July 6, 2010

To grease up or not is summer's hot question

fun in pool

Sun, water and kids of all ages creates a perfect summer day.
I stand out at any outdoor outing from June through mid-September. Just look for the woman covered from head to toe and in the shade, my attempt to avoid the damaging rays of the sun.

Some of my prescriptions carry warnings about exposure to the sun. Plus, as someone who overindulged in the sun as a child and teenager and has already had some sun-related skin issues, I don't like to tempt fate.

I prefer the clothing method over sunscreen when I can for many reasons, including I often forget to reapply sunscreen and I don't like the feel of it on my skin. Today, my husband shared a link that reinforces some of my ideas: Does sunscreen cause cancer?

Here are some highlights from the Ask Pablo blog post:

  • More is not better as most sunscreens rated above SPF 55 offer 1-2% more sunburn rays than an SPF 30 rated sunscreen. They offer a false sense of protection.
  • Sunscreen loses its effectiveness so replace it when the expiration date pases.
  • Check the ingredients as some are known to "cause cancer. (I've got "cause cancer" in quotes as I'm not convinced we really know why some of us get cancer and some don't.)
  • Look for sunscreens with avobenzone, Mexoryl, titanium dioxide, and zinc for UVA coverage. The Environmental Working Group recommends these sunscreens. Alba Botanical and Beyond Coastal top the lists.
  • Limit time out in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm and  stay in the shade.
  • The best sunscreen is the kind you wear. Outdoor clothing manufacturers are producing SPF-rated clothing to keep you comfortable and sunburn free.
  • If you already have sunscreen check a nifty little database :to see how yours is rated.
  • When you buy sunscreen follow Environmental Working Group's list of recommended sunscreens.
You can read the entire The Bottom Line on Sunscreens from the Environmental Working Group. The government Food and Drug Administration site also provides sun precautions.

I'm heading out on the web to see about replacing some of my clothing.


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