Sunscreen is Burning Your Kids

Okay this report gets filed with all the other damned-if-you-do/don’t bits of information, like red wine (good for heart/wait, causes cancer!) and hybrid cars (no more gas/wait, carbon-footprint city!)

So, you know how you’ve been slathering the kids with sunscreen since they were babies? (Or, at least intending to slather them most days — when you remembered). Well, turns out, you’ve not been doing enough.

Most sunscreens are only designed to combat UVB rays. Those are the ultra-violet rays that are stronger at midday and during the summer and are partially responsible for those poolside sunburns.

However! Some 95 percent of the rays on the spectrum are UVA, which can penetrate glass and are the same strength all year and all day and, get this, most sunscreens DON’T block UVA rays. And those that do? Well, there are safety questions about the chemicals.

The FDA has been promising to look into all this for years and issue guidelines so that we consumers are not left to sort through walls and walls of sunscreen bottles and sprays to find the right match. They finally will and guidelines are expected, wait for it, in October this year. One more cancer-/chemical-/wrinkle-fun summer!

Experts tend to agree that super expensive Anthelios with mexoryl is the best formulation around. It goes for $30 a bottle. But it lasts longer so you’ll use less?

Other than that: look for UVB and UVA protection, you’re on your own with the chemicals until October, and don’t be mislead by SPF. SPF 30 isn’t twice as effective as SPF 15. While SPF 15 blocks 94 percent of the UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. Anything higher isn’t much better than that.

According to this non-profit, which rates sunscreens among other things, Loving Naturals Sunscreen SPF 30 is rated No. 1.

Or maybe we should just stay indoors watching TV all summer.

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