How to Choose a Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen

Posted in: Chemical Education
By Naturepedic Team
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How to Choose a Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen

Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to break out the beach towels and swimsuits for fun in the sun. But make sure you consider sun safety in your summer planning too. Most sunscreens are made with toxic chemical ingredients that you’d really rather avoid. Luckily there are ways to stay safe in the summer sun that don’t involve using harmful chemicals. Read on to find out how to limit your sun exposure and shop for a nontoxic sunscreen that’s healthier for your body.

Dress For The Sun

When you’re preparing for a day on the beach, camping, or outdoors this summer, dress for the sun. Wear a hat and long sleeves and pants if possible (we know it’s hot, so look for comfortable, breathable fabrics that keep you cool - but you want a tight knit to maximize protection). Children and adults can wear long-sleeved swimsuits or rash guards to help reduce sun exposure. Remember that sunglasses aren’t just a fashionable addition to your wardrobe or only used while driving - they protect your eyes from the sun.

Stay In The Shade

If you have natural shade available from trees, take advantage of it! Otherwise plan to use an umbrella or canopy to provide time in the shade. This article from SkinCancer.org highlights different sources of shade and has helpful advice to find the right type of shade for your best protection.

Schedule Around The Sun

The sun is the highest (and UV radiation greatest) between 10am and 4pm. Since summer days are so long, you can easily work around this timeframe to plan morning or late afternoon activities to reduce your sun exposure. You’ll get the added bonus of avoiding the busiest times at the beach or attractions, so you should see shorter lines and more space to yourself!

Check The Weather

Before you head outside for the day, check the weather and UV index to see how much sun exposure you’ll be dealing with. Even if you’re in the shade or wearing clothes, a bright and sunny day can still leave you sunburned. Cloud cover is no reason to avoid your sun safety tips, either, as the sunlight will still reach you and can burn you even if you don’t feel as hot.

Choose A Nontoxic Sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group, well known for its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce to buy organic, as well as its “Skin Deep” database for safer cosmetics and home products, publishes an annual sunscreen guide to help you select a safer sunscreen made without harmful chemicals.

In EWG’s Top Sun Safety Tips, they advise people to avoid:

- High SPF Sunscreen: People tend to misuse them and think they can go longer between applications, when really their additional sun protection is negligible. Stick to an SPF from 15-50 based on your skin tone and anticipated sun exposure, and reapply frequently!

- Vitamin A: Studies show that topical application of this vitamin with creams, lotions, and sunscreen can have negative health effects such as tumors and lesions. Play it safe and avoid this unnecessary ingredient.

- Oxybenzone: This ingredient is a synthetic estrogen that can affect your natural hormones.

- Insect Repellant Sunscreen: Don’t buy pre-mixed products that combine sun protection and insect repellant. If you need bug spray, apply it before your sunscreen separately.

- Spray Sunscreens: They’re more convenient to apply (no hands, and no help needed for the hard to reach spots) and very popular, but aerosol spray sunscreens pollute the air and can affect your respiratory health.

So what’s a summer enthusiast to do? Don’t fret, there’s good news coming your way! You can safely avoid problem ingredients by choosing a safer nontoxic sunscreen recommended by EWG’s 2017 Guide to Sunscreens. They even break out the best and worst kids sunscreens so you can check what you have against their list to ensure safety.

Check their list for some of our favorite brands, including:

- Babyganics

- Badger

- Beautycounter

- California Baby

Have Fun in the Sun

We hope you’re stocking up on your favorite non-toxic sunscreen and a new pair of shades for your summer fun.

3 years ago
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How to Choose a Nontoxic Summer Sunscreen

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