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Sunscreen is an important component of your sun protection arsenal. But, before you go slathering the stuff on your little ones, there are some things to consider.
*Note this post is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Always consult a medical professional.
The Sun Can Be A Good Thing
The sun is not all bad, obviously. Humans have lived beneath the sun for over 200,000. For most of that time, they lived without sunscreen. In fact, the sun helps us increase a vitamin that much of the modern world is deficient in.
“It’s important to remember that vitamin D3 is formed from exposure to UVB rays, whereas UVA radiation actually destroysvitamin D. This helps keep your body in balance; it’s one of the protective mechanisms your body has to avoid overdosing on vitamin D when you’re outside. However, when you’re exposed to sunlight through windows — in your office, your home or your car — you get the UVA but virtually none of the beneficial UVB.” // Mercola.com
Read more at Mercola.com to find out when it’s best to be out in the sun for maximum vitamin D exposure, and when you should absolutely wear sunscreen.
Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal
There are chemical-based sunscreens and mineral-based sunscreens. Mineral-based sunscreens typically contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide is the ingredient you want for full-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB. You can get a full coverage with titanium dioxide, but not without being combined with other potent ingredients. Mineral-based sunscreens offer protection by sitting on top of the skin.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, often penetrate deeper. While you think this could offer more protection, it can actually be dangerous as the chemicals seep into the blood stream. People sometimes opt for chemical sunscreens because they say organic, but this just means that the chemicals have been built from carbon molecules, not that they are necessarily safer. Chemical sunscreens can be easier to apply than mineral ones, but are they really worth the other risks?!
Sunscreen Alone Is Not Enough
Even the best sunscreens have their limits. When not in the water, it is a good idea to make use of hats and clothes that shield skin against harmful rays. Umbrellas are useful for portable shade when needed. You can also check the UV Index to plan your outdoor times when the sun is less intense.
You can visit EWG.org for more info.
A Higher SPF Does Not Always = Better Protection
It has been shown that you do not need to go higher than SPF 50. After that, there is not an increase in protection. What does the SPF really mean?
“What an SPF means is this: with an SPF 15, it will take your skin 15 times longer to redden than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen at all. (If it takes you 20 minutes to redden sans protection, using SPF 15 should give you 300 minutes of protection from UVB rays — you’d need to reapply more often to protect against damaging UVA ones.)” ~PopSugar
You may need to reapply more often if you have fairer skin.
Remember babies under 6 months should get very little sun exposure. Sunscreen protection is for babies 6 months and older.
Baby Sun Tips – Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Your Baby
- Babies 6 months and older
- Choose between an SPF 15-50
- Stick to lotion form
For more information on baby’s skin read our other articles:
Featured image source: www.pixabay.com