The Daily Green Tip
With more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually, protecting your skin from the sun is one of the most basic and important preventative-health habits to make part of your routine, especially as the warm summer sun beckons us outside. While you can't protect your skin better than with clothing and hats, you'll need some sunscreen, too.
Unfortunately, health and environmental watchdogs, led by the Environmental Working Group, have been raising concerns for years that Food and Drug Administration regulation of sunscreens is inadequate. Many sunscreens are made with potentially hormone-mimicking chemicals like oxybenzone and chemicals with questionable health effects like retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin A). And despite impressive SPF counts, not all sunscreens effectively block both UVB and UVA radiation, leaving your skin more vulnerable than you might think. While most sunscreens work to block UVB radiation, the cause of sunburn, many fail to protect against UVA radiation, which can penetrate skin and cause cellular damage that might lead to cancer. (Many people are also confused by the meaning of SPF, and fail to re-apply sunscreen often enough.)
Alternatives are common, though, with mineral sunblocks that use titanium and zinc. Even these are often made with unregulated nanoparticles that have not been thoroughly screened for health safety; still, Environmental Working Group recommends them as the best alternatives on the market.
Check out our lists of affordable natural sunscreens, and affordable natural sunscreens for babies and kids, compiled after a price comparison of Environmental Working Group's annual best-of list. Topping the list? MexiTan sunscreens, at about $2.20 per ounce. ($17.50 for an 8-ounce bottle at amazon.com)
You too can help save our planet and put money back in your wallet. Learn how you can take the first steps to reduce your environmental impact in this green living section.
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