Sunscreen Tips And Quick Reminders
Dermatologists recommend always using sunscreen while exposed to the sun and opting for a sun protection factor of at least SPF 30. The AAD also recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, meaning it protects the skin from both Ultraviolet A rays associated with signs of aging and Ultraviolet B rays, which can cause skin damage like sunburns and skin cancer. For continuous sun protection, be sure to reapply your sunscreen after sweating or taking a dip.
What About Spf Ratings
Well, even this is an ever-evolving topic in physical and toxic sunscreens alike.
The Sun Protection Factor displayed a sunscreen label ranges from 2 to as high as 100 and refers to the products ability to screen or block out the suns harmful rays. For example, with the use of an SPF 10 product, you can be in the sun 10 times longer without burning as you would without any sunscreen. It is important to know that SPF protection does not increase proportionally with an increased SPF number. For example, while an SPF of 2 will absorb 50% of ultraviolet radiation, an SPF of 15 absorbs 93% and an SPF of 34 absorbs 97%.
In 2014 the FDA changed its regulations, limiting the label of sunscreens to a maximum of SPF 50+. The market was filled with sunscreen brands marketing their SPF 75 and SPF 100 sunscreens. Consumers have a limited understanding that this doesnt mean more protection from the sun. Rather, it meant marginally longer protection.
The FDA suggests using a sunscreen with broad-spectrum and an SPF of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
Dermatologists strongly recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater year-round for all skin types. If you are fair-skinned or sunburn easily, you may want a sunscreen with a higher SPF to provide additional protection. All sunscreens need to be reapplied, so follow the guidelines written on the bottle.
How Bad Is Banana Boat Sunscreen
The agency says it received 26 complaints in total last month. At least 14 of them involve claims that using the sunscreen resulted in burned or blistered skin. In both cases, the parents alleged their babies developed bad facial burns and blisters after using Banana Boat Baby or Banana Boat Kids sunscreen.
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What To Look For In A Sunscreen
With so many different active ingredients and types of sunscreens, it can be overwhelming to know what to look for. The FDA complicated matters a bit more when it proposed a new rule in February 2019 calling for more research on certain sunscreen ingredients. We are requesting additional information on these ingredients so that we can evaluate their GRASE status in light of changed conditions, including substantially increased sunscreen usage and exposure and evolving information about the potential risks associated with these products since they were originally evaluated, the agency wrote.
The FDA also recently found that seven common sunscreen chemicals can be absorbed into your bloodstream, although it stated that doesnt mean you should necessarily stop using those ingredients: The fact that an ingredient is absorbed through the skin and into the body does not mean that the ingredient is unsafe.
One of the experts we talked to, Dr. Elisabeth G. Richard, a member of the photobiology committee at The Skin Cancer Foundation, says if people are concerned about absorption they should use physical options, and, Out of an abundance of caution, pregnant and nursing women may want to consider using mineral sunscreens.
In the world of chemical sunscreens, there are two active ingredients you should definitely avoid: aminobenzoic acid and trolamine salicylate. In 2019, the FDA proposed that these do not meet the standards to be safe and effective for sunscreen use.
What You Need To Know About The Banana Boat Sunscreen Investigation
Health Canada has been investigating Banana Boat sunscreens since serious chemical burns were reported in babies who used the products last year.
May 10, 2018
Last year, after several reports of babies developing serious chemical burns upon using Banana Boat sunscreens, Health Canada launched an investigation into the products. By mid-July of 2017, the department of health had received nearly 200 complaints from Canadians about Banana Boat sunscreen products. Now, with sunscreen season ramping up again, we checked in with Health Canada to find out what parents need to know to protect their kids this year.
Could your baby’s sunscreen cause severe burns? Health Canada told us that they tested a number of Banana Boat sunscreen products and reviewed Banana Boats own testing on the products associated with the complaints of reported chemical burns. The tests and review of company results confirmed that the samples contained the correct amount of medicinal ingredients, that the pH levels of the samples were satisfactory, and that no undeclared drugs were identified, said the statement from a Health Canada spokesperson.
If Health Canadas continuing investigation finds evidence of a safety or quality concern with any sunscreen, the department says it will take immediate action and keep Canadians informed.
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Most Toxic Sunscreens To Avoid
Heres a big takeaway thatll make things somewhat less complicated. EWG recommends avoiding all spray sunscreens. Not only are they very difficult to apply effectiveness and evenly, but theres some concern the ingredients could potentially cause irreversible lung damage. The truth is, the ingredients just havent been tested in the aerosol capacity for long-term impact on human health, like so many other everyday chemicals, unfortunately.
When it comes to sunscreens, here are some of the other worst overall offenders scoring in the Red Zone for major safety concerns. Overall, these products tested poorly in the EWG analysis and are considered bad choices for sun protection. Just remember, this list is not exhaustive. To check your favorite sunscreen or to peruse the database, .)
This is by no means a complete list. Be sure to check your individual products safety assessment at EWG.org.
