We’re bringing you this Safest Sunscreens of 2019 Edition to make choosing the safest sunscreen EASY. Trying to figure out which sunscreens are THE safest sunscreen options can be SO tough. There are SO many ingredients, most of which we can’t pronounce. Well, with Spring and Summer right around the corner it’s time to start preparing for those days of having fun in the sun! You know by now how important clean living is to me! I’m so excited to teach you which sunscreens are safest to help keep you and your family protected.
Come back throughout this week as we add more categories of Safe Sunscreens updated for the 2019 season!
As you probably know, the main reason to use sunscreen is to be protected from the sun, which at worst can cause skin cancer. Let’s see what some of the science based statistics are for skin cancer and aging, shall we?
But we also can’t fully keep ourselves from the sun! Well, we could stay inside all day every day, but that wouldn’t be good either! Especially since being outdoors is connected to a healthy mental state AND we can do so many physical activities that are good for our bodies when we’re outside.
Let’s walk through a lot of the questions I get about the safest sunscreens, especially those questions you directly asked me when I polled you on Instagram!
Scroll through to see them all!
A diet rich in the foods listed above that is low inflammatory will help your body’s natural defense to sun exposure. Supplementing with Vitamin C, omega 3’s, and Vitamin D. There are also now supplements specifically for internal use that protects you from sun exposure like SunDots! Be sure to consult with your physician AND also use the methods above for natural sun protection and a safe sunscreen when necessary.
We all know that sun damage has lasting effects on our bodies, which is why protecting yourself by using a safe sunscreen on a daily basis is ideal. BUT not all sunscreens are created equal, which is why we are going to talk about ingredients!
First of all, there are two types of sunscreens: chemical, and physical. (otherwise known as chemical and mineral). I bet you can guess which one I prefer, just from the names 😉
Traditional sunscreens (most of the sunscreens available on the market) are chemical. Chemical sunscreens work by using chemicals that absorb the UV rays from the sun.
Physical or mineral sunscreens use either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as barriers to reflect or block the rays altogether.
The questions I got the MOST on Instagram were:
When you go to the store or are looking online there are some very important details to pay attention to while you are searching for a safe sunscreen. The number one ingredient you want to avoid is called oxybenzone; this chemical is an endocrine hormone disruptor and has been proven to damage the dna of coral larva, which means it’s killing the oceans natural ecosystem. Oxybenzone is in nearly 65 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens in EWG’s 2018 sunscreen database!
To read more about oxybenzone from the Environmental Working Group, click here. It scores an 8, meaning it poses a high health risk.
The other concerning ingredients to avoid are octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene which all have been found widespread from penetrating the skin layers causing issues within the human body.
Traditional sunscreen can cause acne, a skin reaction like burning, stinging, redness, and/ or itching, blistering, and infected hair follicles.
Oxybenzone causes biochemical or other cellular level changes, has developmental and reproductive toxicity, and contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The EWG says “Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions (Rodriguez 2006). In laboratory studies it is a weak estrogen and has potent anti-androgenic effects (Krause 2012, Ghazipura 2017).”
Oxtinoxate has many of the same side effects listed above, and has been shown to have hormone-mimicking effects on laboratory animals. Octocrylene is known to cause allergic skin reactions in those with sensitive skin.
Most traditional sunblocks have the ingredient oxybenzone in them. The cellular concern with oxybenzone, according to the EWG, is it “Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.” (source)
These ingredients have lower toxicity concerns and penetrate less than 0.16% into the skin, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and mexoryl SX. These sit on top of the skin and provide a blocking of the sun rays which means you won’t be absorbing the ingredients into your whole system.
Keep in mind that there is a lot of opposing information out in the world about each of these ingredients especially oxybenzone, that is why you get to make that final decision for your family when it comes to what you deem as safe. At Olive You Whole we are all about clean living and eating, so if you can’t eat something it probably shouldn’t be going on or in your body.
“Sunscreens protect against sunburn, but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. Problems lie in the behavior of individuals who use sunscreens to stay out longer in the sun than they otherwise would. Vitamin D inhibition is, at this stage, unlikely due to insufficient use by individuals. Safety of sunscreens is a concern, and sunscreen companies have emotionally and inaccurately promoted the use of sunscreens.”
It’s even been proven that annually since 2012 there has been a 4.2% increase in skin cancer, even though we are being blasted with how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun. This is why when you’re looking at chemical based and mineral based, you will find the mineral based sunscreens rate higher in their effectiveness. You still want to pay attention to what’s in those mineral sunscreens because many still contain the other chemicals listed above. Luckily, with EWG’s testing, it’s easier than ever to see which sunscreen rates lower (safer) on the charts for safety and effectiveness that will protect you and your family!
The US FDA mandates that sunscreens either maintain their efficacy for three years OR mark their bottles with an expiration date. If the bottle of sunscreen you buy doesn’t have an expiration date, write on the bottle your purchase date. Toss it out within 3 years.
Higher SPF only gives you *slightly* better coverage from UV rays. From cancer.org: “Many people don’t understand the SPF scale. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. No sunscreen protects you completely.” (source)
There has been a lot of controversy as to if higher SPF really protects for longer periods of time and lasts longer. After research had been conducted it’s been shown that ultimately higher SPF doesn’t equate to having more protection and the FDA has long contended that SPF higher than 50 is “inherently misleading” (FDA 2007). It comes down to the fact that just because you are wearing a higher SPF doesn’t mean that you can or should stay out in the sun for longer periods of time. You still need to reapply and should limit sun exposure during those peak hours.
There are two different types of UV light- UVA and UVB. UVA light is what prematurely ages your skin, giving you wrinkles and sun spots. UVB light is what burns your skin.
A broad spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s really important you’re always choosing a sunscreen that’s labeled as broad spectrum so you get protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
More than likely you probably haven’t been putting on the right amount of sunscreen especially if you’ve been using the spray or stick sunscreens! Most of us use about a quarter of the amount we’re supposed to use! With spray or sticks you’ll need between 2-3 coats to truly gain all the benefits as doses aren’t as easily measurable with those options.
So there you have it! That is our super comprehensive post about safe sunscreens! Do you have anything to add? Be sure to add it in the comments and we’re happy to add it to our post!
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