Sun Safety Tips

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While we love the lazy days of summer it does mean that we have to take precautions when we are spending time in the heat. For all of our beauty needs, we are sharing some sun safety tips from Topical BioMedics on how to safe and healthy while catching some rays and waves.

Beach Bag Essentials 

Whether you’re spending the day by the shore, lake, or pool, there are several must-have items for toting in your beach bag:

Lip balm: Lip protection is important to keep lips from getting chapped by the breeze or burned by the sun.

Water shoes or flip-flops: Choose shoes that can get wet and rinse off easily. If you are heading to a public pool that has rough cement, fresh water swimming with a rocky bottom or ocean it would be safer to opt for water shoes with rubber soles with a mesh covering to protect feet and toes. Shoes also help protect delicate feet from hot sand and asphalt, which can cause severe burns. Just remember, flip flops do not offer any support whatsoever and should not be worn when you’ll be walking around for any length of time.

Water bottle: Even though your family is spending the day at the beach, it is very important that you rehydrate throughout the day and having water handy will encourage your kids to replenish their fluids. Avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeine, soda, and other carbonated drinks, which are dehydrating.

Head protection: Whether you choose a floppy straw hat or a baseball cap, be sure to include hats for every member of your family in your beach bag. Remember that ears get sunburned too so choosing a wide-brimmed hat is extremely useful for keeping the sun off ears, face and head.

Eye protection: Sunglasses help shield the eyes from the harmful effects of the sun and also keep you from squinting, which can contribute to premature wrinkling. Be sure to choose sunglasses that have good UV protection.

Rethink sunscreen

It’s time to rethink your sunscreen as many readily available commercial brands contain toxins. Because your skin is your largest “organ,” these chemicals are readily absorbed directly into your body.

Some of the most common toxic chemicals typically found in sunscreen include:

  • Oxybenzone (linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer)
  • Retinyl palmitate (a carcinogen)
  • Octyl-methoxycinnamate (causes oxidation damage to skin, which ages the face)
  • Butyl-Methdiebenzoylmethane (releases free radicals into the body)
  • Benzophenone 2 (BP2) (decreases the function of the thyroid)

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a scientist whose book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, documents the serious and even life-threatening dangers sunscreens pose not only to people but to our planet. Dr. Plourde emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and offers proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with sunscreen use over a 30-year period. As far as the environmental impact, Dr. Plourde notes that, “in areas where there has been much exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

According to the Environmental Working Group, the best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt because there are no chemicals for the skin to absorb, no questions about whether the product works, and no bogus claims like “sunblock.” But fortunately, there are safe options to choose from to protect yourself and your family.

Before you buy a sunscreen, first check out the Environmental Working Group for information on product ingredients and a list of safe sunscreens: http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/

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