With summer upon us and temperatures on the rise, sunscreen is an absolute necessity to protect you and your family from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
While many brand name sun protection products are marketed as "broad spectrum" and/or specifically for "babies" and "kids," they may not actually provide adequate protection against both UVA and UVB rays and/or may contain harmful chemicals that can do more harm than good.
EWG is a non-profit organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the area of toxic chemicals. Each year it releases a sunscreen guide recommending mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide rather than the often heavily marketed chemical formulas. Chemical sunscreens can contain potential hormone disruptors and are less likely to protect sufficiently against harmful UVA rays, which is particularly harmful to children and those with sensitive skin.
Nearly 200 sun protection products made this year's recommended list, which is encouraging. I narrowed it down further to my top 10 best sunscreens for the entire family based on personal experience, price, and accessibility (in alphabetical order):
Sunscreen alone isn't enough to protect you and your family against UV rays but it is a major part of a complete sun protection plan which should also include: limiting time in the sun and covering up with long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses as much as possible. Follow all sunscreen application and reapplication instructions and remember that babies under six months old should be kept out of the sun altogether. As always, contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Best wishes for a safe and healthy summer!
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