Sunscreen Tips for Moms

by Samantha on Friday

Each spring, mothers around the world start worrying about how much sun their kids are getting, and how to protect them from the harmful sun’s rays. But to add to the worries, moms now must contend with all the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, wondering what potential harm those sunscreens might be doing to themselves and their kids. Thankfully, here are some sunscreen tips to keep in mind as you enjoy the outdoors.

Avoid sunscreen products that contain retinyl palmitate, a Vitamin A derivative.

Retinyl palmitate, according to the Environmental Working Group, says that this ingredient reacts with the sun and increases the risk of skin cancer (based on animal studies). This is just one of many dangerous ingredients in chemical sunscreens.

Avoid sunscreen products that contain oxybenzone.

Oxybenzone is a hormone-disrupting chemical. Its purpose is to filter ultra violet light on the skin’s surface. It then converts the light to heat, but oxybenzone can also be absorbed through the skin in significant amounts. What is concerning is that if the light is converted to heat in the basal layers of the skin, it can damage growing cells. Also, two recent studies show that since there is such widespread exposure to this common sunscreen ingredient, there are associated concentrations of it in pregnant women, correlating to lower birth weight in their daughters (ref. Calafat 2008, Wolff 2008).

Use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, ingredients that are in most organic sunscreens, are considered physical blockers because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sit on the surface of the skin, and they are not absorbed into the skin. This is also why some people notice a “whitish tint” on their skin when they apply organic sunscreen (this has to do with the nanoparticle amounts in the sunscreen).

Know when to apply sunscreen and how much.

Sunscreen should be applied at least fifteen minutes before going out into the sun. Don’t make the mistake of trying to make a bottle of sunscreen last forever. For maximum protection, apply a generous amount.

Beware of what you are being told.

Know when to reapply. Is the American Academy of Dermatology correct in saying that reapplying sunscreen every two hours is enough? What about when a person has been sweating or swimming? How effective is waterproof sunscreen – do they really continue to protect the skin after a person gets wet? What about SPF? Is there a difference between SPF 15 and SPF 30? Or SPF 50 and higher? Are there safe, healthy, alternatives to chemical sunscreens?

If you’d like answers to these and other questions, visit for more free information and valuable advice.

Renee Pawlish offers advice and tips on safe sunscreen and organic living. She extensively researches these topics and shares the information so anyone can live a better, healthier life. Her online resources are a valuable educational experience!

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Renee Pawlish - EzineArticles Expert Author

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