterproof, be sure to reapply sunscreen while you’re swimming in the pool. Sunscreen can wash off as you go in and out of the swimming pool! Most experts agree that there is no such thing as applying too much sunscreen.
On the other hand, you may be questioning whether or not sunscreen is a good option for your family. The news has recently had many pieces on whether or not it is actually safe.
We want to point out that all sunscreens are not created equal and that some brands are better for your overall health than others. While it is wise to use sunscreen to help avoid skin cancer, age spots and dryness it’s important to protect safely and here is why.
According to a recent review conducted by Environmental Working Group (EWG), some brands you may have considered for your family, may actually have a negative impact on your overall health. For instance, many sunscreens use Oxybenzone as their chief protection, but did you know that Oxybenzone is linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption? While it does block UV rays, it is an ingredient that can be avoided. Also, do you like the way your sunscreen smells? Along with the Oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances and/or ‘parfume’ are also linked to hormone disruption.
Those are just two ingredients that you want to avoid in your sunscreen. You also want to avoid sunscreens that are a spray on. While they seem convenient, the aerosol particles are not safe for inhalation. What are your options?
According to the Sunscreen report, there are some great choices out there for you to protect you and your family from the harmful rays of the sun. Their rating system runs from 0-10. Zero being the safest and 10 being the worst.
- Beautycounter– rated #1 in overall safety on EWG’s web site, with a rating of #1.
- Jersey Shore Sunscreen– also rates a safety level of #1 on EWG.
- California Baby– This companies’ product all rates a #1 or #2 on EWG.
There are other safer choices also, however, these three companies have the highest rating.
According to the EWG report, here are just two you want to avoid:
- BananaBoat (multiple products) rated a #10 on EWG.
- Coppertone (5 products) rated a #10 on EWG.
While using a safer sunscreen is important, here are a few other helpful tips for you this summer:
- Wear protective clothing
- Watch your hours
- The hottest hours from 10-2 should be avoided
- Wear a hat
- Stay in the shade when possible, or create your own
- Protect your eyes
- Avoid burning
While many people think they look better, or feel better with a tan, avoiding damage to the skin and the potential for skin cancer should be top of mind.