Safe Low-Toxin Sunscreen Lotions

Sun screen may prevent sun burn and possible skin cancer.  However, what impact does it have on other aspects of our health?  In this post, I will explain why choosing a low-toxin suntan lotion matters, resources for finding the healthiest and most effective suntan lotion, and our family’s picks this year so you can have worry-free fun in the sun!

Why Low Toxin Sunscreen Matters

Humans are exposed to higher levels of toxins today than at any period of history.  We think of toxins causing cancer, which they do.  However, toxins also contribute to just about every chronic condition people experience today – even seemingly unrelated conditions such as obesity, autism, and depression.  We all carry a “toxic load” of one level or another.  So, we all need to seek ways to keep this load to a minimum because when our “toxic load” exceeds a certain level, we will experience disease.

According to the Environmental Working Group, sunscreen and other personal care products are produced with 10,500 unique chemical agents – some of which are carcinogens — toxic to the reproductive system (know anyone who has had trouble conceiving?), and known endocrine disruptors.  In the US, no health studies or pre-market testing are required for sunscreen and other personal care items/cosmetics.  By contrast, the European Union has banned hundreds of chemicals in cosmetics.

The Sunscreen Dilemma

Sun burns can cause cancer, yet most sunscreens contain carcinogenic substances!  In my opinion, the ideal solution to the sunscreen dilemma is to build a base tan so you no longer need suntan lotion.  Even the best sun tan lotions have some type of preservatives that are not ideal.  Plus, sun screen prevents us from absorbing the maximum levels of vitamin D which is an incredibly important factor in our health and longevity.  My son has a very high toxic load, so I like to avoid even the best skin care products when possible.  Fortunately, he has a dark complexion.  I experimented this summer with letting him play in the sun for increasingly long periods of time without sun screen.  I was thrilled to find that his dark skin is capable of tanning without burning.

However, many of us, including myself, will burn in the early summer without sunscreen.  So, how do you find the ideal sunscreen for you and your family?

How to Find Low Toxin Sunscreens

Check out the impressive app created by the Environmental Working Group.  They give each sun care product a hazard score ranging from low hazard (0 – 2) to moderate hazard (3-6) to high hazard (7 – 10).  The score also takes into account effectiveness and other factors.  Their phone app even allows you to scan in the bar code of a product while in the store to determine the product’s hazard rating.  Check it out at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/browse/SKIN_CARE_%28SUN%29/ or search the App Store for “Skin Deep”.

Our Family’s Picks

My husband is an analytical-type and loves to study and analyze products.  So, thanks to him researching our options, we have found products for our family that strike a balance between safety and cost effectiveness.

In his research, my husband quickly learned that stores like drug stores did not carry the low hazard products, so he spent a good hour studying the various sun screens at Whole Foods.  Ultimately, he found the sunscreens that were in the “low hazard” category then picked the ones on sale.  Here’s what we’re trying on this year’s trip to the beach:

    • Kiss My Face Obsessively Natural Kids Defense —  (It’s in a blue bottle – see front page of Kiss My Face website)
      • EWG Score – 2
      • More lotion-like consistency – easier to rub on
      • Dried a little white on skin
      • Unscented

 

Enjoy Your Summer!

Enjoying your time in the sun doesn’t have to be a toxic experience.  Exposure to the sun is healthy and fun so give your skin ample opportunities to take in the sun’s vitamin D rays without burning.  If you do need sunscreen, use the Environmental Working Group’s free app to find low hazard sunscreens to protect you from burning and allow you to have lots of FUN IN THE SUN!

Beth