Choosing the right sunscreen can be a difficult task. When buying sun protection products, consumers may be confused because of the constant changes and updates in the sunscreen industry. Every year, hundreds of new products hit the shelves and many customers are not able to keep up with the latest health updates regarding sun protection.
A recent report by the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) may help you make a better decision when purchasing your sunscreen for the 2011 summer season.
The results of this report recommend a mere 20 percent of the 600-plus beach and sport sunscreens evaluated during the research. To score high marks in the rankings, a product must be effective with adequately protect skin from both UVA (which causes premature aging, skin cancer, and other skin damage) and UVB (which causes sunburn) rays. It must also be safe, meaning free of potentially harmful chemicals.
The 2011 “products to avoid list” contains some popular brands generally found in pharmacies and large chain stores.
Consumers should watch out for two specific ingredients: oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A. Oxybenzone is a concern because it penetrates the skin, is associated with allergic reactions, and is a potential hormone disruptor. Retinyl palmitate may not be safe when exposed to sunlight.
So, play safe and choose natural sunscreen products made with natural ingredients and without harmful chemicals.
Additionally, sunscreen is a just a part of proper sun care and you should follow the basic protective steps for sun exposure: limit your time outside in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are most intense, drink plenty of water or juices, wear hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
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