Kokoa Sun Care Hawaiian Spf 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen
To understand this product, we need first to know more about the name and the spirit with which it gives more meaning.
After consulting several places, I have come to find that Kokua means help. But it is more than to help it seems to have a deeper meaning to offer help with no intent of personal gain.This represents the powerful story behind Kokoa Sun Care
A product made in Hawaii with Hawaiian ingredients by two Hawaiian transplants who were brought together by the will of the ocean and their mutual love and respect of the sea, the island and their inhabitants.
Kokoa Sun Care is created and manufactured right on the islands. It includes seven local superfood ingredients to benefit the skin and support local agriculture to boot.
The bottle boasts a Reef Safe stamp which was a feature decided upon presumably even before the sunscreen ban took place. Aside from the locations around the Hawaiian Islands, the best place to purchase this product is on their website or .
And with all 5-star ratings that seem to be kid-tested and approved, you cant go wrong to pack this in your bag or search it out once you arrive on the island of your choice.
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Why Is My Sunscreen Staining My Clothes
Sunscreen causing yellow stains on light-colored clothing is a common gripe. Nearly every chemical sunscreen for sale has the potential to cause staining, especially if you live in an area with hard water. A reaction between avobenzone and iron creates the stain, which is actually rust.
If you have trouble with sunscreen stains, consider wearing darker clothing to the beach, or switching to a mineral-based sunscreen. If you want to give up neither your white swimsuit nor your easy-to-apply sunscreen, Jolie Kerr, professional Clean Person, recommends a remover that can handle them, Carbona Stain Devils #9 Rust & Perspiration. Kerr also suggests going with a lotion sunscreen versus a spray oneits easier to avoid getting lotion on your clothing during application.
Wear Sun Protection Clothing
Avoiding sunscreen is the simplest solution. Cover yourself, not just your kids, in sun-protecting clothing hats, shirts, shade, and 100% UV-protection sunglasses.
You can buy UPF-rated clothes or just wear a plain t-shirt.
Consumer Reports testing found white t-shirts provided as good, if not better, UV-protection than advertised UPF-rated clothing. Even when wet.
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What To Look Out For
Sprays vs. Lotions
While popular for their lack of mess, alcohol-based aerosol sunscreens are much thinner than lotions and can evaporate more easily, leaving skin exposed. Even the sprays which require rubbing in will leave a much thinner layer than applying lotion straight from the bottle.
Sunscreens can also contain chemicals which are harmful to the lungs if inhaled, making sprays the must-avoid product if around kids. Chemicals such as oxybenzone act as an allergen, affecting the regulation of hormones and can be penetrated through the skin. Another harmful chemical is retinyl palmitate which may speed up the development of skin lesions and tumors when applied in sunlight, according to government studies. There are other alternatives you can use such as mineral-based sunscreens.
For those with allergies to certain products, sunscreen can leave them with an irritating skin reaction. Those with sensitive skin should monitor for reactions for a few days after using a product, with symptoms including itchy skin, rashes and even blistering. Sunscreens are usually one of two types chemical or physical blocks. You may find switching to a different type helps and, there are products out there for sensitive skin.
Sun Protection Factor
Other Sunscreens We Tested
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen
The Hawaiian Tropic lotion sunscreen performed quite well, but not as well as its spray-bottle counterpart. It lost a few points on ease of application and size. Overall, its a solid sunscreen that rubbed into the skin well and wasnt too thick, but its tropical, fruity smell may be overpowering to some.
Banana Boat Simply Protect Sport Sunscreen Spray
This chemical sunscreen also scored very well in our testing, achieving high marks for ease of application, how it felt on the skin and visibility. One of our testers said it was a little harsh on her sensitive skin, though, and the chemical smell can be overbearing. But if those factors arent an issue for you, this option from Banana Boat is a top-notch spray sunscreen.
Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
Sun Bums chemical sunscreen was one of our favorites. It has a light texture that rubs in quickly, and boy oh boy, does it smell good. The creamy banana scent had us reaching for Sun Bum more than most of the other options in our test pool. It was just a few points shy of our winners because it took more time to apply than the sprays and comes in a bottle thats a bit bulky.
MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50
California Kids Supersensitive Broad-Spectrum Tinted Sunscreen
Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
Alba Botanica Fragrance-Free Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
CeraVe Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Stick
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Body Shield
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Make Sure It Has An Spf Between 15 And 50+
A minimum SPF of 15, while following all of the other guidelines provided by the EWG, will provide adequate sun protection for most people.
European products also tend to have better UVA protection than ones sold on this side of the Atlantic because of stricter government standards regarding the ingredients, the group reported.
Lunder noted that children can use adult sunscreens. There is little difference in the ingredients between the adult and kid versions of most brands, although some in the latter category are less irritating on the skin or better smelling to kids’ noses. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months of age: Parents should keep babies under 6 months covered up and out of the sun.
The Hawaii Sunscreen Ban
Did you know that in July 2018, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill banning sunscreens that include chemicals believed to be harming the beautiful coral reefs that many locals and travelers like you come to admire?
