There has been a ton of controversy about sunscreens lately, with studies on various sunscreens, and science and pseudoscience being quoted.
Recent media headlines proclaimed something like this: “Sunscreen chemicals found in the found in the blood after 3 days of use. ” Then….when I read the study, they had 12 volunteers slather the sunscreen over 75% of their body four times a day for three days. Who actually does that? No one!
The 5 most important things to know about sunscreen:
- Think zinc. It’s the only sunscreen ingredient that is natural to our bodies and blocks BOTH UVA and UVB rays almost completely.
- You want high percentages of zinc, or zinc plus titanium. Depending on how much you’re outside, find sunscreens between 9-22% with the two combined. For example, when you look at the “actives” total the percents of zinc and titanium and that should equal between 9 to 22 percent.
- To find the “actives” turn the tube over, and they are in a separate section from the rest of the ingredients.
- Protective clothing and hats ARE a sunscreen.
- Start your day by applying sunscreen first thing. Then reapply as needed calibrated to your climate, outdoor time, activity and sweating.
Even better, the mineral sunscreens (zinc & titanium), don’t harm the environment and are safe for coral reefs.
Some great zinc sunscreens to try:
- Image Prevention + Daily Moisturizer – untinted – for dry to normal skin (zinc 18%) SPF 30 (remember ….you don’t care about the SPF as long as it’s 30 or above.
- EltaMD Clear SPF 46 (zinc 9%) – good for acne and oily skin
- Dermaquest SheerZinc SPF 30 – tinted (zinc 18%) normal to dry skin. Tint isn’t too intense.
- Colorescience Powder SPF 50 Clear (zinc + titanium) greater than 40% – great as a second layer when sweating, swimming, hiking, reapplying. Is light and small.
- Trader Joes makes a 22% stick sunscreen which is small, and also nice for small areas like the nose & cheekbones. Will clog pores!!
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