With the beautiful summer weather we have been having it is time to talk sunscreen and sun protection. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. and cases of melanoma have increased 300% in the last 35 years. Unfortunately many sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that can contribute to cancer. You may reduce your risk of some skin cancers but you potentially increase your risk of other cancers, so it is important to know what to buy. Sun exposure is also responsible for 80% of facial aging signs like wrinkles, dryness, and age spots. Even if you don't want to think about cancer, I am sure nobody wants to look older. :)
Here are some tips from the Environmental Working Group to follow when you are out in the sun.
- Wear a hat, or shirt.
- Head for the shade.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
- Avoid the midday sun.
- Don’t get burned.
- Wear sunscreen. Reapply every 2 hours.
Tip for men: Wear sunscreen! In 2012 twice as many men died from skin cancer as women. Turns out men tend not to practice safe sun or wear sunscreen.
Tips on sunscreens
- Mineral-based sunscreens with Zinc oxide, Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX
- Cream sunscreen
- Broad spectrum protection with strong UVA protection
- Water resistant
- SPF 15-50
STAY AWAY FROM:
- Spray sunscreens — they contain harmful inhalants
- SPF 50 and above — high SPF claims are misleading
- Sunscreens containing Oxybenzone, Vitamin A (Retinyl palmitate), added insect repellent
- Tanning oils