Sun Screen and Children: Here's What You Need To Know


Life would be difficult with out the awesome benefits that the sun offers. We can't live without it but what we can do, is learn to safely enjoy the outdoors with out sacrificing our health. Not all sunscreens are created equal, some can disrupt hormone systems and cause acceleration of skin disorders to happen. Here are a few places to watch out for these hidden chemicals in your sunscreens.

Avoid sunscreens that contain:

∙ Oxybenzone- This chemical is a synthetic estrogen that disrupts human hormones. Many studies have gone on to show that it lowers male testosterone a noticeable amount.

∙ Vitamin A (retinol or retinyl palmitate)- Its been shown that tumors and lesions develop sooner when you lather on Vitamin A.

∙ Methylisothiazolinone- Well known skin allergen that is used as an inactive ingredient and is recognized by many skin associations as being on “the list”.

Try mineral based sunscreens with these instead:

∙ Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide- both are known to have very little to no skin absorption, cause skin allergies or disrupt hormones

∙ 3% Avobenzone, Mexoryl Sx – these two have very little skin absorption but have some chance of skin irritation

Young children and infants under 6 months have a very high skin absorption rate. If the sun is unavoidable, sunscreen on the exposed parts only would be ok. A shirt, bottom and hat is the best defense to curb harmful UV rays. UV rays are highest in the mid day so try doing activities earlier in the day or in the evening when they're lower.

Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys. It's responsible for optimal bone health, maintaining estrogen and testosterone levels, immune system and so much more. Its a precursor to many hormones in the body. Although its essential we need it, we only need it in small amounts.

While we do get some from our diet, a quick 5-10 minutes in the sun with our arms and legs exposed gets the right amount. The nice thing is that the 10 minutes can be broken up through out the day.

Its a delicate balance between gathering the sun's benefits and avoiding long term damage to our health. Learning how to protect our bodies from the sun with out damaging our body can make all the difference in the world. Use this information to have a safe, health and happy time outdoors this summer!