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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and I am all about prevention and awareness.
Be aware: UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
It’s a fact: More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
With all the information out there and multiple studies, including a new somewhat alarming study about the safety of sunscreen, It's crucial for us to understand the truth about sunscreen, skin cancer prevention and detection.
The Truth About Sunscreen
I received some information from Dr. Darrel Rigel, MD, a world-renowned expert on skin cancer and a past president of the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Rigel is concerned that the study, which was published in the medical journal JAMA earlier this, is misleading.
Dr. Rigel said:
“We have always known that there is a very small amount of absorption of sunscreens in the bloodstream. But there is no data that this is a problem. Tens of millions of people use sunscreens in the U.S. every summer weekend for many years with no incidence. Daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 is the best way to protect yourself from skin cancer. For many people, the chemical formulations cited in the study are the only ones that feel cosmetically elegant enough to wear. Consumers should continue to use their preferred formulation if it means they will actually wear it."
With so many formulations available, there is absolutely no reason to be scared or more importantly, to stop using sunscreen. The FDA said that manufacturers need to further research the four ingredients highlighted in the study: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. The US Food and Drug Administration is also proposing new regulations on over-the-counter sunscreens in an effort to keep up with the latest scientific and safety information. We should be hearing about those soon.
There are a lot of sunscreens available and we have choices. There are sunscreens that avoid the chemicals mentioned, sunscreens that use minerals, and sunscreens that use both. You need to do what is right for you, and your body.
Some people can only tolerate one type of sunscreen and need to outweigh the risks and benefits of everything.
In South Florida and Hawaii, sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are banned becasue of what those chemicals are doing to coral reefs. This may be true in other parts of the country and world, and please educate me if you have heard about this; I only know this for South Florida because I live there part time.
No matter what type of sunscreen you choose, there are some important sunscreen tips to keep in mind. sunscreen.
Always shake your sunscreen. No matter if it’s in a bottle, tube or can, shake it up first.
Apply sunscreen BEFORE heading into the sun. For best protection, initial sunscreen application should begin 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
Use approximately a teaspoon amount of sunscreen on each body part. Yes! That’s a lot more than you think.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours; reapply more if you are in and out of the water, exercising and excessively sweating.
Top Sunscreen Recommendations
I always feel safe in wearing sunscreen from Supergoop!. I do use other sunscreen brands now and then, but I have come to rely on Supergoop! products more and more lately. Supergoop! is a brand that is purely dedicated to sunscreen and I like that.
The Supergoop! brand offers both chemical and mineral sunscreens. My face tolerates mineral sunscreens better, and the Supergoop! mineral formulas don’t leave that tell-tale white cast that you may equate mineral sunscreen formulas with. For my body though, I do like the chemical versions and I am not afraid to use them.
Here are my Supergoop! sunscreen recommendations.
Consumer Reports recently rated over 80 sunscreens and have top sunscreen recommendations. They did a pretty thorough test that tested how sunscreen products perform after soaking in water. The top rated sunscreens according to Consumer Reports were:
Equate Sport Lotion SPF 50 - Walmart brand and just around $5
Pure Sun Defense Lotion SPF 50 - these are geared toward children, launched by Hugh Jackman; the tubes feature various characters; this is available at mass retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon for around $6
Equate Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50 - Walmart brand and just around $5
Trader Joe’s Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ - Available at Trader Joe’s for $6
Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 - Walmart Brand; $9 for a 2-pack