Fortunately, Experts at Environmental Working Group released another annual guide on the safest sunscreen products on the market and how to choose them. Additionally, pediatricians at the Goddard School agreed to help us pick the best products for our kids.
Before starting, you should know that the best protection is precaution. So make sure that you get enough shade time when sun is too hot, wear protective clothing, and avoid sunbathing or bathing when UV radiation is the strongest.
So what’s best for your children? While some experts claim that sprayed solutions are the best, most disagree. The latter warn that kids may inhale the chemicals in a spray screen which may have long term negative effects. Additionally, it is hard to cover the skin evenly with such products.
Most experts agree that lotions and creams are more effective that sprays because they don’t get so easily absorbed through the skin, which is essential for a high protection.
You should also check a product for harmful ingredients. Experts warn that oxybenzone and retinal palmitate should be avoided. While the first one can disrupt hormone balance, the second can actually enhance sun damage.
Also, stay away from nanoparticle-based sunscreens as there are few trials out there to see if they’re safe for kids.
Skin cancer experts and pediatricians agree that sunblocks based on zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are the best despite their high price and the whitish look they bring to your skin.
Last week, a three year old boy from Maryland ended up with second-degree burns on his face even though he wore sunscreen and his mother was very diligent in refreshing it every time he got out of the water.
Experts believe that in this kid’s case the sunscreen was ineffective because it lacked the above mentioned metal oxides and the boy had a really sensitive skin.
You should also make sure that the sunscreen you are about to use on your family guarantees protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. The SPF factor is an indicator that the product provides protection against UV-B rays only. For UV-A, look for the phrase “broad spectrum protection” on the products’ labels.
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