The sun is out in full force these days. Around here we went from winter to spring conditions in what seemed like a day! No longer are we thinking about how to shovel out from the over 46 inches of snow we saw in the Boulder area, but we are turning to the age old question of sun protection. I feel like I have to educate myself again every year!
It doesn’t have to be confusing what we put our skin and our little ones. Here is a Glossary of Terms to help get started:
- UVA: the rays that cause skin cancer
- UVB: the rays that are responsible for burns
- Mineral sunscreens: those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- EWG: Environmental Working Group is a consumer group that tests cosmetics, including sun screen to let the public know what’s safe and what’s not
- SPF: Sun protection factor which is a measurement of the UVB rays only [not UVA]
- Nanoparticles: EWG states that they are safe in lotion, but not in sprays because nanoparticles can get into your lungs and cause harm.
The most effective protection for UVA is zinc oxide, but it’s tough to put on the kids and leave your skin white and pasty looking. The reason this works so well is it that it reflects the sun and doesn’t allow penetration. But don’t be fooled by companies that use nanoparticles to get sheer coverage because these could be harmful. For more specific information on your sunscreens head to EWG’s Sunscreen Guide.
So What Should a Family To Do? The best thing to do is avoid the sun during the middle of the day. Find shade then and head outside early or late. If you cannot do that then avoid nanoparticles, and use mineral sunscreens. The most effective protection for UVA is zinc oxide, but it’s tough to put on the kids and leave your skin white and pasty looking. The reason this works so well is it that it reflects the sun and doesn’t allow penetration. If you and your kids can stand these sunscreens they are the best.
Delicious Living Magazine recommends the following sunscreen products:
- Badger SPF 34 Baby Sunscreen
- Goddess Garden Sunny Body
- True Natural All Natural Tropical Tan Self Tanner
You can find Delicious Living’s full article on sunscreens here.