Friday, April 16, 2010

Ready for summer?

With all the sunscreen brands and claims out there, it's hard to really narrow down which chemicals and ingredients are most effective, which are actually good and which one's you can do without. Since the FDA has yet to fully establish what is okay to print on sunscreen labels, outrageous claims by some companies can make it even more difficult to distinguish what information is even accurate. We've tried our best to simplify the information out there and hopefully give you some piece of mind when it comes to choosing a sunblock.

First you need to know that there are two main different types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin as a means of protecting against sun damage. Although some of the chemical ingredients used in this particular format of sunscreen has shown to be the most effective, some studies are beginning to show that the negative impact resulting from your body absorbing such chemicals could outweigh the benefits. Chemicals such as oxybenzone applied over large patches of skin for long durations of time can be significantly absorbed into the bloodstream, and with long term use could actually contribute to such skin disorders as melanoma.
Physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin and either absorbs or reflects the suns rays which has proven to be a safe alternate to chemical sunscreens. These products typically include either zinc or titanium dioxide which leaves the white residue you see in many sunscreens. Zinc oxide is currently the only FDA approved safe sunscreen chemical on the market for children under 6 months of age; it provides complete UVA and UVB protection as well as has anti-inflammatory properties. However be mindful that some sunscreens now include Zinc Oxide in nano-size particles which minimize the white residue left on the skin; there currently is growing concern about the toxicity in nanoparticles and how if it could be harmful to the skin. Titanium Dioxide, although effective in protecting against sun damage, has also turned up to be an ingredient to reconsider. In recent studies has shown to cause "DNA damage in human cells" and it is also speculated to be a potential carcinogen.

Keep in mind that a little sun exposure can actually be beneficial for the body to adequately produce Vitamin D, so spending 10-20 minutes a day in moderate sunlight without sunscreen can actually be a good thing. However if you plan on spending a more prolonged period of time outdoors, you might want to consider a sunscreen that is hypoallergenic and toxin free. Currant Baby recommends Supergoop the first sunscreen on the market designed by two doctors to be free of carcinogens and endocrine disrupters such as oxybenzone, proplyene glycol, octinoxate, parabens, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This fragrance free formula is perfect for sensitive skin and also includes antioxidants A,C, & E.

This summer we hope that sunscreen will be the least of your worries, with the help of Currant Baby...know that the products we provide will always have your babies health and safety in mind.

Grow happy!

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