Hey there everyone! It’s that time of year again to hit the beach and pools, or just get outside and take advantage of this great weather. I really need to go out and buy some sunscreen for this season. I was taking a look at the best sunscreen list written by the Environmental Working Group. This site is referred to as “Skin Deep” and is a wonderful way to look up all cosmetics, not just sunscreen and see how they rate for safety. They list all products, not just organic, and they look at health hazard as well as sun hazard. Then the overall score is posted. They also have a summary of sunscreen safety.
Here are a few things that I look for when buying sunscreen. I try to stay clear of parabens, PABA, and chem Parsol 1789. I also look for UVA and UVB protection. UVA can cause the aging of the skin as well as skin cancer. PABA can be a skin irritant to those who are chemically sensitive and there have been some questions regarding the potential hazards that chem Parsol 1789 may be linked to certain types of cancer and liver damage. Now, I am sure this is probably when used in overwhelming quantities or as a cumulative effect but I would rather stay on the safe side and use as many natural products as possible. The skin is the largest organ in your body and obviously absorbs whatever you put on it. The important concept here is protect yourself and your family from the sun and choose products wisely when doing so. I am planning to choose a chemical free sunscreen or a mineral based sunscreen. My choices for this season will be Lavera Family Sunscreen, Lavera Neutral SPF 40 and California Baby Sunscreen SPF 30. I believe both are available at Earth Fare. Kiss My Face is another good brand and I am pretty sure Earth Fare has it as well. The Lavera can smell a little strong at first (the lavender) but fades quickly. I use another sunscreen for my face but will use the above for the body. (That may have to be another post someday). There are a few others that have received good press such as La Roche Posay Anthelios, but I am not so sure about the ingredient list. The list above by the EWG shows Kiss My Face, Mustela, SkinCeuticals, MD formulations, Dermatologica, and many others as good choices, although some of these are not chemical free. Be careful though when looking at the list because there are brands that have several types of sunscreen and are rated differently. There is another sunscreen that I would LOVE to purchase but my husband would kill me and that is Jurlique Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s a tad on the expensive side to say the least. If you don’t know about Jurlique, you should google it. I absolutely love their products. They have a store in San Francisco that I used to love to visit. You can order it online. The products are made in Australia with all natural ingredients and they are incredible. The products don’t seem to be quite as expensive as the sunscreen so not sure what happened with that…
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the damaging effects of the sun until about 10 years ago when I starting noticing several unusual freckles or moles popping up all over my body. I grew up in Pennsylvania and when it got above 50 degrees, out came the tin foil and baby oil. Yes, I said, tin foil. We actually sat on top of the dorm in college with tin foil and fried ourselves. Absolutely disgusting, I know but what are you going to do now? Well, back to my story. I am at high risk for developing melanoma. I have had NUMEROUS highly dysplastic moles removed and the scars are not so pleasant. I don’t care though as long as I get them off and hopefully never have the diagnosis of malignant melanoma. I made some poor decisions in the past but the important thing is that we now have knowledge to help us protect our skin. Oh, and we really don’t want any more wrinkles either right? Although I do miss that sunkissed look……..
So get a good sunscreen, cover up when possible and maybe invest in a good self tanner. By the way, if anyone has used a good organic self tanner let me know! I have seen one by Lavera and it looks promising. Oh, and one last thing. I go to Dermatologic Laser Center every six months to have Mole Safe performed. It is a program that is used throughout New Zealand to detect melanoma. They have such a great risk due to the depleting ozone layer over there and it is part of their health care program to have this performed. It’s a software program combined with photos taken by a clinician. The nurse takes pictures of your WHOLE body (kind of embarrassing, especially when you see yourself without clothes on the computer, ughh). Anyways, they are able to track your areas of concern with more precision and the software program is set up to analyze the appearance, etc. Of course the doctor reviews everything as well. A GREAT way to stay on top of things if you are at risk for skin cancer.
Let us know if you have any sunscreen tips to share!