It’s that time of year! Memorial day weekend is upon us and June is right around the bend! With warmer days, summer sun and school break – we will be hitting the pool, beach, lake, river, backyard in a frenzy to lap up some Vitamin D and get that summer glow. But before we jump in – let’s talk about sun safety. It is no joke that melanoma and other skin cancers have been on the rise in the past 30 years. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Let’s also add to the fear factor about the dangers of certain sunscreens, currently on the market. They contain bad ingredients that can cause hormonal issues and worse, cancer. They commonly include ingredients to aid absorption and adhere to skin. These chemicals are then absorbed into the body and can be measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples.
Lucky for you – we at Pink Kale love doing our homework and have compiled a list of sun safety tips, as well as our top 10 safe and effective sunscreens (with help from the fantastic EWG).
Here we go:
- If it’s 100 SPF, I’m covered right? Any SPF higher than 50, is probably just blowing smoke up your – you know what. By preventing sunburn, sunscreens with very high SPFs can create a false sense of security, prompting folks to stay out in the sun longer and giving them a higher risk of exposure. Stick to SPF’s over 30 and under 50 and you will be covered. An SPF of 15 covers your about 93% and an SPF of 50 covers you 97% – not that big a difference.
- Don’t just forget about it! Reapplying your sunscreen is extremely important. And the amount you use matters just as much. You should be hitting half that bottle on a really hot summer day in the sun. Apply fully every 2 hours (and sooner if you have been swimming or sweating).
- Don’t be lazy! Not hitting all those hard to reach places, won’t just give you a sunburn in an inconvenient spot, it might also get you melanoma down the road. Top of the ears for short hair folks (read: guys) and back of legs/feet for us all are hot spots. As well as lips and noses. These places should be hit first and hit hard.
- Don’t wait! The time you put your sunscreen on matters. Apply sunscreen 30 mins before hitting the sun, as it needs that time to become absorbed and ultimately become effective. Exceptions are products containing zinc oxide – they work right away blocking the UVA/UVB rays.
- Know your Ultraviolets. UVA and UVB are equally important as they both penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. Look for a broad spectrum screen.
- Hit the shade and cover up. Clothing and limited sun exposure is better than anything else. Remember to take breaks in the shade as well as wearing hats and long sleeves. There are some fashionable ways to do this! And for all those parents out there – make sure your little ones are covered while still having fun in the sun. Trust us, even if it’s annoying for them today, it will be way better for them in the long run.
And the 10 best sunscreens that scored a 1 by EWG.
10. Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream, $14