safe sunscreen

How to Choose a Safe Sunscreen (For you and Baby)

Summertime means more time in the sun, and even Ava loves a nice summer glow!

#FlashBackFriday when baby Ava was just under 6 months old 😭

But finding the right sunscreen is key to soaking up some vitamin D the SAFE way. We already know it’s important to protect our skin from damaging rays, but not all sunscreens are created equal.

Step 1 when shopping for sun protection= know how different sunscreens work.

2 types of sunscreen: Mineral and Chemical

Mineral sunscreens protect you from harmful UV rays by sitting on top of your skin. Chemical sunscreens work by seeping into your skin to absorb those rays. Which do you think is better for you?? ding ding ding MINERAL

Here are helpful tips when sunscreen shopping:

Broad Spectrum: This means the sunscreen protects against both UVB (rays that burn skin think “b” for burn) and UVA (rays that penetrate deeper into your skin and can accelerate aging think “a” for aging).

SPF (sun protection factor): tells you how much the product protects you from UVB rays only. Even if you don’t leave the beach with a sunburn, UVA rays can still do some major damage, so it’s best to make sure you’re protected from both by choosing a broad spectrum sunscreen.

Mineral Ingredients: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the mineral ingredients to look for when shopping for sunscreen. They protect against both UVB + UVA rays and don’t seep into your bloodstream. For a bonus, zinc is known to help calm and soothe skin.

What to avoid in sunscreen:

Chemical Synthetic Ingredients: Most common sunscreens fall under the category of chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by seeping into your skin and absorbing the sun’s rays. Common synthetic ingredients include oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and homosalate. Basically, if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be lathering it all over your skin. Not only are these ingredients more likely to cause allergic skin reactions, but studies have shown they can seriously mess with your hormones. Plus, they’re bad for the environment. Two of these ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate, have recently been banned in Hawaii because they’re so harmful to the coral reef!

Vitamin A: You may be familiar with vitamin A, an ingredient often used in skincare products for its anti aging benefits. While it works great as a night cream (and should always be followed by sunscreen the next day), retinol is not something you want to be putting on your skin as you prepare to soak up some rays. Research shows that sunscreens containing vitamin A can actually accelerate the growth of lesions and tumors.

I am wary of anything higher than SPF 50. As you now know, SPF only describes a product’s protection against UVB rays, the ones that cause sunburn. So if you do find that you do not burn when using a higher SPF, well you aren’t necessarily protecting yourself from UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into your skin. A higher SPF can also give you a false sense of security, making you less likely to reapply regularly.

When in doubt, check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide for a list of safe sunscreens that you can feel good about applying – and reapplying – all summer long!

If you are looking for other ways to (healthily) stay cool this summer. Check out this Chai Coconut Smoothie !

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