Summer is approaching, and in many parts of the country and the world, it feels as if it's already here! Naturally, many women are concerned about sunscreens this time of year (and year round), and some of our girls are in search of a healthier version. This would be a great time to review our article on the SPF powers of raspberry seed oil, and if that's not enough for you, here are a few things you ought to know about choosing a healthier sunscreen lotion.
The problem with traditional sunscreens is that the majority of them do not meet EWG's standards for safety and efficacy. In fact, according to EWG's research analyst, Carla Burns, "About 67 percent of the products offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients, particularly oxybenzone."
What's the problem with oxybenzone? Well, sunscreens made with it have been shown to damage coral reefs when they wash off of swimmers, and Hawaii voted to ban them earlier this year. So, if this chemical is danger out enough to damage coral reefs and be banned by an entire state, imagine how dangerous it is to your body! Some studies have linked it to increased rates of endometriosis in women and disrupted sperm production in men.
Yeah. It's that serious.
According to MindBodyGreen, other chemicals of concern include various forms of vitamin A, including retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinoic acid, which can irritate the skin after prolonged exposure. The EWG also recommends steering clear of sunscreens with SPF values about 50, since they may not offer the protection they claim. Oh, and skip the spray sunscreens, too, since they tend to provide less-than-even coverage.
Sunscreens using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide rate better with EWG. They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from UVA and UVB rays, and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.This year, this category makes up 41 percent of the EWG's safe sunscreen list—more than double the percentage of last year. Here are a few examples:
- Beach and sport sunscreens
- Beach and spot sunscreens (non-mineral)
- Moisturizers with SPF
- Lip balms with SPF