Its that time of year again! The sun is shining and the masses of Vancouver have flooded the seawall and all the beautiful beaches. This is why we live in Vancouver right? We tolerate nine months of rain because these precious summer months make it all worthwhile. One thing to consider when enjoying the sunshine is how to protect your skin from sunburn and sun damage. Here are a few helpful tips to consider when choosing what to put on your skin:
1. Choose a mineral sunscreen (vs a chemical sunscreen): Mineral sunscreens contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These minerals create a barrier on top of the skin that blocks harmful UV rays and also helps keep moisture in. On the other hand chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays, and contain harmful substances that mimic our hormones. When these chemicals are absorbed into our bodies they negatively interfere with our hormones, affecting things like the reproductive system and metabolism.
2. Avoid harmful chemicals: The worst ingredients to look out for are parabens, pthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and fragrance. Don’t forget to look in the non-active ingredients for these hidden toxins.
3. Check your product’s rating (on the Environmental Working Group’s Deep Skin Database): The EWG rates personal care products on a scale of one to ten, one being the safest and ten being the most toxic. The rating is based on the ingredients in the product and any scientific studies that have been done.
My personal favorite sunscreen comes from The Green Beaver, a Canadian company that started making clean natural products for families in 2002. You can find them online at https://greenbeaver.com. (Note: I have no affiliation with the Green Beaver)
Have fun in the sun!
Dr. Nicola Bennett, ND