Ah, the summer sun is shining and we're all happily busting out our bikinis and bathing trunks in full anticipation of those warm days ahead on the beach, at the pool or on summer holiday. But before you pop open that tube of sunscreen and slather up you should be warned:
There is a major sunscreen scandal in our midst. The dilemma is more than just how much protection we really need or how many hours we may or may not be guarded from harmful rays. There is a lot more bad news brewing and I am here to tell all.
For starters, many, many sunscreens do not provide the UVA protection that they claim on their packaging. Nor are they actually waterproof or contain the SPF level they advertise.
The FDA continues to postpone its regulating of sunscreen companies and their claims. No one is verifying that any particular sunscreen works. Same for lip balms and moisturizers with an SPF label.
Many of the sunscreens that claim to be "all natural" actually are full of petroleum and many other compounds not found in nature. Especially worrisome are the reports about the high SPF sunscreens labeled "especially for babies" or with the word baby in their advertising that have a chemical named oxybenzone in its ingredient list. This is not a healthy choice to slather on your baby!
So what can you do to make healthier and more informed choices about sun safety?
We can all enjoy ourselves this summer in the sun once we feel confident we are slathering on healthy and safe products onto our skin.
Follow Dr. Sharon Ufberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrUfberg