Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time for fun in the sun! It also means it’s time to get serious about sunscreen.
While we all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays by now, shopping for sunscreen can tricky. There are so many different types, with different levels of protection, and hard-to-pronounce ingredients; not to mention the recent news about the safety of the active ingredients in many commonly used sunscreens. It’s hard to know which sunscreen is best for you and your family.
We are here to help! Read on to get the facts about sunscreen safety so you can make an informed decision in the sunscreen aisle.
A recent study by the FDA found that active ingredients of commonly used sunscreens are absorbed into the bloodstream after being applied to the skin. These findings have prompted further safety testing for four chemicals: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean these chemicals are unsafe; more testing is needed to find out.
Don’t let this news cause you to ditch your sunscreen just yet! There are plenty of sunscreen options that don’t include the chemicals mentioned above.
In general, there are two different types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays, converts them into heat, and releases them from the body. These sunscreens typically include the chemicals mentioned above.
Physical sunscreen, also known as mineral sunscreen, physically blocks the sun’s rays by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting them. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main active ingredients in physical sunscreen.
When shopping for sunscreen, be sure to check the ingredient label if you’re looking to avoid chemical sunscreen. And no matter what type of sunscreen you opt for, make sure you choose one that has an SPF of at least 30, and has broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Now that you have the facts on sunscreen safety, it’s time to get outside and enjoy summer!