Sunscreen tends to be overlooked as a summer essential, especially by those of us with darker skin hues. This blog post is going to discuss the importance of sunscreen. How to choose the best sunscreen for your family, and how to find the safest sunscreens on the market. Using the EWG’s 2019 Guide to Sunscreen we will share a few tips and tricks to protect your kiddos and yourself from the Sun’s harmful rays.
Sunscreen safety! I mean is that even a thing? Apparently it is, and here is why you should care: all sunscreens are not created equal! The very product you are applying to protect you, may be causing you and your family harm. This blog post is going to explore, the importance of wearing sunscreen, the effectiveness of sunscreen, and how to choose the best sunscreen for your family. Although I am a Registered Nurse, former lifeguard, and avid sunscreen wearer I am not a dermatologist, chemist, or anything of the sort. So we turned to our friends over at the Environmental Working Group for the most updated and evidenced based information. If you are not familiar with the EWG click here to learn more. If you are a crunchy mama you probably live on the EWG website which is fantastic! I recently learned about them and I’ve already subscribed to the email list signed multiple petitions to raise awareness about the work the EWG does. If you want to learn about the importance of sunscreen for not only your kiddos but for yourself please read on!
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Sunscreen….What’s the Big Deal?
Sunscreen is designed to protect us from the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. It is designed to be used as a barrier to protect us from skin damage such as sun burn. The shield it provides is also designed to reduce the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma. When used properly sunscreen is a great tool to protect our skin all year round. If you had asked me just a few weeks ago if I felt confident that the sunscreen I use daily protects me from the sun I would have said yes! But after doing some research we will be taking a closer look at the sunscreen products that we bring into our home and apply to our skin.
How Do I Find The Best Sunscreen?
Choosing a sunscreen may not be as easy as it seems. And like most products in America the market is over-saturated. So how do you know which one to choose. From SPF to UVA to mineral to zinc oxide. It can be confusing trying to figure out what is safe and what is not. Does 100SPF guarantee I won’t fry like a lobster? Will Spray work just as good as cream? These questions and more are answered by the EWG! I downloaded the EWG’s free sunscreen guide and I was shocked by what I learned. My approach to finding the right sunscreen was all wrong, but thankfully summer is just getting started, and my family and I will be protected by those UV rays the sun will be glaring down on us.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to sunscreen, some use it daily others sparingly. If you have sensitive skin or allergies then that adds another layer of difficulty.
Keep In Mind These Tips:
- Look for a Mineral Based sunscreen
- Avoid products that have a SPF greater than 50
- Do not use if PABA or Trolamine salicyate are ingredients
- Use the EWG search engine to find the safest sunscreen for your family
- Use sunscreen cream, avoid sprays or oils they are less effectively and are rarely applied evenly
One would think that since I was a lifeguard for 6 years I would have a good understanding of sunscreen, but to be honest I’ve always just slathered on whatever product I had at the time. I never thought about if it was effective, I’d always assumed that it was. But not all sunscreen is effective, in fact, not all sunscreen is even safe. Some contain preservatives, chemicals, and other factors that can be harmful when absorbed by our skin (which by the way is our largest organ and literally is our first line of defense). It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I started making small changes to household cleaning products, deodorant, finger nail polish and foods. Pregnancy caused me to think about what I put in and on my body for the first time, yikes! Well, you live and you learn.
If you are like me then you probably did not think much about natural products, organic foods, or chemical free cleaning products until you had littles crawling around your home. Then everything changed and you went google crazy! The world of germs, chemicals, additives and fillers became a dark and dirty place not fit for your baby! As mama’s we naturally want to create a safe environment for our children and what we apply to their skin is super important! As the skin absorbs sunscreen, it releases different chemicals into their bloodstream. Did you know that some sunscreen products can release cancer causing agents into our bodies? In fact the higher the SPF the more likely we are to expose ourselves to harmful components and the less likely we are to apply it properly!
I will link a few of our favorite sunscreen brands below! I was already using Baby Bum Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and my Sister loves the Bare Republic Brand. Both of these brands fall under the #1 safest sunscreens list!
What are your thoughts? What are your favorite sunscreen brands? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment, like, share and subscribe! We hope this is as helpful to you as it is to us!!!!
As always thank you for reading mama! If you haven’t already, follow us all summer long on Instagram using #summerfunwithtoddlers share your adventures with us!!!