Sun Block Tutorial
When choosing a sunblock, I suggest first reading the label and checking for the ingredients and the SPF. For larger areas and children, I recommend avoiding chemical sunscreens, and exclusively using a mineral sunblock only. SPF 30 or higher is adequate if reapplied every 1.5 hours. Children under one year of age, no sunblock, and strict avoidance of excessive sun is best.
The following definitions and ingredient lists should help explain what you should be reading on the sunblock labels.
Sunblock – usually mineral and natural ingredients to protect from UV radiation from the sun.
Sunscreen – usually chemicals to protect from the UV radiation from the sun.
Mineral sunblocks= A sunblock containing only inert UVA blocking ingredients, and free from chemical sunscreens. Thought to be less irritating, less toxic, and safer. Examples: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide.
Chemical sunscreens= A sunscreen ingredient that absorbs UV radiation. May irritate some skin. With cumulative exposure, may have poorly understood toxic side effects to the body. Examples: homosalate, octinoxate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, ensulizole.
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