Summer's here and we all want to avoid sunburn and skin cancer. So just slather on sunscreen, right?
Well, not just any sunscreen. Search EWG's sunscreen safety database to find out what's safest and most effective for you and your family.
There are no federal sunscreen safety standards in the U.S., even though the FDA has been drafting them for the past 29 years. And did you know that SPF ratings only cover UVB rays, which cause burns, but not UVA rays, which raise skin cancer risk?
Environmental Working Group's sunscreen database is the result of 18 months of research, and they found that 84% of 783 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Find out what's safest and most effective for you, and especially for your kids' delicate skin. Then go have fun in the sun!
The popularity of the database has caused a huge spike in EWG's website traffic -- so check it out today, but be patient if it takes a minute to load. EWG is a small non-profit doing our best to meet the demand.
Dr. Zach's Comments:
- Many people don't realize that their sunscreens can cause just as much harm as good. Some of the "skincare" products on the market today are loaded with toxic chemicals that could very well be a more significant cause of skin cancer than the sun ever could be. The work done by the Environmental Working Group is a must read for any health conscious consumer. Check out the link above for more info.
- I know the next statement flies in the face of current health models out there, but I firmly believe that THE SUN DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER! It's the toxic chemical in your skin from "health" and beauty products, the environment, and our diets that cause cancer. The sun simply heats things up enough to speed up the chemical reaction (i.e. acts as a catalyst). By the way, I'm not alone in this idea. Many health experts out there adhere to the same idea.
- The best sunscreen is knowledge... knowing when enough sun is enough. Our skin and our body needs sun exposure to be healthy. We get the majority of our vitamin D from direct sunlight exposure, however sunscreen blocks the process of Vitamin D formation.
- Research shows that just 15 minutes on direct sunlight on your skin will give your body enough vitamin D for the day. The trouble is our clothes also hinder the process of vitamin D formation. If we want to get adequate sunlight exposure for vitamin D production, it has to be more than just our faces and hand seeing the sun.
- Why is vitamin D important? Last week we featured research showing the anti-cancer effects of vitamin D. In fact recent research shows that vitamin D plays a huge roll in keeping your body healthy and staving off disease.
- I only apply sunscreen to my skin and my children if I know we are going to be out in the sun and exposed for long periods of time (the beach, pool, etc). If I we are out playing in the yard or working in the garden, I do not apply sunscreen. I want all the vitamin D I can get.