Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Choosing A Sunscreen - What To Look For & What To Avoid

With another Memorial Day come and gone, Summer is now fully upon us! It's a scorching 86 in my neck of the woods today and with temps like that, the sun is sure to burn our skin. With melanoma on the rise, let's take a look at some of the best sunscreens on the market, and what to look for and what to avoid when slathering up.

According to EWG here is a list of YES & NO's when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun:


  • SPF above 50
  • Retinyl Palmitate
  • Aerosol spray or powder sunscreen
  • Oxybenzone
  • Insect Repellent

  • Hats and shade in the mid-day sun
  • Zinc or Titanium are the best active ingredients. Otherwise look for Avobenzone 3%
  • SPF 30 for intense sun
  • Use a lot and reapply frequently
 Here are a few of the best sunscreen brands on the market (all score: 0-2):
  • Loving Naturals
  • Kiss My Face
  • Adorable Baby
  • UV Natural
  • Tropical Sands
  • EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum, SPF47
  • Coola MineralBaby
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Thinkbaby or Thinksport
  • TrueKid
  • Badger
  • Eco Logical
  • Raw Elements
  • Releve Organic Skincare by Emerald Essentials
  • Green Screen Organic Sunscreen
  • The Honest Company
*I picked up Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen: Mineral Protection Kids SPF30. This product has an EWG Score of '2' and offers GOOD UVA/UVB protection and has excellent sunscreen stability with LOW health concerns. While EWG has this listed as an 'old product' I just purchased it, so I'm not completely sure what that means!

Here are a few of the worst sunscreen brands on the market:
  • Australian Gold Spray Gel with Instant Bronzer (SPF15-30) - Score: 8
  • Fruit of the Earth Block Up Kids UVA/UVB Continuous Spray, SPF30 - Score: 8
  • Panama Jack Spray Gel Sunscreen, SPF15 - Score: 8
  • Tantowel Sunscreen, SPF30 - Score: 7
  • Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Day, SPF20 - Score: 7
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray, SPF30 - Score: 7
  • Rite Aid Rx Suncare Advanced Protection Spray, SPF30 - Score: 7
  • Headshade Sunscreen, SPF15 - Score: 7
  • Wegmans Wet Skin Body Mist Sunscreen, SPF30 - Score: 7
  • Banana Boat Ultra Mist Continuous Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF30 - Score: 7
The main goal is to protect your skin, while still enjoying the sun and summer. Just be smart about it, and give yourself ample shade-time. Most sunscreens require reapplying every 90 minutes (with the newly passed laws the bottle will now have to list the time frame for reapplication. Be sure to read your product carefully for the best protection) and are NOT water/sweatproof, regardless of the products claims. Always be sure to keep an eye on your skin, and if you notice any new, or changing moles or freckles make sure you mention it to your GP or dermatologist. It's best to keep the, "better safe than sorry" mentality when it comes to melanoma.

Here are the ABCD's of moles from the Melanoma Foundation:

A for Asymmetry - One half is different than the other half.
B for Border Irregularity - The edges are notched, uneven or blurred.
C for Color - The color is uneven. Shades of brown, tan, and black are present.
D for Diameter - Diameter is greater than 6 millimeters.

Other Warning Signs:
  • The appearance of a new bump or nodule
  • Color spreads into surrounding skin
  • Redness or swelling beyond the mole
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Itching
  • Bleeding
  • Oozing
  • Scaly Appearance
Stay Safe & Happy Summer!
Until Next Time,


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