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Health & Beauty

How Safe is Your Sunscreen?

images1Tis the season… to lather up on the sunscreen before heading out and fight off sun damage.

We’ve heard the major health risks of going unprotected in the sun (skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkles.)
But despite sunblocks major health benefits, many leading brands are still made with ingredients that are potentially harmful to the environment.

What should you watch out for?

Oxybenzone, which is common in many sunscreens, has been linked to the transsexualization of male fish, coral reef degradation, and hormone disrupting activity and low birth weights in infant girls – Certainly a reason to check your labels before buying.

And while the verdict is still out on nanoparticles, there’s reason to be wary of these added particles in sunscreens & cosmetics. In a recent study, researchers at the University of Toledo, Utah State University & University of Utah report that nanoparticles had powerful harmful effects on bacteria and a types of beneficial soil microbes. For more on this study check out this Organic Consumers article.

How can you protect your skin without damaging the earth? Here’s two of my favorite eco-safe brands that are conveniently located at Philadelphia retailers:

  • Kiss My Face: Their expansive sun protection line uses ingredients like Oat Protein, Green Tea Extract, and natural Yucca-Glauca Root. You can find their products at Whole Foods, Weavers Way Co-Op and the Vitamin Shoppe.
  • Burt’s Bees also offers some great skin care and sun-soothing products like their Aloe & Linden Flower After Sun Soother (made from Aloe & Linden Trees.) Also, check out their SPF 15 Res-Q Lip Balm – one of my favorites: all-natural and will protect your lips all day.

Recently, I was pleased to hear from my friends vacationing in Mexico that their hotel provided an organic SPF (Organi-k brand).  Next time on vacation, suggest that your resort provide a similar brand. 

Another great way to protect yourself from the sun? A big sun hat (a fashion statement with a purpose.)

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

1 thought on “How Safe is Your Sunscreen?

  1. Another great biodegradable and reef friendly sunscreen is Caribbean Solutions. I purchased it while staying at the Ritz Carlton in the Bahamas, and then found it at my local natural products store when I came home. I was really pleased to see that it was all plant and mineral based with no parabens, or artifical perfumes. The label says it includes essential oils for fragrance…

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