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Sunscreens to Avoid and Safer Sunscreens

 By reading this article at yahoo, I found this 2011 sunscreen guide list of sunscreens to avoid and some that are considered safer from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

EWG's Sunscreens to Avoid:

Aveeno Active Naturals Hydrosport Sunblock Spray, SPF 85
Aveeno Sunblock Spray, Continuous Protection, SPF 70
Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Sunscreen, SPF 110
Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Sunscreen, SPF 85
Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
Banana Boat Ultra Defense UltraMist Sunscreen Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 85
CVSExtreme Sport Clear Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
CVS Sheer Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunblock Lotion, Body Mist, SPF 70
Neutrogena Spectrum+ Sunblock Spray, SPF 100
Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock Lotion, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock Lotion, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Spray, SPF 70
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray, SPF 85+
Walgreens Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen, SPF 70

Safer, Affordable Sunscreens:

Alba Botanica Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Fragrance Free, SPF 30
Alba Botanical Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Kids, SPF 30
Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Saving Face Sunscreen, SPF 15
All Terrain Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen, SPF 30
BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+
Carribean Solutions Natural/Biodegradable SolGuard, SPF 25
Carribean Solutions Sol Kid Kare Natural Sunscreen, SPF 25
Earth's Best: Sunblock Mineral Based, SPF 30+
Goddess Garden Kids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Mineral Natural Sunblock, SPF 30
Johnson & Johnson's Baby Daily Face & Body Lotion, SPF 40
Mexitan Products Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 and SPF 30
MelanSol Natural Sunscreen for Face and Body, SPF 25
Nature's Gate Mineral Sportblock, SPF 20
Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff, SPF 30
Solbar Zinc Protection Cream, SPF 38
Sunbow Dora the Explorer Pink Sunscreen, SPF 30
Tropical Sands All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 50 and SPF 30
Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 30
Vanicream Sunscreen Sport, SPF 35

more best list of sunscreens from EWG

Shop for Alba sunscreens

In particular the EWG says avoid products containing oxybenzone and vitamin A. Oxybenzone is a concern because it penetrates the skin, is associated with allergic reactions, and is a potential hormone disruptor. Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A that may not be safe when exposed to sunlight. EWG recommends choosing products with one of these ingredients instead: zinc, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX.

Remember doctors especially doctors who preach preventive healthcare are saying that it's important to get some sun every day for vitamin D. Some say it's only necessary to get 10 minutes a day depending on your skin tone, and the time of the year. So assume if you are starting to burn you are outside too long in the sun, and prepare appropriately. The best sunscreen is always going to be clothing. Wear a hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible during the summer.

Search for Sunscreens

There were some interesting things the EWG site also pointed out about sunscreens.

The Food and Drug Administration’s 2007 draft sunscreen safety regulations say: “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” (FDA 2007). The International Agency for Research on Cancer agrees. IARC recommends clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation and writes that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun” (IARC 2001a). Read more from their site.

Some researchers have detected an increased risk of melanoma among sunscreen users. No one knows the cause, but scientists speculate that sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and absorb more radiation overall, or that free radicals released as sunscreen chemicals break down in sunlight may play a role.

In 2007 the FDA published draft regulations that would prohibit companies from labeling sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than “SPF 50+.” The agency wrote that higher values were “inherently misleading,” given that “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful…” (FDA 2007). Scientists are also worried that high-SPF products may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns (a late, key warning of overexposure) while upping the risks of other kinds of skin damage.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that sunshine serves a critical function in the body that sunscreen appears to inhibit — production of vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D in the body is sunshine, and the compound is enormously important to health – it strengthens bones and the immune system, reduces the risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers) and regulates at least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body (Mead 2008). more from their site

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