Last Updated: July 14, 2021
Some time ago, I blogged about my friend who was instructed by her primary care doctor to use sunscreen daily, all over. At that time, the doctor suggested SPF 45, but he has since retracted that recommendation and now suggests using SPF 100. I have recently delved a little deeper into this issue for several reasons.
In my previous blog, I alluded to the fact that finding a sufficiently protective sunscreen isn’t always so easy for everyone. Active and inactive ingredients can pose problems for some (more on this below). Looking for SPF 100 products can narrow the field even further. Secondly, if physical sun screen creams and lotions leave you looking like an extra from The Walking Dead, you are unlikely to continue applying enough sunscreen.
On the other hand, according to my friend’s doctor, physical screening like hats, shirts, long sleeves, etc. is insufficient because of her autoimmune disease diagnosis. Her physician also suggested that she plan to get all of her vitamin D from a bottle for the foreseeable future since she needs to stay completely out of the sun. Lastly, sun screening technology continues to advance in ways that users should be aware of - and here I mean protective clothing, accessories and supplements. There is a lot online about choosing an appropriate SPF, so I won’t address that in this blog.
She asked: how do I pick a sunscreen product I feel safe using every day, all over?
As a holistic physician, I get questions all the time about what may be a healthier alternatives for food, water, cleaning products, skin care products, etc. Enter Environmental Working Group, or EWG.org. The Environmental Working Group is an environmental organization that provides education and research on toxic chemicals, agriculture and public land. They offer Consumer Guides to skin care, pesticides in fruits and vegetables, home cleaning products and more with safety and hazard ratings for ingredients in each category.