Studies have shown that sunscreens including oxybenzone and octinoxate cause mortality in developing coral increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress, even at temperatures below 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit and cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms.
These chemicals have also been shown to degrade corals resiliency and ability to adjust to climate change factors and inhibit the recruitment of new corals.Furthermore, oxybenzone and octinoxate appear to increase the probability of endocrine disruption.
Of course, Hawaii wants to keep the coral safe, so they prohibit the sale and distribution of sunscreens that have these ingredients that are damaging to the aquatic environment unless you have a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional.
NOTE: This is NOT a ban on sunscreens in general. Sunscreens are necessary for skin health by blocking UV rays known to cause skin cancer with overexposure.So whats a responsible tourist to do?
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Other Sunscreens We Like
If our top pick is not available, we like Banana Boat Light As Air SPF 50 Lotion . Its easy to find in stores, odorless, goes on smoothly, and is about the same price per ounce as Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70.
We like Hello Bello Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 and Blue Lizard Sensitive SPF 30 Sunscreen as lower-cost alternatives to the reef-safe Thinksport SPF 50+ we recommend. Compared with the Thinksport, weve found that the Hello Bello formula is more strongly scented. It has the same active ingredient as Thinksport for around half the cost. The Blue Lizard sunscreen contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and is more difficult to fully rub in compared with both the Thinksport and Hello Bello sunscreens.
If you prefer a physical-only spray sunscreen, we like Coppertones Pure & Simple SPF 50 Spray as a solid and cost-effective choice with no added fragrance. As with all spray sunscreens, you still need to rub this formula into the skin for maximum protection.
CVS Health Clear Zinc Sun Lotion SPF 50 is a solid choice if youre specifically looking for a sunscreen that wont stain white clothing. You should note that, despite this sunscreens name, it does not appear colorless on all skin tones.
How Much Sunscreen Should I Use
To get the SPF listed on the bottle, you need to put 2 mg/cm2 on your skin. That means the average-size adult needs roughly a shot glasss worth of sunscreen for their mostly naked body . So, as you may have just concluded, you are almost certainly not using enough sunscreen. A 2014 study showed that people typically use a quarter to half as much sunscreen as they need to per application to meet the advertised SPF.
Spray sunscreens are trickier, as its hard to tell how much ends up on your skin, but if youre headed to the beach in a bikini or similar, weve found that spraying the sunscreen close to your body for roughly two minutes in a windlessbut well-ventilatedarea should do the trick.
Apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, since it takes that long for the formula to fully sink into your skin, and then again once every hour , plus every time after you work up a sweat or go in the water.
A note about water resistance: Some sunscreen makers claim their formulas are water resistant, but no sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof. As such, you should never count on sunscreen to stick to your skin after youve gone for a swim or worked out, and you should definitely reapply after you do either of those things. Per FDA regulations, sunscreen can be labeled as water resistant for only up to 80 minutes, by which point you likely should have reapplied anyway.
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The Best Sunscreens Of : Daily
For its 2021 sunscreen report, EWG rated these products to be among the best:
- Algenist Alive Prebiotic Balancing Moisturizer, SPF 15
- AKT Therapy Elemental Sun Balm, SPF 30
- Andalou Naturals Men Face Guard Daily Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Ao Skincare 6000X Elemental Screen, SPF 30
- ATTITUDE Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
- Beautycounter Countersun Daily Sheer Defense for Face, SPF 25
- Biossance Squalane + Mineral, SPF 45
- Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer, SPF 30
- Cyberderm Every Morning Sun Whip, SPF 30
- Earth Mama Lady Face Mineral Sunscreen Tinted Face Stick, Light/Medium & Medium/Dark Tints, SPF 40
- Eleven By Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum, SPF 35
- Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer, SPF 30
- Kari Gran Essential SPF Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 28
- Keys KPRO Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen, SPF 30+
- Love Sun Body Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Loving Naturals Daily UV Cream, Unscented, SPF 20
- MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme, SPF 30
- Raw Elements Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30
- Solara Suncare Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Daily Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30
- Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30
- Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Tinted Face Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Sunumbra Daily Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15+
- thinksport Everyday Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Naturally Tinted, SPF 30+
- White & Elm Everyday, SPF 15
Where To Buy Reef
As of January 1st, all sunscreens sold in Hawaii will be reef-safe. You can buy it once you land at all Hawaii grocery stores, Costco, department stores, convenience stores, and is often given out for free on tours, like whale watching in Maui.
With a 6 ounce bottle of sunscreen averaging $12.99 at a grocery store in Hawaii, you may want to bring your sunscreen from home. If you are already checking a bag, throw your reef-safe sunscreen in there too.
If your sunscreen contains chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate on the listed ingredients, then head to the following stores to buy reef-safe sunscreen.
Re-formulated to be Hawaii reef-safe Banana Boat Sport is a featured, low-priced sunscreen in Hawaii convenience stores.
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