Sunscreen Myths and Facts
First of all, misleading SPF labeling.
Did you know that SPF 55 is about 2% more protective than SPF 30? Don't let the high number give you a false sense of security especially as some of the ingredients of that high SPF product can be harmful to you health in other ways.
Most sunscreens block UVB but not all block UVA rays which causes premature aging of the skin and is also linked to skin cancer. SPF is related to UVB not UVA!! That means that you may be preventing the burn but not the cancer with that high SPF sunscreen.
The following common sunscreen chemicals are known endocrine interrupters and some have been linked to certain cancers.
So what do you do? The sun has been around for some time folks and we can stand to get a little without sunscreen! We have evolved with it. Yes, some rays are getting through that we have not evolved with due to industrialization so if you have to be in the sun it's best use a physical blocker such as a hat and tightly woven clothes. A rash guard for large areas of skin in order to limit the areas you have to slather on the skin is also a great idea. When you use a sunscreen try to choose mineral based formulations such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Only put sunscreen on areas that are going to be exposed to limit how much you or your child is going to absorb into their skin. Remember that the skin is an absorbing organ. A lot of the substances above can be found in the urine later on from someone applying it to their skin. It gets into your entire body! Also, avoid inhalation of spray sunscreens.
Best Option: A shirt, hat and use of a full spectrum (UVA and UVB) mineral based blocker.
Worst Option: A chemical based high SPF on the entire body.
You and your kids will look a little like ghosts with all that physical blocker but at least your not filling your system with chemicals!
Yours in Health,
Posted In: Dr. Darrell's Blog