Safe Sunscreens for Summer

Safe Sunscreens for Summer

Jul 06, 2022Anne Cundiff, RD, LD, FAND

In December 2014, I noticed a very dark mole — about the size of a sesame seed — on my right thigh. It was not bleeding, it was not an odd shape, and it was just really dark. I decided to see my favorite dermatologist and had it removed. About 3 weeks later, I received a call from my doctor. That small mole, that itty-bitty mole, was malignant melanoma. Never in my wildest dreams did I think skin cancer, let alone malignant melanoma, would happen to me. This isn’t just any kind of skin cancer; malignant melanoma is the type of skin cancer that can travel to many other parts of your body and cause other types of cancer.

Did you know skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than 3 million people diagnosed annually? Roughly 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, than the combined incidences of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. Melanoma is one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of skin cancer, resulting in more than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

During the summer, you probably stock up on sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and cover-ups to protect your skin from the sun. Did you know that sunscreen should be applied daily, even when it is cloudy, to prevent the risk of all types of skin cancer? So what do you look for when buying sunscreen?

Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection.

  • It protects against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
  • UVB rays cause most skin cancer cases; almost all sunscreens have this protection.
  • UVA rays can contribute to the risk of skin cancer and may cause premature aging.
  • One to try: Acure Radically Rejuvenating SPF Day Cream

Choose SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher

  • The SPF is the protection from UVB rays.
  • SPFs greater than 30 will protect from both sunburn and skin cancer risk.
  • Anything less than SPF 30 will only protect from sunburn, not from skin cancer risk.
  • SPF 30 filters out 97% of UVB rays.
  • I use this one daily: Pacifica Vegan Collagen Every Day Lotion

Choose “Water Resistant”

  • It should be water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  • It does not mean it is waterproof or sweatproof.
  • Reapply every 2 hours in normal conditions and more frequently while swimming or sweating.
  • Don’t forget to protect your lips, earlobes and scalp.

Want to work with a Hy-Vee dietitian and learn about what foods are naturally protective from UVB and UVA rays to work with your sunscreen protection? Go to the Hy-Vee Dietitian website and from there you will find the dietitian who covers your area and can move forward with setting up an appointment for a FREE Discovery Session. This session allows us to learn more about your health and wellness goals and discover which of our many services will be the best fit for your needs.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian  

Anne Cundiff, RD, LD, FAND, has more than 21 years of experience as a registered dietitian and 13 years of experience as a Hy-Vee dietitian. Anne graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and attended Iowa State University for her dietetic internship. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she has serve as president and was the recipient of the Medallion Award and of the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award.

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