I am so excited that summer is just around the corner! The days are getting longer, the sun is warming up around us, and we are getting ready to take the cover off our pool. What I am dreading...my utility bills! Uhhh, my power and water will be higher, just as everyone else's will so I am trying to go ahead and prepare to be more eco friendly when it comes to my power and water usage but there are so many other things we also need to think about. One of those...SUNSCREEN! Yes, we all know how important it is to use sunscreen but did you know that not all sunscreens are safe or that they may not fully cover the harmful rays from the sun?
Let's start with the fact that a lot of sunscreens can damage and kill coral reefs! The above picture shows coral that has been bleached on a seabed near Okinawa Island. I had no idea they were not only dangerous for us but dangerous for our oceans. So what kind of sunscreen should you use? Mineral based, broad spectrum sunscreen.
Although it has not been proven to be safe, so far researchers have not found it to be unsafe. Brands like All Good, Jersey Kids, Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Badger Kids Suncreen, and Alba Botanica sunscreen are a few of the great options to use. If you are a Kroger shopper, the Babyganics sunscreen is a great choice and one of my favorites for the boys! These all contain Zinc and/or titanium which are better than chemicals for your body!
Check out this link to see all of the mineral sunscreens on Amazon!
So, what to avoid? You should actually avoid sprays and aerosols. Gulp, I know they are easy and convenient when you are at the beach or pool, however, you face the chance of inhaling or missing a spot and being at the beach and missing a spot is no good. Skin cancer is a major issue and can be deadly. Second, higher SPF's are not always great. Both WebMD and skincancer.org say that the SPF refers to the ability for sunscreen to block ultraviolet rays, which prevents sunburns but this does not account for UVA that causes skin cancer and more lasting impacts deep in your skin. The Food and Drug Administration has no sufficient data to show that products with an SPF above 50 offer any additional protection. So, the 90+ SPF is not going to help you any more than a 30 Broad Spectrum that accounts for both UVB AND UVB rays!
Lastly, sunscreens with Oxybenzone and Octinoxate should be avoided at all costs! Oxybenzone acts like an estrogen and has high rates of skin allergies. Octinoxate is a hormone - like activity thought to cause issues with reproduction, thyroid and behavioral issues. Homosalate disruptes estorgen androgen, and progesterone. This as well as others can be found and researched at the below link.
I also want to share with you a list from https://draxe.com that shows a list of the worst sunscreens in terms of toxicity. Considering I have used some of these on myself and my kiddos I am cringing.
As you get ready for the summer, think about the sunscreen you are using and the impacts it can have on your skin and the environment. Also keep in mind that physical barriers like hats, sunglasses, rash guards, and umbrellas will be a major help to preventing sunburns! Do a little research and pick the products that are best for you and your family! Happy Summer y'all!