Sunscreen isn’t just a summertime fashion choice—it’s vital for protecting your body from the sun’s harmful rays and maintaining your overall health. Discover why sunscreen is so important and get four tips for choosing the best one for you. From safeguarding against skin cancer to cutting down on wrinkles, it’s critical that we all choose a reliable and effective sunscreen to keep ourselves healthy.
4 Steps to Spot a Safe Sunscreen
1. Skip Spray-On Sunscreens
While it may seem like an easy option, spray-on products can actually be harmful to your health. Spray sunscreens can contain carcinogenic compounds like benzene, and inhaling them can lead to even more health issues. Additionally, it’s not easy to ensure that you’re applying enough sunscreen with sprays, which can compromise their effectiveness in shielding you from the sun’s harmful rays. For optimal safety and coverage, explore other forms of sun protection.
2. Not All Ingredients Are Safe (or Effective)
Not all ingredients are made equal, and some may not even be safe. Avobenzone, cinoxate, dioxybenzone, ensulizole, homosalate, meradimate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, padimate O, and sulisobenzone should be carefully chosen or avoided altogether. These ingredients can penetrate your skin and have even been found in breast milk, urine, and blood samples. While most European countries have mandated lowering the concentration of these ingredients, many American sunscreens still contain high levels of them. Be cautious and choose sunscreens that exclude these potentially harmful ingredients.
3. Some Are Harmful to Your Hormones
When it comes to selecting a sunscreen, don’t forget to consider the presence of endocrine, or hormone, disruptors. Chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone, and homosalate fall into this category and can interfere with hormonal balance in your body. To avoid potential negative effects on your health, it’s best to steer clear of sunscreens that contain these chemicals. Opt for safer alternatives that are free from these compounds and protect your well-being while enjoying the sun.
4. Avoid Long Inactive Ingredient Lists
Don’t overlook the inactive ingredients in your sunscreen, as they can play a big role in how well your skin tolerates the product. Some sunscreens pack in a bunch of these inactive ingredients, which can up your risk of skin reactions or irritations. To keep your skin happy and healthy, opt for sunscreens with fewer inactive ingredients. Simple formulations are often gentler and less likely to cause sensitivity, so you can stay sun-safe without any discomfort.
Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial for your overall health, but not all sunscreens are created equal. Follow these four tips to choose a safe and effective sunscreen. Say no to spray sunscreens, avoid ingredients that are not recognized as safe and effective, steer clear of endocrine disruptors, and opt for sunscreens with minimal inactive ingredients. By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy the sun responsibly while shielding your skin against sunburns, premature aging, and the risk of skin cancer.
P.S.: If you want a brand recommendation, here are a few of our favorites with their website linked, and other places you can readily find them:
Babo Botanicals – available at Whole Foods Market, Target, Sprouts, Ulta Beauty, and Amazon
Raw Elements – available at Mothers Market, Target, REI, Jacks Surfboards, and Amazon
Kinfield – available at Thrive Market, Anthropology, and Amazon
Suntegrity – available at Nordstrom, and Amazon