Environmental group ranks top sunscreens

July 7, 2010 8:34:12 AM PDT
It is officially "summer" time, and the sun is not shying away. In fact, 65-90 percent of melanomas are caused by exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light. Skin cancer develops in the tissue of the skin and is still the most common cancer in the United States. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common and are highly curable according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Basal cell skin cancer grows slowly and grows on skin that is exposed to the sun; it is very common on the face and rarely spreads elsewhere on the body. Squamous cell skin cancer can spread to lymph nodes and organs inside the body but begins on parts of the skin exposed to the sun. In 2009, more than 1,000,000 cases of skin cancer were diagnosed and less than 1,000 cases resulted in death. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

NEW PROTECTION: Be aware of your body ...

1) Check your mole! If your mole is asymmetric, has jagged edges, has different colors or is larger than six millimeters wide, you need to visit a doctor.

2) Protect your skin before you go outside! It is always best to lather on sunscreen before you even leave your home. Specialist Jane Houlihan, with the Environmental Working Group says to never wear any SPF under 15. Top Sunscreens: Loving Naturals Sunscreen (30-plus SPF), California Baby Sunblock Stick (30-plus SPF) and Heiko Kids (40 SPF).

3) Stay away from sunscreens that contain oxybenzone! It is an ingredient that acts as a hormone and may increase health risks.

4) Don't buy cheap sunglasses! They will not protect your vision. The generic sunglasses only protect against the "visible spectrum," they don't stop the damaging "invisible-spectrum." It is best to buy shades that are UVA and UVB protection.

For More Information, Contact:
LeAnn Brown
Environmental Working Group
(202) 939-9146


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