There’s this HUGE misconception that African Americans don’t have to wear sunscreen, but I’m here to tell you, that is NOT true! African Americans are just as susceptible of getting skin cancer like any other race. Because of the melanin in our skin, we do have a natural SPF of approximately 13.4 compared to 3.4 in whites, but that doesn’t mean we should skip sunblock all together!! Because of this known fact, diagnosis of skin cancer is often delayed in people of color, which means cancers are more advanced and potentially more fatal. Luckily, most skin cancers are curable if they’re caught and treated in a timely manner. I’ll share with some health tips to consider when purchasing sunscreen and how you can help reduce your risk of skin cancer.
What Type of Sunscreen Should I use???
Mineral sunscreens are the safest option! “Mineral sunscreens typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun.” We don’t want our skin absorbing toxic chemicals, that’s why non-nano zinc oxide or titanium is the better option. These powdered minerals reflect UVA & UVB rays and have a difficult time absorbing into the skin. When purchasing sunscreen, be sure to look for products containing these ingredients, including natural oils like Sunflower Oil & Lavender essential oil.
Sunscreens to Avoid
Products containing Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. Oxybenzone considered an endocrine disruptor and can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women. In addition, Retinyl Palmitate may speed up development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin, according to government studies. Both ingredients are found in popular sunscreens worldwide. They’re easily absorbed through the skin and can possibly trigger cancer. Avoid products containing these ingredients!
Click here for the Complete List of Sunscreen Brands you should Avoid!
Although there isn’t a 100% cancer-proof product, taking precautionary measures in choosing the right sunscreen can help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Our bodies need a healthy amount of Vitamin D from the sun, but excessive sun exposure should be limited. Do you have any ulcers of blisters on your skin that just won’t heal?? That could be a direct link to skin cancer. Remember to limit your time in the sun, wear light-colored & loose fitting clothing with a hat or long sleeves, if possible. Also, don’t be fooled into buying sunscreen with an SPF of 50 and above. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50 and anything above that is a waste of money!!!
Here’s a list of approved sunscreens by the Environmental Working Group:
Alba Botanical Mineral Sunscreen
Badger Mineral Sunscreen
Babyganics Sunscreen or spray sunscreen
All Terrain KidSport SPF30 Oxybenzone-Free Natural Sunscreen
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
Bull Frog Sunscreen
Burt’s Bees Sunscreen Stick
California Baby Hypoallergenic Sunscreen
JASON Mineral Sunscreen
Naked Turtle Mineral Sunscreen with Aloe
Sunology Natural Sunscreen
Raw Elements Sunscreen
The Honest Company Sunscreen
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
Want to know if your sunscreen is healthy for you? Click here to find out!