June 8, 2016 by drkristylewis
The best way for us to get vitamin D is from the sun but what are the best practices to do so safely? With so many sunscreen products available how do we know we are making a good choice?
A good place to start is to visit EWG’s Skin Deep Database to verify the safety rank of your sunscreen. Ratings of 3 or below are considered good, and zero is the best possible rating.
When shopping for sunscreen, you want to read the labels well and avoid conventional sunscreen which contain harmful ingredients such as: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, parabens and more.
Instead opt for a mineral base sunscreen. The two common minerals are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. A few brands use only Zinc Oxide which is preferred because it’s a critical mineral nutrient and covers the full spectrum of UV protection and doesn’t contribute as much to free radical development. Titanium Dioxide doesn’t offer full spectrum UV protection and is not as natural for the body.
What about nanoparticles vs non-nano particles and chemically coated zinc oxide vs uncoated?
For these answers head over to the Badger Balm site where they have it all explained in depth.
My top pick for suncare is Badger Balm because of the ingredients. It uses only uncoated non-nano zinc oxide, as its main active ingredient and has a short list of natural non active ingredients. The only unfavorable attribute is that it leaves a bit of a white layer on the skin. I have used the Sport version that is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Remember to reply to prevent a burn!
Other sunscreens that use only Zinc as their main active ingredient and are fairly easy to find include: Boo Bamboo and derma e® but the list of non active ingredients is long and some ingredients are questionable. Raw elements USA has good ingredients but it’s harder to find in Canada. It is available on Amazon.
To recap, the ideal sunscreen:
- Is mineral based, uncoated and non-nano
- Offers broad spectrum protection
- Contains natural inactive ingredients
- Comes in a tube not a spray. You don’t want to inhale the product.
- Has an SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
In addition to mineral base sunscreen you can also practice being sun safe by:
- Avoiding sun exposure at peak times (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Wearing a hat, sun glasses and UV sun protection clothing
- Staying in the shade when possible
Enjoy the sun!