Options for parents avoiding sunscreens with chemicals

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(Source: Konstantin Faraktinov via 123RF) (Source: Konstantin Faraktinov via 123RF)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Parents wanting to protect their kids from harmful rays without using chemicals have options that can easily be found at the drug store.

Dermatologists and natural medicine experts agree the ingredients zinc oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both alternatives to chemicals, but you have to carefully read labels to know what you’re getting out of your sunscreen.

“[They] tend to stay on the surface of the skin and reflect the harmful rays off of the individual,” says David Feist of the Center of Dermatology in Scottsdale.

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not chemicals. Instead, they are mineral-based.

Some parents might be skeptical, but the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics agrees the two ingredients are the safest way to avoid chemicals and get great sun protection.

Licensed esthetician, Lisa Mansueto, says there is research showing some sunscreen chemicals are harmful to coral and fish. She says zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are earth matter, safe for the skin and body, and sunscreens with those ingredients should be reapplied every two hours as advised on the labels.

Feist says in Arizona it is important to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30.  He recommends any sunscreen. Both Feist and Mansueto suggest wearing protective clothing including hats and glasses to cover the eyes, ears, and top of the head.

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