|Choose a Safe Sunscreen
When you buy sunscreen, the myriad of bottles and tubes jamming store shelves can leave even the savviest consumer puzzled. What’s the difference between UVA and UVB radiation? What’s behind those long, unpronounceable ingredient names? And does it really matter which sunscreen you buy?
In a word, yes. Some products do work better than others. What’s more, even some sunscreens claiming to be ‘natural’ may contain toxic, possible disease-causing ingredients.
There is no easy answer in regards to the safety of the ingredients. Which ingredients are allowed, their safety testing and their maximum concentrations are regulated differently in different countries.
In Canada and Australia sunscreens are considered to be drugs and have stringent guidelines for ingredient safety and product labeling. In the United States, sunscreens and their allowable active ingredients fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, which has been criticized for not establishing more stringent rules for ingredient safety testing and labeling claims.
When you do need to use a sunscreen, read labels carefully. Look for a broad-spectrum product free of phthalates (fragrances) and parabens, and use SPF values as general guidelines. Choose a mineral-based formulation over chemical blockers and apply it generously for full effectiveness, but only to skin that will exposed. Dr. Barbara Smith
Monday Morning Health Tip – Choose A Safe Suncreen
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