The Colorado sun is very powerful. Protect yourself with these basic pieces of advice from EWG.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US  – more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed every year, it’s 15% higher in Colorado than the rest of the nation.  A 2004 survey found that 45.1% of white adults in Colorado had at least one sunburn in the past year. 1

So before you head out, check out EWG’s 2014 Sunscreen Guide to find top-rated sunscreens.

Sunscreens are NOT created equal!

I pulled these reactions from an email from EWG.  Hilarious.

1. No spray sunscreens!

Convenient, but they may pose serious risks if inhaled and they make it too easy to apply too little or miss a spot.

No spray sunscreens!

2. Super-high SPFs (SPF 50 or higher) are not your friend.

SPF – sun protection factor – refers only to protection against UVB radiation and has little to do with protecting you from UVA rays – the ones that accelerate skin aging and have been linked to skin cancer.

Super-high SPFs (SPF 50 or higher) are not your friend.

3. Oxybenzone can mimic estrogen.

That’s right, estrogen. A number of sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates skin, gets into the bloodstream and may act like estrogen in the body! It can also trigger allergic reactions.

Oxybenzone can mimic estrogen.

4. Retinyl palmitate may harm your skin.

On sun-exposed skin, the retinyl palmitate found in some sunscreens has been shown to speed development of skin tumors and lesions.

Retinyl palmitate may harm your skin.

5. Skip sunscreen/bug repellent combos.

Studies suggest that in some cases chemicals that filter harmful ultraviolet rays can interact with insect repelling chemicals in ways that decrease sunburn protection. Also, if you apply these products every two hours (as you should for proper sun protection!), you may be overexposed to the repellent chemicals.

Skip sunscreen/bug repellent combos.

6. Keep away from sunscreen powders and towelettes.

Even the FDA’s weak sunscreen rules bar these products! Their level of protection is quite dubious.

Keep away from sunscreen powders and towelettes.

7. Seriously – no tanning oils!

Tanning oils are just a bad idea. They barely – if at all – protect you from the sun.

Seriously – no tanning oils!

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The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment. The EWG Action Fund is a legislative advocacy organization that uses EWG research to promote healthy and sustainable policies.

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1.  http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/doc/co_facts_print.pdf
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