Choosing the right sunscreen for your family

Are we choosing the right sunscreen for our kids and family? The choice shouldn’t be so difficult. The question also arises how passionately we read the sunscreen labels or go basically by the reviews or the price. It is crucial to understand how the specific components of sunscreen block the harmful UV rays without causing any long-lasting damage to our bodies.

Oxybenzone (BP-3) and octinoxate (OMC) 

To begin with, let us recall the recent event when Florida key west and Hawaii banned sunscreen with Oxybenzone (BP-3) and octinoxate (OMC). The components were deemed harmful to marine animals and needed more investigation. 

The use of sunscreens has always been a matter of controversy. In a recent study, these components were not found harmful when applied topically because of their poor skin absorption. Such studies require a comprehensive approach to relay the information to the public. The progressive nature of science and ongoing clinical trials quickly changes the ranking and acceptance of these products. Therefore, it is vital to decide when choosing the right product for our family’s health. A dilemma exists when it comes to pediatric photoprotection. However, every decision a family makes is recommended to be backed by science.

Why is protection necessary from the sun?

It is essential to protect kids and youths under the age of 20 from the phytotoxic nature of UV rays that causes deadly skin cancer. It is accepted and backed up by the scientific community that sunscreens prevents us from melanoma. Researchers well prove the effectiveness of sunscreens. Not only is it essential to wear sunscreen when outside, but also it is essential to reapply after a regular interval. A study carried out by Australian researchers on youth engaged in outdoor sports proved how UV detection stickers help remind the kids to reapply the sunscreen when staying long in the outdoors.

Sunscreen and benzene

An amount of benzene greater than 2ppm is considered harmful. It is deemed to cause DNA damage, which can result in cancer of different kinds in humans. Therefore, finding a benzene component in sunscreen above this limit is flagged to be banned and recalled by FDA. Similarly, it is advised that parents stay away from the spray sunscreen because of its possibility of being inhaled. Benzene is commonly used as a solvent in industries. Valisure recommends choosing the sunscreen that does not have the benzene component. (Valisure does batch testing by asking consumers to send sunscreen and sun care products).

More importantly, it is crucial to understand that the benefits of sunscreen surpass the danger of getting cancer and melanoma. Therefore it is not advised to stop using sunscreen but instead, make the decision wisely.

Picking the right sunscreen

  • There are many sunscreens without the benzene component. The list of FDA-approved sunscreens is –
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen,
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Gentle Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60,
  • CVS Health, etc.

Sunscreens should be marked to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are more penetrative and cause premature aging; conversely, UVB rays are responsible for causing superficial sunburns.

The complete list of sunscreens that were found safe by Valisure can be found here.

  • Using the mineral sunscreen as Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, Supergoop! 
  • Do not forget to protect your lips by using a lip balm with an SPF minimum of 30 or higher.
  • It is encouraged to wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, wide-brim hats, rashguards with UPF 50 or higher. 
  • When choosing hats, it is recommended to wear one that provides shade to your face, neck, and ears. It is not advised to wear a straw hat, but instead, invest in a dark-colored canvas hat that offers more UV protection.
  • Rashguards help protect the kid’s chest from getting sunburn, rashes (sun and thermal) and are helpful in all kinds of activities, including water sports. Choose dark clothes with woven fabric that protect more from the sun as compared to light-colored fabrics. Some dresses are specifically marked to protect from UV rays.
  • According to CDC, the UV rays are most robust between 9 am and 3 pm and therefore require sun protection. In addition to wearing protective clothing, it is also essential to wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from the harmful sun rays. Sunglasses also reduce the risk of getting cataracts.
  • It is recommended that the little kids carry outdoor activities in the shaded areas rather than the direct sun.
  • Notably, it is advised to stay away from reflective surfaces such as water and sand. It increases the risk of getting sunburns.

In the end, it is you, you, and your family. Choose wisely and protect your family not only during the summer but all year round, even during the cloudy days.

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