what makes a sunscreen product safe?

There’s no doubt that sunscreen is a must for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide and having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.

Even if you’re meticulous about your sun protection, do you know which sunscreen products are actually safe for you and the planet? CNN recently reported about the annual safe sunscreens guide published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer advocacy organization. The guide states “only 25% of sunscreens on the market offer good broad-spectrum protection without troublesome chemical ingredients.”

So, in the sea of sunscreen options in stores and online, what makes a product safe? Here are five things to watch for:

  1. No oxybenzone. This ingredient has been linked to health scares and environmental destruction. Although use of oxybenzone in sunscreens has declined quite a bit over the last few years, some manufacturers are still incorporating it into their products. Other toxic ingredients to avoid include avobenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate.
  2. Offers both UVA and UVB protection. These rays can burn, damage, and age skin even on cloudy days. Only a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect from both types of harmful rays.
  3. Physical sunscreen rather than chemical. Physical sunscreens incorporate mineral ingredients like non nanoparticle titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to physically deflect the sun’s damaging rays, as opposed to chemical sunscreens that absorb UVB rays and release heat as they break down. Mineral ingredients are also environmentally safe.
  4. Not labeled with banned marketing terms. Steer clear of products that use misleading claims such as “sunblock,” “sweatproof,” and “waterproof,” which have been banned by the FDA as they are literally impossible to achieve in a sunscreen.
  5. No aerosol or powder formulations. Such ingredients pose the risk of inhalation. Your best bets are sunscreen lotions and sticks that are applied directly and rubbed into skin.

Pure Haven’s sunscreen stick with spf 30 has been named among the top-rated recreational sunscreens in the EWG guide. This physical sunscreen, along with Pure Haven’s non toxic face sunscreen lotion with spf 30 and lip balm with spf 15, has been FDA tested, is hypoallergenic, non irritating, and safe for sensitive skin, and is reef safe. Ask your Pure Haven Consultant about these and other safe, non toxic everyday must-haves before you spend time outdoors.