I was in third year university (an eon ago) when I read studies that linked the use of chemical based sunscreens to an increase in skin cancer! What! The more I read the more I learned. I was shocked and angry to find out that all of the goopy, sticky lotions I diligently put on all of the time could be increasing my risk of skin cancer, disrupting my hormones & increasing my exposure to other toxins!
Last year I began to hear mainstream rumblings about the dangers of chemical sunscreens, specifically UVA protection issues. Seemingly before I could blink every sunscreen out there has a 'Broad Spectrum' and 'UVA Protection' label on it. These labels can be very misleading. The SPF number on the bottle only refers to the UVB protection not the UVA. Again, you can check your brand on the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Sunscreen.
For everyday use (yes, I have to use sunscreen everyday as soon as spring hits!) I really like Devita Solar for both my face & body. [2023 Update] I have been using thinksport Everyday face for anything active that requires sweat protection (think cycling, garden work, etc.) and the whole family seems to default to grabbing the thinksport 50+ if they need some serious sunprotection or the Orgnaika 25 Sunscreen Lotion (also water & sweat proof) for more moderate protection.
Things I have learned:
1. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource.
2. Clothing & hats are a better option than sunblocks - I am finding more and more great clothing options out there for sports & swimming. I like Xcel's long sleeve shirts for the high neck, breathability and reasonable price. [2023 - update] Buff neckwear SPF 50 has become essential when I am doing outdoor activities - way better than sunscreen!
3. Sunglasses are mandatory accessories - your eyes can get a sun burn!...and the combination of squinting & skin damage from UV radiation = wrinkles!