Photo courtesy of Kelly Sue at Flickr.com.
For people with fair skin, it’s a rough, sunny world out there. Sunburn can strike anywhere – at the beach, in the park, even in the car during the daily commute. Instead of living in fear of sunlight, most people avoid sunburn by lathering on sunscreen and reapplying it regularly.
Unfortunately, sunscreen can cause unexpected problems. There is increasing evidence that chemicals found in sunscreen are partly responsible for bleaching coral reefs. Parabens, cinnamates, benzophenones and camphor derivatives wash off and upset the balance of the ocean. So, when tourists travel to see coral reefs, they may inadvertently be doing harm to the natural beauty that attracted their attention.
Effective alternatives are now available. We carry two earth-friendly sunscreen lotions that are featured on the Environmental Working Group’s Top Ten List. These sunscreens came out on top after the EWG tested more than 900 different sunscreen brands:
Only 15% of 952 products analyzed met EWG’s criteria for safety and effectiveness, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.
We carry one product formulated for adults, and another tailored to young children. The UV Natural Adult Sunscreen comes in 5.29 oz bottles for $29.99. Those bottles are easy to fit in purses or beach bags so that you have sun protection handy on the go. We also carry 7 oz bottles of UV Natural Baby Sunscreen. This baby lotion is designed to be irritant free, and especially gentle on children’s skin.
There are many health benefits to using effective, natural sunscreens. Some chemicals found in other sunscreens have unstable components that break down in sunlight (yes, in sunlight) and form dangerous free radicals. Those sunscreens can block UVB radiation and prevent sunburns while still causing cancer! Some chemicals found in sunscreen may also disrupt sexual function by mimicking hormones within our bodies:
It now appears that many heavily-used chemical sunscreens may actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating properties. And more insidiously, many commonly used sunscreen chemicals have strong estrogenic actions that may cause serious problems in sexual development and adult sexual function, and may further increase cancer risks.
If lotions aren’t your thing, protective clothes are another way to avoid sunburn. Different weave patterns and cloths offer varying degrees of protection, so what you need to look for is the “Ultraviolet Protection Factor” rating. UPF is similar to SPF (the number sunscreens are judged by). UPF measures how much UV light gets through the cloth. The higher the number, the better a piece of clothing is at blocking harmful radiation.
UPF 25 blocks 96% of UV light
UPF 40 blocks 97.5% of UVA and UVB
UPF 50+ (the maximum rating) blocks more than 98% of all UV
You can also add an extra layer of clothing or combine clothing and sunscreen to add extra sun protection. And don’t forget the sun protecting powers of a sturdy umbrella!