Sunscreen Staples

Pointers for protecting your clan under the sun.

Heard of the Food and Drug Administration’s new guidelines for sunscreens, but still not certain what you need to know? Read on for important tips for protecting your family from the sun’s harmful rays.

1. Learn how to read the label on every sunscreen. Opt for chemical-free products that offer broad-spectrum protection, meaning protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

2. The best sun protection factor (SPF) level for your child depends on the activity your tyke is doing. Chose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 35 to defend against more than 95 percent of the harmful wavelength of UV rays. This is just right for playing at the beach, at the park or in the backyard.

3. A natural mineral or physical block is by far the safest sunscreen option. Zinc sits on the skin’s surface to reflect the sun’s rays away from the body like a mirror, as opposed to chemical ingredients that are designed to be absorbed into the skin and can have potentially harmful consequences.

4. Sunscreen may also be used to combat the negative effects of increased exposure to pollution in the ocean and air as well as heat on the skin’s surface. Be mindful that products that contain aloe help cool the skin. Ingredients like green tea extract offset skin problems and aid in limiting long-term damage from sun exposure.

5. The skin’s ability to perform essential immune functions can be compromised by the damaging dryness from exposure to chlorine from pools and city water supplies. All-natural sunscreens fortified with ingredients such as vitamin C, beeswax and shea butter offset chlorine, maintain skin’s hydration and create a water-resistant barrier to reduce absorption of pollutants through the skin.

The sun is important as it offers a natural source of vitamin D. However, you want to protect yourself from cancer-causing burns. Heed the advice provided to enjoy sunny days without worrying about sun damage.