Beachy vacations are a summertime must, and so is slathering up with sunscreen. We wanted to know which sunscreens work best, which are dangerous to our health, and what other options exist for protection agains harsh UVB and UVA rays.
In a recent Consumer Reports Health study, two products stood out among the rest—Target’s “Up & Up” Sport SPF-30 and Equate Baby SPF-50. Each of these provided excellent protection against UVB rays, and “very good” protection against UVA radiation, which can cause slightly more harm to our skin due to deeper-penetrating rays. In addition, they’re also both devoid of retinyl palmitate, a antioxidant that animal studies have linked to increased risk of skin cancer. (Yes, a sunscreen that could potentially lead to skin cancer!) The shocking truth is, most sunscreens contain this ingredient, along with others known to cause adverse health effects in animal studies, like oxybenzone, nanoscale zinc oxide and titanium oxide.
What a mouthful, huh?
Consumers, however, shouldn’t rule out natural sunscreens made by brands like Aveeno, California Baby, Soleo Organics and UV Natural, most of which can be picked up at your local drugstore.
In addition, there are extra steps that can minimize your exposure to the sun. Consider a broad-brimmed hat, tightly-woven clothing or an umbrella to stick in the sand. Better yet, pop a tent for adults or kids to crawl into when they need a break. Most importantly, if possible, avoid being outside during the mid-day hours, when the sun is directly overhead and its rays are the strongest. For more information, Consumer Reports Health.
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