First, we'll give you a little rundown on the topic.
Second, we will recommend a great nontoxic sunscreen!
Take a look at the different types of ultraviolet light, UVA and UVB.
UVA waves are fairly constant during the day and throughout the year. They can pass through a cloudy day and penetrate your skin deeply causing free radicals and painful sunburn.
UVB waves are low in the morning and evening and peak at midday. They are the waves that are responsible for helping your skin produce Vitamin D.
Experts say the best way to get your Vitamin D but stay safe is to have limited sun exposure during the strong mid day sun everyday. This means about 10 to 20 minutes of strong sunlight in order for your skin to take in the necessary UV rays to produce Vitamin D. After your 20 minutes in the sun stay in the shade for the rest of the day or cover your skin with clothes. This is the ideal for the most beneficial and safe sun exposure but is not always possible.
Busy families are out at the beach all day or playing in the pool or out at baseball games - places where there may not be ample shade in the ideal places and most of us don't want to be covered from head to toe in clothing on a hot day. So almost all of us need protection from sunscreens from time to time. So how do you pick a safe one?
First you need one that protects again UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are "good" but only in moderation, they can also cause free radicals with excess exposure.
ABSORB OR BLOCK?
There are two kinds of sunscreens: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens ABSORB the UV radiation. Physical ones block UVA/UVB radiation by reflecting the rays/physically blocking them.
YIKES! Second, there is a LONG list of chemicals commonly found in the "chemical" sunscreens that can be toxic - check your sunscreen bottles and if they contain any of these chemicals you might want to consider tossing them:
Para amino benzoic acid
Third, take a look at the other kind of sunscreen: PHYSICAL sunscreen. This is a safer kind of sunscreen that is not made from chemicals but rather minerals. Common minerals are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These minerals are great for keeping out the suns harmful rays but may be harmful to you if they are broken down into very small particles called nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are particles so small that they can actually penetrate the skin and get into the body where they can attack DNA and cause all sorts of damage. Sunscreen manufacturers started using nanoparticles in their products because it helped the sunscreen to rub in quicker (think spray sunscreens) and avoided that white residue. Sunscreens without nanoparticles may take an extra minute or 2 to rub in but it's well worth it to avoid the toxicity.
OK, so just where do we find sunscreen that fits all of these requirements?
We're so glad you asked! Let us introduce you to Jenn Miller,