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Smarter Mom: Sunscreen Savvy

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I'm old enough to remember when the first studies came out linking sun exposure to cancer, and when the first sunblocks came out. Before that it was all "tanning lotions" that claimed to protect you from burning and nobody cared about SPF.

I'm a very pale person, and my skin has three settings: burn, freckle, and blindingly white. So the advent of SPF 50 has actually been a good thing for me because I can go to the beach without roasting like a chicken. One of the major risk factors for skin cancer is a serious, blistering sunburn in childhood. I had a couple, and I am making sure my kids don't. So people like my dad can roll their eyes at my liberal use of sunscreen for both me and my kids, but I know we're doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don't know how to use sunscreen properly. Here are the key facts to remember:

Do: Use a least a shot glass worth, more if you are bigger or going to have a lot of exposed skin, such as on the beach.

Don't: Forget your (and your kids') neck, ears, lips, and the tops of your feet (my husband has a sunburn on his feet right now)!

Do: Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside, and you should wait even longer before you go in the water.

Don't: Think waterproof sunscreens protect you all still need to apply at least once every two hours, and more often if you're sweating or swimming.

Do: Protect yourself further with sunglasses, a hat, and long sleeves if you're going to be out for a long time.

Don't: Assume you only need it if you burn easily. Skin of all colors can be damaged from sun exposure!

And another pro tip from me: If you use a retinol product, make extra double super sure your face is well-protected. Retinols make your skin more sun-sensitive and even if your makeup or moisturizer typically protect you, add another layer  of sunscreen just to be safe!

What's your favorite sunscreen? And how often do you use it?

by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (51-52):
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 2:57 AM
Exactly. Scary fact? Same preservatives that are in sunscreens are also in lots and lots of processed foods that people eat everyday. Yummy chemicals!

Quoting happy2bmom25:

don't assume that rubbing carcinogens all over your children's bodies will protect them from skin cancer!

do look for all natural alternatives.

do know what you are putting on your children's skin.

do understand that the skin allows what you put on it into the body.

do understand that if you would not eat it, then you should really think long and hard before you put it on your body.

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by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 7:50 AM

*sigh* I think that many things in this world can cause cancer, including some "natural" things.  You do the best you can and protect your kids the best you can.  Unfortunately I have yet to find something that doesn't have chemicals in it to keep mosquitos and ticks from biting, and ticks can cause lyme disease and mosquitos west nile...etc etc etc.  I think there are some people who are predisposed to getting cancer and within the right circumstance their cells mutate and turn into cancer.  I am a scientist by nature, and I think you just do the best you can with the resources you have!

I will definitely look into the All Terrain as a replacement for my regural sunscreen without bug stuff.


btw-this wasn't meant as an argument :)  Love ya jconney80!  Just a scary place when there is so much cancer around!

Quoting jconney80:

Yes, this scores low at a 2. It still has yucky chemicals in it though =(

Quoting mom2cuteez:

Yep we use this on the boys or the avon skin so soft with bug guard. I am impressed. We were at the beach all day and I didn't even get pink. My middle is very sensitive and we can only use these two.

Quoting fraujones:

I've been using this stuff:

Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, 8 fl oz

It scores well on the "safe sunscreen" list:

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