Sunscreen 101

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We all know the value and importance of wearing sunscreen (surely you have seen the viral video, How the Sun Sees You? It changed the way I think about sunscreen and my skin), but do you know what‘s in your sunscreen? Sunscreens contain some of the most toxic chemicals of any skin-care or body product. And if we use sunscreen daily, sometimes several times a day, we are exposing ourselves and our children to these chemicals on a regular basis.

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Environmental Working Group’s guide to sunscreen. It’s an online tool where you can type in the name of your sunscreen and it rates the health concerns of the chemicals in the sunscreen as well as the UVB/UVA balance (here’s more info on UVA and UVB). And, it even suggests the best sunscreens for different purposes (daily moisturizers, beach and sport sunscreens, and even the worst sunscreens you could use), It also lists where you can buy each sunscreen online.IMG_0213

However, sunscreen is expensive! Especially the chemical-free ones. We have found some great deals on sunscreen at the end of the summer in our local health-food store and always stock up for the next year, so keep your eyes open as fall approaches. But in the meantime, Costco carries the Honest brand of sunscreen at a huge discount (cheaper than the chemically name-brands from our local pharmacy!). Amazon can be a great source for cheap natural sunscreens. And, if you are so inclined, here is a recipe for you to make your own sunscreen, although you can keep it really simple and use powdered zinc oxide and a lotion (the recipe linked above has a ratio of zinc powder to lotion to gain a particular SPF).

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