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How to choose sunscreen (at least for myself and children)?

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In mid November 2013, I read a scientific finding (by J.L. of my undergraduate almamater) that nano particles such as zinc oxide can possibly cause cancer.

Then, I feel the need to check the ingredients of my sunscreen.

SPF 15 or higher only protects against UVB, but not UVA. According to Dr. David J. Leffell (professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine), the followings (ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide) protect against UVA.

According to the webmd.com, children’s sunscreens use ingredients less likely to irritate the skin, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

It seems that the more complicated a product is, the more hidden or unknown risks it carries.

Is zinc oxide (in sunscreen) good or bad for us?

Dr. Lawrence Gibson (a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic) views that sunscreen is safe (has not been proven to increase the risk of skin cancer, has been proven to reduce the risk of melanoma). Instead of looking at a sunscreen’s SPF, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from UVA and UVB rays

If you are pregnant, avoid sunscreens that contain antioxidant retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A or retinol.

Sand, water, snow and concrete reflect sunlight.

Instead of being confused by the choices of sunscreen,
consider the following tips:
# Avoid the sun during peak hours (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), regardless of season (Since UV light can pass through clouds, use sunscreen even when it’s cloudy).
# Choose indoor activities (e.g. indoor swim) during the sun peak hours.
# Wear protective clothing e.g. pants, long sleeve shirts, sunglasses.
# Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
# Use an umbrella.
# Vitamins. Vitamin E can protect against UV-induced DNA damage. Vitamin C helps protect skin from sunburn.
# Do not let any product lull you into a false sense of security about sun exposure.
# Finally, pursue a combinatorial approach (shade, clothing, umbrella / hat, sunscreen, common sense).

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Written by blueroselady

November 14, 2013 at 7:30 am

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