How To Choose The Best Sunscreen For Your Kids

"How do I choose the best sunscreen for my kids?" is one of the most common questions I get in the office each summer.  As parents, we always want to do what's best for our children, and most of us by now have heard that excess sun exposure causes skin cancer.  Over the past few years, conflicting messages have emerged from some media sources and websites regarding whether or not sunscreens are safe. As a dermatologist and a mother of two young children, this issue is very dear to me, and I'd like to address some of the misinformation out there by writing about this topic, and by helping you select the best sun protection for your little ones.

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Is Sunscreen Dangerous?

Are sunscreens safe?  Every year at this time I start to field questions like these.  Much of this appears to stem from the Environomental Working Group’s annual report on sunscreens, in which they describe the “dangers” of using various sunscreen ingredients.  Their website is rife with graphic, red and orange hazard signs, as well as health warnings, features that lead some of their visitors to the very mistaken conclusion that sunscreens are somehow more dangerous than sun exposure.

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Sunscreen "Myths": What the Science Tells Us...

Is a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 really no better than one with an SPF of 15? Do sunscreens prevent...or cause skin cancer? What exactly does SPF really mean? Despite how ubiquitous sunscreens are, studies have shown that many of us actually know very little about the lotions we put on to protect us from the sun. The following are some of the more common sunscreen "myths" I encounter, along with my attempt to clarify what it is that the science tells us.

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How to Choose the Best Sunscreen

With sunny weather having finally arrived, more people are heading to the drugstore to buy sunscreen for themselves and their families. There are so many products on the market today that the choosing one can seem daunting. Fortunately, selecting a sunscreen that provides excellent sun protection doesn't have to be complicated; it boils down to looking closely at the bottle's label for one of a few key ingredients along with the SPF.

 

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