It’s time for some fun in the sun! Before you purchase this year’s sunscreen, here’s a little safety information to shed some light on your sun care health.

American sunscreens today can be found in two categories – chemical or mineral-based. It’s important to distinguish the two when considering your health and sunscreen options.

Dangers of Chemical-Based Sunscreens
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, offers a few warnings and considerations when it comes to chemical suncare use.

Over the course of 12 years, the EWG has uncovered mounting evidence that one common sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, poses a hazard to human health and the environment. It is an allergen and a hormone disruptor that soaks through skin and is measured in the body of nearly every American.

The EWG is also concerned that a common sunscreen additive, a form of vitamin A called retinyl palmitate, can harm skin. Government test data shows more skin tumors and lesions on animals treated with this ingredient and exposed to sunlight.

Mineral-Based Sunscreens
Mineral-based sunscreens typically use zinc oxide and titanium which act as a physical barrier to the sun and deflect the sun’s UV rays.

According to the EWG, these sunscreens tend to rate well in their analysis. They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation – UVA and UVB – and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.

Environmental Impact
Chemical sunscreens also pose a threat to the environment. An estimated 15% of coral reefs are impacted by toxic sunscreen chemicals including Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. These chemicals don’t biodegrade and have been shown to cause irreversible and sometimes fatal bleaching. Bleaching inhibits the growth of new coral which nearly 1 million species depend on for survival.

What can you do to help the coral reefs? Avoid sunscreens with marine-toxic ingredients including Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Butylparaben and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor.

Sun Safe Tips
Even with the use of sunscreen, it’s still wise to practice sun safety. The EWG recommends the following tips for complete sun health.

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered or peeling skin is a sign of too much sun and increases your skin cancer risk.

  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants are great protection from UV rays.

  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. And be sure to keep infants in the shade as they lack the tanning pigments known as melanin to protect their skin.

  • Plan around the sun. Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower. UV radiation peaks at midday.

  • Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. Good shades protect your eyes from UV radiation that causes cataracts.

Stay safe and save this month with 20% off MyChelle suncare.  MyChelle is mineral based and reef safe!  Click here to view this and all HBC savings.

Have a safe, fun and healthy summer!