I’m not a vampire but I avoid the sun like one. I’m fanatical about protecting my skin from the sun…now. Sadly, I baked, burned and blistered my way through much of my childhood which my skin is paying for today.
I had a melanoma removed from the back of my leg many years ago which was my wake up call to get serious about protecting my skin. In addition to large hats and parasols, I wear several sunscreens every day, rain or shine.
Each year I read the reports published by the Environmental Workers Group because I want to know which sunscreens are the safest and most effective. The EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. They review existing data about exposure and toxicity for the most commonly used sunscreen chemicals and have found the most troubling is oxybenzone.
In 2008 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 97% of Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. That’s disturbing because it continues to be a leading chemical in our sunscreens today. You might want to check yours.
Sunscreen in America has been regulated by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug since 1978. When they began to consider sunscreen safety, they simply grandfathered in many active ingredients without reviewing their potential hazards. They’ve just recently decided the only sunscreens they can deem safe and effective for our use are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Isn’t that a little like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped?
Considering skin cancer is the most common human cancer and more than one million are diagnosed with one form of it each year, we need access to reliable sunscreens that don’t pose a health risk themselves.
My holy grails of sunscreen haven’t changed much over the last few years. I stick with physical sunscreens which sit on the surface of my skin.
Mineral sunscreen options
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
What’s in your sunscreen?
Which is your favorite?