According to a report by The Environmental Working Group, only 8% of the beach and sport sunscreens (39 out of 500) offer sufficient protection AND ingredients safe enough to earn their “green” rating. In my safer sunscreens post I have highlighted some of the ones that received top honors on their list.
It is becoming clearer to more and more people that the sunscreen industry is actually less about protecting our skin and more about marketing. How else can they continue to peddle the insufficient and chemical laden products that they do? Especially when studies have been conducted in recent years that indicate we may be more likely to get cancer from our sunscreen than to avoid it.
My own personal practice in regards to sunscreen for me and my family is to not use it if at all possible and to utilize other protection methods instead. If I need to be out in the sun for an extended period of time I will use some of the safer sunscreens I mentioned above but again.. only if I feel I will not be able to avoid a burn without it. I grew up in sunny Phoenix, Arizona and my brother and I hardly ever burned and rarely did we use sunscreen… so it can be done.
Here are some of the ways:
Yes, the easiest way to avoid a burn on face, scalp, neck, and shoulders is a nice hat. Women are lucky in that we can get away with a really wide brim hat and some big sunglasses and be considered fashionable instead of weird. Here are a couple of my favorite hats for moms:
It is usually best to go for light colored hats that have wide brims. They keep you cool and offer the best protection. Don’t forget the sun hats for the kids too…
A scarf isn’t just for winter. You get get lightweight cotton or silk scarves for summer to protect your neck and chest. If it is a wrap as well as a scarf then you can wear it across your back or fold it across your front, even put it over your head. If you get hot… do what I often did in Phoenix… dip in a water fountain and then drape it on yourself… it is a built in air conditioner!
A Sun Shade or Umbrella
I find that it is easy to get kids to stay shaded by letting them carry and umbrella. Or maybe my kids just love umbrellas more than most but they are always happy to stroll around with one. My nearly ten year old son carries one in his backpack so he will have it for walking home in the hot sun. Let them pick their own “cool” umbrella or buy a parasol for girls. I like this Gerbera Daisy or Sunflower Umbrella myself! Who wouldn’t want an excuse to carry these around?
How do you protect yourself from the sun without slathering on the sunscreen?