Prevention is key and you can lower your skin cancer risk by staying out of the sun between 10:00 and 4:00. The amount of sunshine required for maximum Vitamin D exposure is only 15 minutes on your forearms only (elbow to wrist) 3 times a week - anything beyond this requires sunscreen application. This is especially critical if you have a family history of melanoma, more than 25 moles, fair skin or light eyes. Lucky me, I have ALL of these risk factors... I visit my dermatologist annually for my skin check and track all of my moles to make sure nothing looks suspicious. Sunscreen is just part of the equation for protecting yourself and you cannot rely on it as your only defense - it just isn't enough. There are many protective clothing options with tight weaved fabrics that give more protection from the sun. Cover up and a hat is a must!
|Nicole Kidman protecting her porcelain skin at a beach in Sydney|
So that's just GREAT. The sunscreens that I have been using to try to prevent cancer could have been giving it to me instead. In the past Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch was my go-to favorite and I loved how it felt just like my regular lotion. I threw it away when I referenced the EWG site - HORRIBLE safety profile and it is jam packed with some of the worst ingredients out there. The spray version that we that thought was so convenient is even worse because you directly inhale the toxins. I was just at the grocery store and saw that Neutrogena has a "Pure and Free" mineral based sunscreen for $11.99/ 3 ounces - look at the ingredients before you fall for this greenwashing marketing gimmick. Retinyl palmitate, BHT, Methylisothiazolinone, Benzyl Alcohol are hardly pure and free.
|Neutrogena's "Pure and Free" Sunscreen ingredients - greenwashing at its worst!|
These products work great on the majority of the population, but unfortunately people that suffer from photosensitivity (abnormally sensitive to light, like lupus) require a chemical sunscreen because mineral blockers are not as photostable, especially with UVA protection. It is also very important to stay on top of reapplications.
|also available in a sport stick and unscented…|
I haven't tried these products, but they are recommended by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and all have high ratings on Amazon - sunscreen for different occasions and ages:
Best All-Purpose Sunscreen: Jersey Kid's Organic Sunscreen, SPF 30. $14.99/ 2 oz
Best Sport Sunscreen: Elemental Herbs Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+. $15.99/ 3 oz.
Best Water-Resistant Sunscreen: Sunology Natural Sunscreen Lotion for Body, SPF 50. $14.99/3 oz
Best Kid's Sunscreen:Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30. $15.99/ 2.9 oz
Best Kid's Sport Sunscreen: BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30. $17.99/ 3.4 oz
Best Baby Sunscreen: ECO logical all natural baby sunscreen, SPF 30+. $24.99/ 5.3 oz
Best Sunscreen Deal: Butterbean Sunscreen, SPF 20, $16/ 7 oz
A few sunscreen rules you don't wanna forget:
- All SPFs have to be reapplied RELIGIOUSLY every 2 hours as they lose effectiveness after that.
- For an adult you should be able to fill a shot glass full of sunscreen and lather yourself. For your little one filling the palm of your hand should be sufficient.
- Apply 15 minutes before entering water so it attaches to the epidermis. Reapply after drying off with a towel.
- If you have "Irish" skin (red/blonde hair, freckles, burn and not tan, blue/green eyes), you must reapply more often because the chances of skin cancer are highest in this skin type.
- Keep babies under six months old out of the sun completely as their skin is especially sensitive.
- Try to avoid sun completely between 11-2 when the sun is harshest. It only takes one childhood sunburn to double your melanoma risk later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
- WEAR A WIDE BRIMMED HAT!!