Sun Protection Tips & Safe Sunscreen Guide

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This last week we spent some time on a Florida beach with our family. We love enjoying the summer sun, but I’m always concerned about getting sunburned. I’ve come a long way from my days of slathering on the baby oil and lying on the trampoline.


I used to always make sure that we were fully stocked with the latest version of the leading name-brand sunscreen. You know the one I’m talking about – super sport high endurance waterproof sweatproof sunproof lifeproof invisible spray on sunscreen. That was until I learned how toxic sunscreen can be.

It was frustrating to discover that in an effort to protect myself from the sun’s rays, the toxins I was layering on were damaging my body. Those rays are causing more than wrinkles and unsightly sun spots.

Alarming Skin Cancer Statistics

  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77% between 1992 and 2006.
  • Over the past 3 decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our families? It’s easier than you might think.

Sun Safety Tips

  • Avoid the midday sun. Plan your outdoor activities before 10am or after 2pm when possible.
  • Find or create shade to avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear protective clothing, especially a hat. Coolibar and NoZone have great SPF 50+ clothing. I’ve gathered some on my Amazon store.

Check out Silas’s SPF 50 swimsuit!

  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 100% UVA UVB rays or offer UV 400 protection.
  • Check the UV index. You can do this on the weather channel website or phone app.
  • Apply a non-toxic, safe sunscreen on exposed areas.

Choosing Safe Sunscreen

Every year the Environmental Working Group releases a safe sunscreen guide that makes it easy for anyone, especially busy moms like me, to choose safe sunscreens for our family and avoid the most harmful of them all. According to the EWG, here is what you need to avoid.

  • Spray sunscreens can be inhaled, and they don’t cover skin completely.
  • SPF values above 50+ try to trick you into believing they’ll prevent sun damage. Don’t trust them. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50.
  • Oxybenzone can disrupt the hormone system.
  • Retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) may trigger damage, possibly cancer.

What You Can Do Today

1) See how your sunscreen and products with sunscreen (tinted moisturizer, lip balm, lotion) rate. Just go to

2) Choose a safer sunscreen. Our favorite is Beautycounter’s Protect Sun. I also love their tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. More safe sunscreen options here:

3) Learn more about sun safety and share what you learn with friends. An easy way is by joining my upcoming Facebook class.

Why I Love Beautycounter’s Protect Sun

Many sunscreens use chemical sun blockers like oxybenzone, which soaks through skin, triggers allergic skin reactions, and may be a hormone disruptor. Protect All Over uses non-nano zinc oxide, which is an effective, natural, and safe mineral sun blocker.

Beautycounter bans about 1,500 harmful ingredients and batch tests all of their products so I can always trust anything they create. As a bonus, this sunscreen absorbs way better than any other safe sunscreen I have tried and doesn’t cause any breakouts.

For more information on sun safety,  join my upcoming Facebook Class.

Shana Bresnahan
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