What you should know about spray sunscreen
I’ve been focusing recently on which sunscreens are safe and which sunscreens don’t leave a trail of white paste behind, but I haven’t spent any time on what you should avoid when choosing a sunscreen. There are so many sunscreen ingredients that make me cringe, but there’s one type of sunscreen that makes me run for the hills. Spray sunscreen.
While spray sunscreens are convenient (I’m the first to admit that!), the FDA is reviewing their safety. I know how challenging it is to get sunscreen on a toddler. I have vivid memories of my three boys resisting sunscreen for many years. I wish I could say that it’s gotten better as they’ve gotten a bit older, but it’s still a struggle. What I will tell you is that spray sunscreen is not the answer.
Many spray sunscreens-especially the aerosol sprays-contain ingredients that don’t belong on your skin. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is very concerned about inhalation of nano-sized and micronized zinc and titanium in spray sunscreen. When you spray sunscreen you are likely to inhale the fumes and this is a much more direct route of exposure than when you apply the sunscreen directly to your skin. It goes directly into your lungs.
The EWG suggests that “if you want the benefits of a mineral sunscreen, choose a zinc- or titanium-containing lotion ….”
If you just can’t bring yourself to ditch the spray or pump sunscreen make sure you never spray sunscreen around your face or mouth. When applying spray sunscreens on children, pay attention to the wind and spray in a direction that won’t blow into their faces. Lower your inhalation risk by applying it on your hands and then wiping it on your face.
Although the dangers of spray sunscreen are still being investigated, why risk exposing your children to inhalation of harmful chemicals? Switch to a safe, non-toxic sunscreen and have a fantastic summer!
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