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 :
|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+|
Have an enjoyable , safe and healthy summer!!