By Tricia White / Managing Editor
We all know by now to avoid the baby oil and reflective mats some of us may remember from our tanning days in the past. We’ve heard about the importance of using sunscreen, but as with any topic in the field of health and wellness, there is a tangled web of research and opinions when it comes to skin cancer, sun exposure, and sunscreen ingredients. Most of us have never considered what is in our sunscreen, and we’re not sure how many times we should apply it or what SPF to wear. Should we buy sun-protective clothing to safeguard every inch of our skin from damaging UV rays, or should the real cause of our cancer fears be the sunscreen ingredients themselves?
Kathy Grane, Plano Executive Director of Beautycounter in DFW, wants consumers to be more educated in the ingredients that are in common skin care products many of us use every day. “At Beautycounter, we’ve committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the United States,” she explains “The last law passed in the U.S. to mandate the exclusion of harmful skin care ingredients to U.S. sold products banned 11 ingredients and the year was 1938! In comparison, the European Union bans 1400 ingredients from their skin care products.” Attention to what’s going into their skin care, cosmetics, and sunscreens not only leads to healthier products but customers report them to be far less irritating to sensitive skin.
All Sunscreens are not created equal
“SPF is not a consumer-friendly number,” says Florida dermatologist James M. Spencer, MD. “It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works.”
According to Dr. Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays. Spencer recommends SPF 30 products to his patients. In 2011, the FDA even proposed a regulation to prohibit labels higher than SPF 50+, but the agency has not completed work on this rule and put it into force. Beautycounter’s own All Over Sunscreen is SPF 30, and with its combination of effective sun protection and gentle ingredients, it has been named as the #1 best sunscreen to protect your skin in one top 10 list as shared on The Huffington Post.
Outside of SPF, you can also consider the ratings of outside consumer organizations such as the EWG (Environmental Working Group). Their “Skin Deep” sunscreen ratings for safety and effectiveness are available on-line and through their app. You can check the ratings all major brands. Beautycounter is one of the few to have scored EWG’s top score.
We’re getting so good at thinking what goes in our bodies. Kathy wants to remind us that this summer – and every day – we should consider what goes on our bodies too.
Editor’s Note: For specific information about BeautyCounter skin and sun care products, go to goodlifefamilymag.com or contact Kathy Grane at firstname.lastname@example.org.