Summertime is here. As a matter of fact, looking at the weather map , it looks like summer is here not in patches but all across the states. It’s time for summer activities. Picnics. Going to the beach. Hanging out at the swimming pool. Scooting and shooting—all right, that’s probably my own brand of summer activity.
At any rate, wherever you are and whatever you do outside, it is time to choose sunscreen. Do you remember when the choice was baby oil—I know, I know, I hear the dermatologists screaming. I remember those days, however, and I remember the price I paid with sunburns whose fire could only be stifled with a teabag pat-down. The first time I got burned I remember thinking afterward that all that shedding could not be a good thing. Yet, it was one of those stupid habits that seemed to die a slow death, mostly inspired by my working with dermatologists years ago who informed me that all coloring of the skin by sun rays was, pure and simple, skin damage. The fact that we still call it tanning shows how we stubbornly cling to a euphemism despite statistics that show us that skin cancer is the most common cancer among men and women in the US with rates rising every year (CDC statistics skin cancer).
Today, we have many choices of sunscreens, so much so it is a dizzying task. After I researched my favorite sites online and read all of the material about products not only good for my skin, me and my surroundings, I scooted over to our favorite stores to compare labels and prices. By the time I actually bought what I thought was the best choice for me, I had a headache. Apparently, I was not the only one, either, because I recognized a couple of familiar faces a few minutes later in the analgesics aisle.
After reading the various 2011 reports on sunscreens, finishing with the Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report published 6-23-11, I finally chose the Aveeno® Natural Protection Mineral Block Sunblock Lotion SPF 30. Paying $9.50 plus tax at the cash register, I kept repeating the famous words from the L’Oreal® commercials . . .
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