The Union Recorder

Top Stories

June 11, 2013

When did sunscreen get so complicated?

(Continued)

At this point you might be thinking that the best solution is to just buy only non-organic, mineral-based sunscreens. Maybe, but these aren't perfect, either. Although most mineral sunscreens don't absorb UV light — the molecules sit on top of the skin and reflect or scatter the rays _they leave a white, greasy film on the skin that many people find annoying. Yes, annoying sounds preferable to damaging, but the only way sunscreen works is if your kids apply it. The less thick and greasy, the better. Newer "nano" formulations of these mineral sunscreens are much more pleasant, but they don't reflect UV light as effectively — and they also absorb UV light in addition to reflecting it, which means they too can produce reactive oxygen species.

As for SPF, most dermatologists and the Environmental Working Group now recommend avoiding anything above 50 because they give us a false sense of security, so we stay out longer while forgoing necessary reapplication. The numbers are deceiving anyway: SPF 50 protects against 98 percent of the UVB rays, but SPF 30 protects against 97 percent of them — not exactly a critical difference.

And what about application method-sprays, gels, wipes, or old-fashioned lotions? The Environmental Working Group warns against sprays because of the risk that the chemicals could be inhaled or get into the eyes. But if your child won't let you near her with anything but a cool mist, by all means use it-just ask him to hold his breath and close his eyes as you apply it. The EWG also warns against combination sunscreen/bug sprays, which may increase absorption of the repellant chemicals, and sunscreen wipes, which might not deliver adequate protection.

As for all the other sunscreen chemicals you might see listed on the back of your bottle: They have been FDA-approved, so they have been tested for safety to a certain degree, but few academic scientists have independently assessed their potential health effects because it's difficult to get funded for such studies.

Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza