MRF's Sunscreen Postcard

Sunscreen WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

What should I look for when I buy sunscreen? Look for the words “Broad Spectrum” and use SPF 30 or higher. Broad Spec- trum protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. This will protect against sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging. Manufacturers can no longer claim sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” or identify their products as “sunblocks.” What about the ingredients? Are they safe? The safety of sunscreens has been studied in labs and on live subjects by research scientists for many years. Consumers should rest assured that sunscreens, specifically the ingredients oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, are safe and effective. This evidence is over- whelming. The claims that sunscreens are unsafe or can cause cancer are not based on facts or scientific research. Some people also claim that sunscreen prevents sweating. This is inaccurate.

What about for my kids? Sunscreen is safe for children above the age of six months. You may prefer to use clothing and hats for sensitive skin on babies, toddlers and children. Remember, sunscreen is only one way to protect your child’s skin from the sun — protective clothing and shade should also be used whenever possible.

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