We all try to make the best decisions for our children. The right amount of sleep, vegetables on their plates, activities that are energizing for their minds and bodies and loads of love.
When they are playing outside, at the pool or they are at the beach we also reach for sunscreen.
For decades now the medical community has told us we need to use sunscreen as a tool for preventing skin cancer. I would never…ever disagree with this recommendation especially for children. Sun exposure has more damaging effects during youth and exposure is cumulative for their lifetime. The American Academy of Dermatology has published great recommendations for how to apply sunscreen properly and some basic characteristics everyone should look for when purchasing a sunscreen product.
Unfortunately, there is more to the story. Some sunscreen products have ingredients that can be harmful and can possibly accelerate the development of skin tumors and lesions. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just announced their list of the worst sunscreens for children. Unfortunately, you will see many very recognizable brands.
There are many alternatives to these kinds of products so please check labels carefully. Here are some brands that are rated by EWG as 1 the lowest hazard rating. Zinc is predominantly found in more natural product based formulas since this old sunscreen standby screens both UVA and UVB rays. Formulas have improved significantly over the years and many do not leave the telltale white residue on your skin when applied properly. They also tend to be not as drying for the skin and they don’t irritate the eyes like other more chemical based products.
Enjoy the summer sun and watch for those ingredients that may be more harmful than protective.