Sunscreen - either you love it or you hate it or maybe you just don't know which ones are safe or what to buy?
photo courtesy of Photo8
"Why all the sunscreen controversy?"
Some of the debate centers around ingredients used in all sunscreen lotions.
According to the Environmental Working Group common chemicals found in these lotions and creams could cause health concerns.
Free radicals released by some products can cause skin damage.
Other products cause allergic reactions or may disrupt your hormone functions.
And some new products are using nanoparticles which are so small that they can penetrate the skin. The technology is so new and testing has not been fully conducted.
Another piece of the debate is whether or not the product is doing what it claims to do. To be effective, sunscreen needs to block both UV A & UV B rays.
Not all products do that but they claim to. There is no guideline preventing manufacturers from making false claims like "full protection, all day."
In addition, to be effective, sunscreen needs to stay stable once exposed to sunlight. Some products actually breakdown when exposed to the sun - kind of defeats the purpose, wouldn't you say?
Studies found that some ingredients broke down in a matter of minutes while others took a few hours.
So what should you use? The Environmental Working Group offers a great list of what to buy and what to avoid.American Academy of Dermatology website.
As the amount of UV radiation coming through the atmosphere continues to increase from year to year, it is more and more important to protect ourselves from skin damage.
However, as in anything there is a balance. I am sure you have heard of recent studies about sunshine and Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential in helping our bodies guard against cancer. One of the chief sources of Vitamin D is sunshine!
Many experts are now saying that those who live in northern climates should go out in the sun regularly for short periods of time without sun protection for this reason!
Balance seems to be the best principle in many aspects of life!
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