The fact is, sun is not all bad for you. At least 20 minutes of sun exposure each day allows our bodies to produce Vitamin D3 which can help boost your immune system, fight cancer and lighten your mood. However, it’s safest to avoid excessive sun exposure between the hours of 10am-2pm when the sun’s intensity is at its highest.
If you live in cities like Palm Springs or San Diego where we get sun nearly 365 days of the year, investing in a good sunscreen is vital. Did you know that the Environmental Working Group, an independent group that rates safe products, has tested over 1200 sunscreens and deemed at least 75% of them are actually toxic? Certain ingredients in conventional sunscreen can absorb into our blood stream and disrupt hormone balance, produce free-radicals and potentially cause cancers – this is especially important in kids as they develop. Unfortunately, some of the most popular brands out there such as Neutrogena, Coppertone and Banana Boat are the worst offenders. So what do we look for in a safe sunscreen?
Some chemicals to avoid in the ingredient label are: para amino benzoic acid (PABA), oxybenzone, parabens, octyl salicyclate, cinoxate. But who can remember or understand those ingredients? The best thing to do is first look for a mineral sunscreen that uses zinc oxide or avobenzone as the active ingredients. Further research also shows that sunscreens advertising more than 30 SPF are not much more, so don’t let that fool you into thinking you can spend more time unprotected in the sun. When using good quality mineral sunscreen, since it doesn’t absorb into the skin the same as the chemical brands, you need to reapply at least every 2 hours, 60-80 minutes after being in the water and after towel drying.
There has been talk about whether spray sunscreen is a bad choice. Many sources will say yes because the spray can be inhaled and if you’re using sunscreen with toxic ingredients, they are not only going on your skin, but you are also breathing them in. There is also the argument that sprays are more difficult to get even coverage.
Some additional ways to protect yourself naturally are to eat foods that can help decrease oxidative skin damage. These are blueberries, red grapes, salmon, fish oil, green tea, almonds, asparagus, carrots, red bell peppers and even red wine.
The good news is, our team at Better Safer Smarter can recommend mineral sunscreens that use zinc oxide as one of the main active ingredients and doesn’t have any of the chemicals on the “danger” list. We can also recommend fish oil, green tea and an antioxidant supplements that are highly absorbent, which gives the added benefit of ingested protection against oxidative damage.
If you do get overexposed to the sun, we can also recommend products which combine aloe, tea tree oil, algae, green tea and other natural ingredients to soothe and heal skin.
As a doctor of physical therapy, professor and sports enthusiast, health and wellness are naturally a part of Janice’s lifestyle. For her family, having toxins out of the home as well as healthy snacks and vitamins are also a priority. While Janice loves the roles of helping patients return to their lives after injury and teaching students to become skilled, compassionate therapists, family is the most important aspect of her life. With two young children, Janice finds herself longing to be at every school field trip, volunteer in their classrooms and be home to pick them up from school. Through The Legacy Group, Janice has found the flexibility to earn an income both in and out of the home, giving her time to coach her kids’ sports teams and enjoy the outdoors surfing, skiing and hiking with her family. The Legacy Group has allowed Janice to share her passion for health and wellness with others while creating an income to bring her home to her family.