The Environmental Working Group just came out with their Sunscreen report, so I decided to stop being a lazy blogger and say something informative about the sunscreen issue.
It seems I’m the last natural/crunchy mamablogger to do so. LOL! But, I have a good reason. You see, I so very rarely wear sunscreen myself. Mostly I just stay out of the sun. Or if I’m going to be in the sun, don’t go during the peak hours and don’t stay out long enough to burn.
But next month I’m going to visit a friend who lives in Florida, and she is the kind of gal who sports a year round tan due to her beachy lifestyle. She’s always outside and she’s always exercising and she’s surfing and stuff and therefore always tan.
photo credit: Ordered Chaos
I was thinking of donning a huge sombrero, but I’m so not a hat person. So I will be having to purchase some sunscreen soon.
Healthy and Safe and Effective Sunscreen Choices
The bad thing about sunscreens is that many of them can be very toxic and others, not effective. And some are both ineffective AND toxic. Two for one!
Seriously though, some common ingredients found in sunscreens are suspected carcinogens. Really yummy stuff like: triethanolamine, diethanolamine (TEA, DEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, benzophenone, oxybenzone, homosalate, salicylates and parabens. Woo! Say that ten times fast!
Also disturbing is that many commonly used sunscreens contain chemicals that have estrogenic actions. What does that mean? It means that it can interfere with normal sexual development and can cause reproductive problems. Some studies have also shown that chemicals found in sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
The really funny part is that all this chemical soup is not even regulated. The FDA has no strict standards for sunscreen. Among other things, a sunscreen can claim to be “broad spectrum” when it’s not.
Thankfully there are sunscreens on the market that are safer. Zinc oxide is a mineral that provides complete UVB and UVA protection. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is considered a safe sunscreen.
The list on Skin Deep has some recommendations, including California Baby SPF 30 + Sunblock Stick – No Fragrance and another from Badger Balm (click link to read a review) … but another surprising top pick is a CVS brand (so maybe you can put some of those CVS tricks the frugal blogging ladies are always talking about to work).
So what do you use for sunscreen?