Question: What sunscreen should I use on my family?
Answer: As we head into the summer months, it’s important to think about protecting ourselves and our children from the sun…or is it? The sun provides UVA rays (the bad rays that increase cancerous growth), UVB rays (the good rays that stimulate our bodies to make Vitamin D, but with overexposure can also be damaging to the skin) and UVC rays (these rays are not harmful to the skin). Most sunscreens on the market protect us from UVB rays and not UVA rays. Many sunscreens are filled with harmful chemicals that can quickly soak into the skin and be metabolized by the body. Common sunscreen ingredients like benzopheonone, oxybenzone, ethylhexly-p-methoxycinnimate, padimate-o, and octyl dimethyl PABA have been shown to be carcinogenic—by the way, all of them have been banned from use in Europe since 1997!
So what should you do when it comes to sun exposure and sunscreen? First, go ahead and get out in the sun, give your body the chance to make some Vitamin D! Be sure to limit your exposure, remembering that the sun is most powerful between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Use hats, light clothes, and umbrellas as your “sunscreen” as much as possible. When sunscreen is necessary, find one that is natural, mineral based, non-toxic, preservative-free, bio-degradable, and free of the chemicals listed above; your local health food store would be a good place to start your search. Now get out there and enjoy the sun!
Guest Article provided by Dr. Heather Yost, DACCP. For more information, contact her at YostFamilyChiropractic.com or 515-278-YOST (9678).