summer is on it’s way! For someone who lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest, the mere idea of sunshine couldn’t make me happier. In addition to smiles and better running weather, more sun also means more sunscreen. All summer long, I lather generous amounts on myself, my kids, and even my husband (If he will let me). Recently, I heard a special report on oxybenzone, a chemical found in almost all leading brands of sunscreen. It blocks UVB rays and prevents sunburn, but it has also been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cell damage, and low birth weight. In addition, it does nothing to block harmful UVA rays. UVA radiation hastens the progression of skin cancer, suppresses the immune system, and ages the skin over time. After hearing the report, I quickly checked the 3 tubes of sunscreen that I could easily access in my house, and sure enough… they all contained oxybenzone. Then, I ran to my car to check a 4th tube I knew I had stashed in the glove box…it also contained oxybenzone. Then, I did what any normal human being would do... I loaded my kids in their car seats, got in my car, and drove to Wal-Mart to buy some new sunscreen.
Anyway, if you are like me and want a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays but don’t want to be contaminated by a chemical that could have harmful long-term health effects, look for a sunscreen that contains the active ingredient Zinc Oxide and use an SPF of at least 30. Be warned, this isn’t easy to find. I looked through every spray, bottle, and tube around the MASSIVE sunscreen island in Wal-Mart and could only find 1 small tube that contained zinc. It may be easier to order online or find at a local pharmacy. And, remember...it's better to run before 10am and after 4pm, if possible.
Here’s a list of the Top Ten Sunscreens (according to the Environmental Working Group):
1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock, SPF 30
2. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+
4. Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum
6. Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40
7. Vanicream Sunscreen, SPF 35
8. UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
9. Sun Science Sport Formula, SPF 30
10. Soleo Organics Sunscreen all natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Sunscreen business aside, is anyone else excited for sunny, warmer days!?