The best way to protect yourself from skin cancer is to avoid getting a sun burn.
But after you've taken all the right steps – stayed out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., worn a hat and long sleeves, put on sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV exposure that causes cataracts – you'll still need sunscreen. When you do, what's the best, most environmentally friendly, and safest sunscreen you can use?
The scientists at Environmental Working Group have done the research, and have identified the "greenest" sunscreens you should buy. But just in case you can't remember product names, here are the qualities you should look for:
#1) Choose sunscreens that contain zinc, titanium dioxide, avobenzone or mexoryl SX. Avoid oxybenzone, Retinyl palmitate/Vitamin A, and added insect repellent. FYI, oxybenzone is a synthetic hormone that can penetrate the skin. Retinyl palmitate can make your skin more susceptible to tumors and lesions. Not good.
#2) Creams you can rub on are more protective than sprays and powders.
#3) Broad-spectrum protection that is water-resistant for the beach or pool as well as exercise is optimal.
#4) Choose an SPF of at least 30 when you're at the beach or pool, but you don't need an SPF higher than 50.
What sunscreens does EWG recommend? For your convenience, we're selling several of the safest, most protective sunscreens in our store. Brands include Aubrey, Aveeno, and California Baby. You can also ask for these brands the next time you go shopping.
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