As we inch closer to triple digits and summer, it’s not the time to skimp on sunscreen! With so many options out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose that has the best protection and non-harmful chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently published its 15th Annual Guide to Sunscreens, which found that 75% of sunscreen products did not provide adequate protection or included harmful ingredients. And highlighted that there are only two ingredients that are classified safe and effective, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so below is a breakdown from the EWG’s 2021 sunscreen guidance report and the best tips for protecting your skin this summer. From understanding what to look for to the best products.
Find products with UVA/UVB balance and labeled “broad-spectrum”.
UVA and UVB rays can be harmful to the skin, however its preventable with the right protection. UVB rays damage the outermost layer of the skin, which is associated with skin inflammation and sunburn. UVA rays can penetrate deeper into the dermal layer damaging collagen. The only UVA filters that are FDA-approved ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Also, keep in mind that the bigger SPF isn’t always better.
Stick to mineral formulas.
The EWG recommends mineral options that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If you opt for chemical sunscreens, it’s best to steer clear of oxybenzone, especially for kids, which has been shown to absorb through the skin in large amounts. Mineral sunscreens deflect and block the sun’s rays, unlike sunscreens with chemical filters that absorb the UVB rays and release heat while they break down. Furthermore, mineral ingredients don’t appear to harm the environment.
Avoid harmful ingredients.
Oxybenzone, phthalates, retinyl palmitate, parabens, octinoxate, octocrylene, homosalate, and avobenzo. Not only could these ingredients be harmful to your body causing allergy, and irritation, the chemicals can harm the environment.
Whether it’s a cool day or overcast, it’s still important to use lots of sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF and reapply every 2 hours.
Protecting your skin is vital to prevent sunburn. But if you do get a burn, a natural home sunburn remedy includes equal parts cold water and cold milk to create a cool compress. Have any black tea in the fridge? Apply it like a compress with a washcloth to relieve the heat and reduce inflammation.
The Environmental Working Group has a full list of harmful sunscreen ingredients at ewg.org/sunscreen and Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics recommends the following:
Kimberly Baden is lead aesthetician at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics Rejuvena Health and Aesthetics helps patients look and feel their best using a revolutionary, integrative approach that includes all aspects of both naturopathic and aesthetic medicine. Rejuvena believes that total body wellness encompasses both the inside and the outside, and that your appearance is a direct reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface. Rejuvena offers the latest regenerative medicine techniques to resolve pain, enhance tissue and wrinkle repair, customized diet plans, organic whole food based supplements and detoxification therapies. To learn more, visit www.werejuvenate.com or call 480-551-9000.