Skin Protection Controversies and SPF Selection

Recently, people have been worrying about the safety of sunscreens and their ingredients. We are here to debunk the myths and controversies about sun protection and make sure you have the facts!

One thing’s for sure, sun causes most skin cancers which can be deadly. You can talk about the risks of sunscreen and their alleged harmful ingredients, but the bottom line is that they protect you from the potentially deadly risk from the sun’s UV rays. And if you love the outdoors, it is absolutely necessary! A study done in Australia showed that for people who wore sunscreen daily, melanoma was reduced by half and squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent. That’s such a large amount! This and several other studies have proven time and time again that sunscreen helps to prevent skin cancer.

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While sunscreen is an important sun protectant, you also need to think beyond the creams. The safest method to reduce your skin’s exposure to the sun is to wear clothing and hats and seek shelter.  Sun protective clothing and sun hats are very popular and look trendy for 2019! During the hours of 10 and 2, it is best to avoid direct sunlight, or protect yourself if you cannot.


When talking about sun protection, we must talk about the common misconception that people don’t have to wear sunscreen if they are in the shade. The truth is that indirect sunlight and reflected exposure can be just as harmful as direct sunlight! (Ever been skiing on a sunny day?) A study done in 2017 showed that 78 percent of participants who stayed in a shaded area outside got sunburned over a 3 ½ hour period, while only 25 percent of those wearing sunscreen did.  Sunscreen alone is not going to prevent sunburn 100%. It is important to combine methods to ensure the best protection. 

There are many brands of sunscreen and each one has slightly different ingredients. Many people worry about chemicals in their sunscreen and seek out the “most natural” one. It’s best to think about all sunscreen ingredients as chemicals, which they are. Yes, there are different kinds of chemicals and they each can act in different ways, but a molecule is a chemical. A better way to look at sunscreen ingredients would be to ask if they are organic or inorganic, and not in the way you are thinking. Organic ingredients are carbon-based molecules, such as oxybenzone. Inorganic ingredients are the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. A lot of focus has been placed on the ingredient oxybenzone recently worrying about it being a hormone disruptor. A study was done that did show uterine growth in rats eating oxybenzone, but you have to look at the details. During that study those rats were fed huge amounts of this chemical over 4 days. Such huge amounts, that to duplicate that amount in humans, it would take applying sunscreen all over the entire body every single day for 70 years. So, take that as you will, and if it still worries you just use sunscreens that are zinc or titanium based!


Finding the perfect sunscreen is largely a personal choice. It should say “broad spectrum” so that it protects from both types of harmful UV rays, but other than that you need to find one that works best for your lifestyle. For some people the texture is important, for others is the smell, some parents just want to be able to apply it to their constantly moving toddler. Find one that you love and stick with it! No matter which one you choose the application is extremely important. It is imperative that you apply a thick (like really think) coat on your skin. Most people only apply a quarter of the thickness needed to provide the protection it claims to on the bottle. It is also important to note that sunscreen becomes less effective after about two hours. That means reapplication every two hours is a must! If you are using a spray, make sure to spray in on the body until it glistens in the sun, then rub it in.

Our dermatologists recommend mineral sunscreens and mineral powders. Minerals have broad UV protection and are less likely to cause reactions on the skin. Also, mineral SPF products are safe for babies and children. Have you tried the powders and foams? They totally will change the way you think about having to apply sunscreen… and reapply! Come check out our range of products or visit our online store for our doctor recommended products.