5 Best (and 2 Worst) Sunscreens

In All Health Watch, Featured Article, General Health, Health Warning

As summer approaches, you want to make sure you protect your skin the right way.

The drugstore sunscreen aisle is a toxic waste dump of products that can do more harm than good.

Stay Away From These 6 Sunscreen Ingredients

Not all sunscreens are created equal. Chemical sunscreens are linked to numerous health problems. Be sure to avoid ones containing oxybenzone. The FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology will tell you it’s safe. But it is a hormone disruptor and an allergen.

And stay away from formulations with vitamin A. In sunscreens, it is often in the form of retinyl palmitate. There’s evidence it can trigger skin cancer.1

Other sunscreen ingredients to avoid are octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene. They are less common than oxybenzone.  But they are linked to allergic reactions, and thyroid and fertility problems. And like oxybenzone, they are hormone disruptors.2

Instead, stick to mineral sunscreens. They are usually based on zinc and/or titanium.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit consumer research organization. It annually ranks sunscreens based on their safety and effectiveness. Here are five sunscreen brands that get the highest ratings from EWG:3

  1. Badger
  2. Blue Lizard
  3. All Terrain
  4. Babo Botanicals
  5. ThinkSport

Two products that got the lowest ratings are Banana Boat and CVS brand sunscreens.

One more thing… It’s important not to use sunscreen all the time.

When the sunshine hits your skin, you produce vitamin D. It’s essential for good health. If you’re not getting enough, you’re at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and depression.

Moderation is key. You want enough sun to maintain healthy vitamin D levels. But not so much that you get sunburned.

The optimal amount of exposure varies, depending on how dark your skin is, where you live, and the time of year. Most of us know how much sun we can get before we start to burn.

Try to get some sunshine every day…but stop short of burning. Apply a quality, mineral-based sunscreen before you think you may burn.

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