Sunscreen: An Easy Overview
It's summer, which means the weather is heating up and the skin is being exposed! Enjoy the sun, but remember, hiking in the woods may not expose you to as many UV rays but there are other (tiny) dangers that come with warm weather.
Understand SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Don’t be fooled by high SPF. Higher SPF values (anything higher than 50) tend to be misleading, and may not actually contain as much SPF protection as you think you’re getting. The FDA has proposed prohibiting sunscreens with an SPF greater than 50. Additionally, a higher SPF does not mean that you are protected more or for a longer period of time. You still must reapply as directed.

Read the Label. Watch out for harmful chemicals. Sunscreen is applied over large areas of the body, and ingredients in sunscreen are absorbed into the skin. Retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin A) is a common sunscreen additive that has been linked to development of skin cancer. Avoid this additive when buying sunscreens or any other cosmetic product.
Use Other Methods. Remember, sunscreen does not protect from all types of sun damage. Nor, does it actually prevent skin cancer. Sunscreen protects against sunburn, but UV rays can also cause other harmful effects to the skin. Sunscreen may not be as effective in protecting against these other harmful effects. If you want to avoid these effects be sure to try to stick to shaded areas, wear sunglasses, wear hats that shade the face, and wear clothing that covers skin.
Sunscreens are better in Europe. Europe has higher standards for sunscreens, and many sunscreens made in America do not meet the criteria to be sold in Europe.
Look for mineral-only sunscreens. This type of sunscreen, usually made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are efficient in protecting from UV rays, and do not typically contain harmful additives.
  
Need help picking out a sunscreen? Here are a few picks to get you started!
My pick for favorite sunscreen is Babyganics Mineral Based Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+ . Yes, it does say BABY, however I love using this sunscreen for myself. It ranks high on the EWG scoring, has a smooth texture, and I have never gotten burned while using it. We also use it on my 2 year old niece, Addy, and she has much fairer skin than I do.
Another great sunscreen is Supergoop! Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen . It is super smooth and is great for sensitive skin. It also has no fragrance, so it is great for those who aren’t too keen on the “sunscreen smell.”

 
As always, you can consult your health care provider to find the right sun protection for you. 

Amanda grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL but is now enjoying living in Louisville, KY. She received her bachelors degree at Northern Illinois University where she acted as a resident advisor and mentor to fellow students. This was where she found her passion for wellness and helping others. She went on to study community health and receive her Masters of Education at the University of Louisville. During her studies, she focused her graduate research on programming for mental health and youth wellness. She also acts as an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. She has always enjoyed using her voice and knowledge to educate and advocate about important health topics. Amanda spends much of her time employed as a nanny for three wonderful children.

When she is not busy promoting health education or chasing around the kids, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her Pomeranian, Sulley, or indulging in a great book. Amanda thrives on helping to educate others about important health issues and effective health related behaviors so they can live happier and healthier lives!