How to Choose a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

How to Choose a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

Safe and Effective Sunscreen

Sunscreen: It's important to protect your skin from over exposure to the sun, including both UVA and UVB rays, but have you thought about protecting yourself from the harmful ingredients in most sunscreens? Here is a list of 12 toxic ingredients to avoid when choosing sunscreen, and any other beauty/hygiene products:

Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as
"CI" followed by a five digit number
DEA-related ingredients
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
Sodium laureth sulfate
PEG compounds
Dibutyl phthalate


For more information on the harmful effects of these ingredients visit:
The David Suzuki Foundation Website

 You may also want to visit the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website to find a list of the safest, least environmental and health hazardous sunscreens that are still effective in protecting you from overexposure. The Alba Botanica Sport one is listed as the #1 recommended for adults. We found it at the Lifestyles Market on Douglas St. for under $20

Alba Sunscreen

Sun Exposure:  Based on current studies, risk of developing skin cancer, specifically Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma (CMM), is more likely related to improper use of sunscreen, resulting in more sunburns. Using sunscreen does not allow unrestricted amount of time spent in the sun. 

  1. Sunscreen should not be used to prolong the amount of time spent in the sun. When used for that purpose, there is a greater risk of becoming sunburned.

  2. If the skin becomes uncomfortable or red at any time during sun exposure, whether intentional or unintentional, with or without sunscreen, and regardless of length of time spent in the sun, you should cover up or seek shade immediately. Simply reapplying sunscreen and failing to seek shelter may increase the risk of sunburn and subsequent CMM.

  3. Clothing, hats, and sunglasses provide protection against the damaging effects of solar UV radiation. However, not all textiles provide equal UV protection. Therefore, a combination of clothing and sunscreen provides the best protection. Patients should be advised that sunscreen should be used as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, clothing and hats.

  4. Because UVA radiation may also play a role in the formation of skin cancer, patients should use sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

  5. Those at high risk of CMM may possibly benefit from consistent, daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen.

To Read Full Research Article Visit:
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine
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