Sunscreen Good or Bad ?

Many people are low in Vitamin D, the nutrient that our body makes when exposed to sunlight. You can easily ask to get your levels tested at your doctor’s office but it will cost you approx $25 as it’s not covered by OHIP.  We can spend just 10 min per day in the sun with no sunscreen for fair skinned people and 15-20 min for dark skinned people to increase your Vitamin D levels naturally .We do need to use sunscreen if we are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time so we need to educate ourselves on the safety of these products.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there regarding the safety and use of the many  sunscreens available on the market today. In fact, there are concerns that the toxic chemicals used in some sunscreens can actually contribute to cancer. There are also concerns with some of the chemicals known to disrupt hormones. So how do you make an informed purchase? The best place to start is to go to Environmental Working group (EWG.org) and look up your favorite sunscreen. It should have a safety rating attached to it. A rating between 2-4  shows the least toxicity. They recommend avoiding any sunscreen with an EWG rating of 5 or higher.

Sunscreen tips

  • Avoid oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate as these are the highest risk factors for hormone disruption and cancer
  • Avoid SPF ratings higher than 50 they only offer slightly more protection after this level, they cost more and lead users to believe they have more protection than they actually offer
  • Sprays are convenient but may not provide enough even protection
  • Avoid products without UVA protection

According to EWG.org Banana Boat and Coppertone both top the list on the worst scoring sunscreens.

They also have a list of the top 22 scoring sunscreens, but keep in mind many of them are not available in Canada. Here at Healthy Living Plus we stock Badger Kids Sunscreen SPF 30 and Goddess Garden Kids Sport  Sunscreen also SPF 30. They both contain organic ingredients and the Kids sport is water resistant for 80 minutes.

You can get maximum protection without all the harmful ingredients so come on down to 3066 Bloor St. and see our selection!

Emily Milling