Health And Well-Being

Reading Sunscreen Labels Can Save Your Family’s Health


(NAPSI)—Studies show that parents need to exercise caution when choosing the right sunscreen for their kids.

The Surprising Problem

Many parents might be shocked to find that approximately 70 percent of sunscreens—even those labeled kid-friendly—contain harmful chemicals, the most common of which are oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone and octocrylene.

Considered toxic to humans, they’ve been banned in Hawaii and they can kill coral reefs. “Imagine what they can do to children,” says Lisa Palmer, mother of two and co-founder of a reef-friendly mineral sunscreen and skincare line.

Compared to chemical lotions, chemical spray-on sunscreens may be even worse. They can be just as toxic, the fumes linger in the air and you can inhale them, and they’re often flammable. Whether you use spray or lotion, within 20 minutes of applying chemical sunscreen, the toxins enter the bloodstream, are detected in urine, have been known to cause cancer and have been shown to potentially result in kidney and liver dysfunction, and nervous system disorders.

That said, you can’t just expose your kids to dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, either.

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, and inflammations of the eye, points out the World Health Organization, adding a health issue of growing concern is that UV radiation can reduce the effectiveness of the human immune system.

How To Save The Skin You’re In

“Evidence shows that when kids use sunscreen, we reduce their chances of getting melanoma later in life by 40 percent,” says Palmer. “Using the right sunscreen without any chemicals is the safest thing to do. Many common sunscreen brands claim to be mineral-based, but they still contain avobenzone, a derivative of oxybenzone, which is used as a stabilizer, making the sunscreen just as harmful.”

The Environmental Working Group’s website ranks sunscreens so you can see if the one your family uses is safe. TropicSport, made from non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, key to shielding the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, is at the top. The sunscreen comes in a non-goopy formula that doesn’t leave a ghostly white glow.

For best protection from UV rays, use sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather or time of year, apply it 30 minutes before you go out and renew it every two hours and after swimming.

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