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Is Your Sunscreen Safe (Posted On: Tuesday, July 06, 2010)

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July is off to a beautiful and sunny start. After a scorching Canada Day weekend, stocking up on sunscreen is probably on everyone’s To Do list! If you’re looking for safer sunscreen options for your family and yourself, take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide. Search your current brand, read up on unscreen ingredients (the good, the bad, and the yucky) and compare safety information on hundreds of different sunscreens

Sunscreen Essentials
Avoid sunscreens with an SPF over 50. SPF 100 (yes, it’s available) sounds great in theory, but in reality an ultra high SPF has the potential to cause you more harm than good. While a high SPF allows you to stay in the sun much longer without experiencing sunburn, the extended duration of sun exposure allows for other forms of skin damage to take place. Sunburn is a visible sign of overexposure, while cancerous DNA damage occurs without warning and remains hidden from the naked eye. If you stick to SPF 30, you won’t be tempted to stay in the sun for the inappropriate amount of time afforded by a very high SPF.

Mineral vs. Chemical?
Mineral sunscreens provide broad spectrum UV protection. Translation: mineral sunscreens block both UVB and UVA radiation. Why does this matter? While
UVB radiation causes sunburn, UVA does not. But UVA radiation increases your risk of melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, so you don’t have to look like a lobster to get ‘burned’ by UVA! Many chemical sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection and primarily shield you from UVB. The solution: choose mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide that block out UVB and UVA.

Mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin and provide a stable physical barrier from UV radiation. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, are absorbed by the skin, are less stable, and can have ill effects on the whole body. For example, oxybenzone, a common chemical sunscreen, is absorbed by the body in large amounts and acts as a hormone disruptor. That’s why it’s not recommended for children. But people of all ages should play it safe and avoid risky chemicals when safer mineral options are available.

Get on your guy’s case!
While most women are mindful about wearing sunscreen, too many men are missing the boat on sun safety. Make sure the man in your life has SPF on his mind and on his skin, especially if he works and plays outside. Tip: Hook him up with mineral sunscreen in an
easy to apply stick format. No mess, no fuss, and NO excuses, gentlemen!

You need a little sun.
When you wear sunscreen, your body can’t produce vitamin D. A few minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day is recommended for this purpose. So many options. Visit this site to get all the facts on safe sunscreen and find one that’s just right for you.

By Aranka Jones – ND
Aranka Jones is the Owner of Sakura Naturopathic Medical Spa

Feel good. Look good. Do it naturally at Sakura Naturopathic Medical Spa, where natural medicine meets natural beauty in the heart of downtown Collingwood. As a naturopathic clinic and organic day spa serving the Southern Georgian Bay region, we offer a natural, sustainable and eco-friendly approach to looking and feeling your very best. At Sakura Naturopathic Medical Spa, our skilled professionals treat the underlying cause of your skin conditions and health concerns with safe and effective natural therapies. We invite you to experience our unique fusion of naturopathic care and holistic aesthetics and look forward to serving you.

21 Simcoe Street, Collingwood ON
T: 705.293.0828
Health in Full Bloom


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