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Sunscreen products- Are they doing more harm than good for your child

Sunscreen products- Are they  doing more harm than good for your child ?  By DR. Bruce Eisenberg MD, FAAP, DNBHE
 
  Welcome to our Summer Quarterly Newsletter .  Our topic  today is about Sunscreens.
Although sunscreen is recommended to lower  chances of skin cancer , skin aging and damage, many of the products do not have the proper protection and can actually cause more harm than good.
   The Dermatology Academy recommends that everyone should use sunscreen to protect against the sun’s UV rays. But , they don’t tell you the best way to protect with different sunscreens.  The FDA does not regulate claims made by companies about their sunscreens  nor the real level of protection. Researchers recently rated  the SPF value of 65 different Sunscreens and found that 43%  had less SPF than promised.  The Environmental Working Group just came out though with a list of best and worst sunscreens based on safety and level of protection. (see list)
  It is important to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. In the past  most sunscreens only protected against the UVB rays . Newer research  shows how the UVA rays need the most protection  and are a major  cause of Melanomas which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer.  Significant sunburn history caused by UVA rays are the major cause of Melanomas.
  Sunscreens often contain toxic chemicals such as Oxybenzone  to filter out the UV rays of which is  linked to cardiac disease, diabetes, hypertension and low birthweight infants. Other chemicals  oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone are hormone disruptors that have been shown to cause delayed puberty, reduce sperm counts and alter thyroid function. Retinyl palmitate may actually increase the risk of skin cancer.
  Zinc oxide  is a mechanical block of UVA and UVB  rays and shown to be safe. But, unless the Zinc is in NANO particles , it tends to leave a thick film. The problem with the Nano particles though is that it gets absorbed into the skin and can affect the heart and the brain so is not recommended any more.
   So…..how do we protect our children  without causing more harm than good??
I recommend first  to limit sun exposure  to short intervals. Cover as much as possible with hats , sunglasses and special UV A / B protection shirts and pants. If there are exposed areas , use  a Zinc oxide  based sunscreen but not the Nano versions. The charts below offer the BEST Sunscreens offered today :
 
 
Adults Children
All Good Sport Sunscreen, SPF 33 Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
All Terrain TerraSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 30 All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Badger Sunscreen Cream and Lotion, SPF 25, 30, and 35 ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
Bare Belly Organics Face Stick Sunscreen, SPF 34 Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30 BabyHampton beach*bum sunscreen, SPF 30
Goddess Garden Facial Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30 Bare Belly Organics Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
Kabana Organic Skincare Green Screen D Sunscreen, Original, SPF 35 Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Nature’s Gate Sport Vegan Sunscreen, SPF 50 Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
The Honest Company Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30 BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 35
Tropical Sands Sunscreen, SPF 15, 30, and 50 California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Worst for Children

Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100

Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Kids, SPF 70

Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70+

Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70+

Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+

CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55

CVS Kids Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+

Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen For Kids, SPF 70

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 70+

Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

      Have an enjoyable , safe and healthy summer!!

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