5 Sunscreen Dos and Don’ts

The Environmental Working Group, a long-standing non-profit consumer information organization, has recently put out its 2011 Sunscreen Guide. It’s a comprehensive piece of work, featuring effectiveness ratings of 1700 sunscreens, information about sun exposure and skin cancer and a detailed breakdown of what we should and shouldn’t be looking for in a sunscreen. No time to read it before hitting the beach? Bookmark these key points instead:

1. DO look for the ingredients zinc, titanium dioxide, avenobenzone and Mexoryl SX, all of which are powerful UVA blockers that remain on the surface of the skin instead of absorbing into the body.

DON’T choose a product that includes ingredients that may affect hormones and/or are potentially carcinogenic, such as insect repellent, oxybenzone and vitamin A (retinyl palmitate).

2. DO opt for SPF 15-30+ daily.  If you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, slather on the 30+.

DON’T waste your money on sunscreens claiming an SPF higher than 50+. According to the FDA, there’s no evidence such products provide better protection against harmful rays—and they may actually make us feel overconfident and less likely to reapply.

3. DO choose a long-lasting sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

DON’T forget to reapply often. Even waterproof sunscreens eventually wash off, and all sunscreens can be easily rubbed off by towels, sand and clothes.

4. DO remind your husbands, sons, boyfriends, brothers and dads to wear sunscreen. According to research done by the Environmental Working Group, 78 percent of women wear sunscreen while only 34 percent of men do.

DON’T put sunscreen on an infant without consulting with your pediatrician.

5. DO test a small amount of sunscreen on your child’s wrist before slathering it on, to test for an allergic reaction to the ingredients.

DON’T assume the sunscreen your child’s school or daycare provides is the best choice for your kid. If he’s sensitive to certain chemicals or you want to be sure his sunscreen is safe and effective, pack your own.

See also:
4 Things You Didn’t Know About Sunscreen
Anatomy of a Sunburn
Beach Gear You Didn’t Know You Needed

Source: EWG’s Skin Deep

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

One thought on “5 Sunscreen Dos and Don’ts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy