Under the Sun: Ways to Protect Yourself and Skin
Somewhere along the way, we went to extremes to avoid the sun and slather on sunscreen for protection, but the truth is, the sun (in moderation!) provides several health benefits. More research is claiming that finding a middle ground of sun exposure is important.
Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are created equal. A 2019 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly two-thirds of sunscreens sold in the U.S. do not work in protecting us against UV rays and/or contain toxic ingredients that are quickly absorbed into the body. EWG found that about half of the beach and sport sunscreens sold in the U.S. would not be allowed on the market in Europe due to inadequate protection against UVA rays!
With beach season here, we wanted to provide some education around sunscreen as well as tips to cut your risk of sun overexposure, sunburns and skin cancer.
Sunscreen is unique compared to many other personal care products because you coat it thickly onto your skin, often multiple times a day. You don’t get that type of hours-long, skin-absorbing exposure with something like shampoo. The good news is there is a positive change happening on the sunscreen front! There are more companies doing their due diligence to improve the ingredients used in sunscreens.
Below are a few of our, as well as EWG’s, favorites:
- Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free
- All Good Sunstick, Unscented
- Badger Active Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream, Unscented
- Goddess Garden Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
- Just Skin Food Baby Beach Bum Sunscreen Stick
- Kabana Organic Skincare Green Screen Sunscreen Lotion, Original
- Sunology Mineral Sunscreen, Body
- Waxhead Sun Defense Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Stick
If you choose to avoid applying sunscreen, here are some tips for overall sun protection. We encourage you to enjoy the outdoors and sunshine – aim for 10 minutes a day without protection – while keeping these tips in mind.
- Wear long-sleeved clothes when you go outdoors. Darker colors protect skin better than light ones. If you’re at the beach or pool and can’t wear long-sleeved clothes, cover your torso with a long T-shirt.
- Wash clothes with a UV-repellent laundry detergent. These detergents coat clothing with microscopic crystals. The crystals prevent UV rays from penetrating the fabric and getting to your skin.
- Put on a wide-brimmed hat before heading out in the sun. Avoid straw hats as they have small holes that let sunlight through.
- Sit in the shade when you’re outdoors.
- Avoid going outside between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
When in doubt, think like the Aussies’ and “Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek and Slide”. Slip on a long-sleeved shirt, slap on a hat, slop on sunscreen, seek shade and slide on your sunnies!