Summer is coming, which means it’s time to restock on sunscreen. As with all topical skin care products, the ingredients in your sunscreen count!
Unfortunately, most commercial sunscreens are drenched with chemicals – some of which can be toxic or irritating. Certain ingredients, like oxybenzone, are hormone disruptors, and all sunscreen chemicals can potentially enter the bloodstream.
The good news is that as time goes on, more quality natural sunscreens are coming on the market. The majority of them use reflective sun-blocking minerals like titanium and zinc as their main ingredient to block UV rays that can burn skin.
But unlike the old zinc oxide that left you looking like you were wearing white clown makeup, newer preparations of mineral sunscreens go on smoothly without the greasy white mess.
In many quality natural products, the mineral sun-blocking agents are carried in botanically-based creams and lotions with no artificial fragrances or colors.
Hang Your Sunscreen in Your Closet!
In addition to topical skin products, there are many styles of sun-blocking clothing you can buy. You can find the usual wide-brim hats, but now you can also find clothing like shirts, slacks, and bathing suits made of special fabrics that reflect the sun, yet keep you cool and ventilated in hot weather.
Stay Sun Smart
Just as with any topical preparation, if you have eczema, TSW, psoriasis, acne, or any other skin conditions, read the ingredient label to make sure there aren’t any ingredients that you know to be a trigger for a flare-up.
Whatever sunscreen you choose, be sure to wear it on exposed skin whenever you plan to be outside.
Of course, the best natural strategies to help your sunscreen in protecting your skin are shade, moderation in sunbathing, and staying indoors during peak UV hours during the mid-day. Staying “sun smart” can reduce your risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and prematurely aging skin.
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About the Author
Olivia Hsu Friedman, LAc, Dipl.OM, DACM, Cert. TCMDerm, is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and treats Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, and TSW. Olivia treats patients via video conferencing using only herbal medicine. Olivia is Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Acupuncturists, serves on the Advisory Board of LearnSkin, and is a faculty member of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Group sponsored by the National Eczema Association.