Even though winter is upon us, and getting sunburned is less likely, wearing sun protection year round is the number #1 thing you can do to protect your skin. Dermatologists agree that sunscreen is also the #1 proven product for anti-aging.
With an increased awareness of products geared toward Eco-friendly and Green living, what sunscreens would fall in the “good for you and good for the environment” category? The answer is to choose a sunscreen that uses only Zinc or Titanium Dioxide or a combination of the two as the active ingredient (s). Zinc and Titanium Dioxide are the only natural ingredients that provide sun protection. They are minerals that come from the earth. They are the most dependable and safest ingredients for both you and the environment. Other Active ingredients used in sunscreens are called UV filters. Some of the UV Filters have been linked to negative health issues and a negative impact on our environment.
Sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as over-the-counter drugs, and all sunscreens must have a drug label. The first section of a drug label lists the “active” ingredients, so it easy to check what each product uses as their active ingredient (s).
The other main things to know when choosing your sunscreen,
- • Choose a Sunscreen with “Broad Spectrum” coverage. “Broad Spectrum” means it provides coverage for both UVA and UVB rays. Both UVA/UVB rays cause skin damage. UVB are shorter waves and are responsible for a sunburn. UVA are longer wavelengths and can penetrate your skin even through your car windows. Over exposure from UVA are linked to pre-mature aging, loss of elasticity in your skin and skin cancer. ** Unless you are using an SPF 0 Suntan Oil, most sunscreens are now “Broad Spectrum”. Zinc and Titanium Dioxide provide Broad Spectrum Coverage.
- • Choose at least an SPF 30. SPF 30 provides protection from 97% of the UVA/UVB rays and SPF 50 protects from 98% of the suns rays. Anything rated higher than SPF 50 is pointless and often costs more money.
- • If you are doing an outdoor activity where you are exposed to water or will be sweating, choose a sunscreen with 80 minutes water resistance.
* In your excitement to get outside and play, don’t forget one of the most important pieces of equipment, your sunscreen!