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Choose Your Sunscreen Wisely

Thrive Carolinas / Health  / Choose Your Sunscreen Wisely

Choose Your Sunscreen Wisely

Summer has officially arrived along with more sunshine, increased outdoor activities, and anticipated trips to the beach and pool. 

The extra vitamin D is loaded with health benefits, but extra summer sunshine can come with the cost of excessive UVA and UVB exposure, skin damage, and hidden dangerous chemicals in sunscreen. While adjusting your time of day outside and staying in the shade are easy solutions, selecting a quality sunscreen that is both safe and effective is a much harder task.   There is no perfect sunscreen on the market, but there are certainly better options. Now is a great time to educate yourself on the best options for protecting your skin and your long-term health.  


The EWG has released its yearly guide to sunscreen (we are including the link for you here).  We encourage you to refer to this and make smart decisions about your products this summer.  We also encourage you to be educated about the products which you are using.  Out of the 1700 products reviewed in their recent analysis, only 25% passed the quality and safety standards.  This is alarming given the frequency we should be applying these products while under the sun’s harmful rays. One of the most dangerous chemicals is oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting chemical associated with tumors and considered unsafe for usage. These harmful chemicals are absorbed quickly through the skin and can stay in the bloodstream for up to three weeks. 

Look for products with zinc oxide as a safer skin protectant.  

You also need to consider the level of protection you are getting from sunscreen. The first line of defense should be preventive measures such as avoiding peak exposure hours, seeking shade, and wearing SPF fabrics.  Sunscreen application can help reduce but not eliminate exposure to UVA and UVB rays.  While excess UVB exposure results more often in sunburn, UVA exposure is more concerning.  UVA light exposure accelerates skin aging, disrupts immune function, and promotes cellular changes associated with skin cancers. 

The average US sunscreen allows about three times more UVA rays to transfer through the skin as compared to European sunscreens.  This is yet another alarming fact about our sunscreens and more reason to expand your knowledge and protective measures for your skin health.  

While there is no perfect sunscreen, there are certainly better options!  Make it a goal this summer to educate yourself about sun protection and safe sunscreens.  

Hopefully, you can feel more confident about what you place in your shopping cart and on your skin.  


Thrive Carolinas

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