By now you've probably heard about the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) analysis of studies on sunscreen done by the US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that basically says sunscreens are not doing what they say they're doing, and may actually be causing skin cancer.
I read it through once and panicked, and put my head in the sand for about 18 hours. Then I ,put on my big-girl panties and realized I had to figure out what was going on. But I need some help, so if you all could help us all figure out what this all means, I'd really appreciate it.
What I *think* I'm getting from all of this:
1. Sun protection isn't just about sunscreen. Stay in the shade, wear protective clothing, hats, etc.
2. Continue to use sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are safer than chemical sunscreens are because chemical sunscreens can do things to our hormones. Nanoparticles of mineral sunscreens may not be safe. But we don't know for sure yet.
3. Don't use sunscreen that contains retinol or Vitamin A products because in tests it increased incidence of cancer.
If anyone out there who understands reading scientific studies can confirm, deny, or expand on that, you'd be doing us all a great service.
Now, to be selfish here for a minute. I don't honestly really care about sunscreen theory in general. I'm just concerned about my kids first, and then me. Two priorities:
1. I want to find a sunscreen that my two fair-skinned kids can use that will protect them (understanding that there's no such thing as perfect protection).
2. And I want to find a few products that I can use. I use retinol on my face at night because I'd rather not look my 37 years, and, honestly, I'm not going to stop. So I need to find a facial protection product that's a) not going to make things worse, and b) will give me sun protection. And I need a product for my body (probably what the kids use).
So please help sort all this out, so we can stop staying inside out of fear of using our normal sunscreens.