Ok, I realize this is a little late in the season to be talking about this but we still have some good sunny days ahead of us. I just got back from my 5 year anniversary trip with my husband. We visited Traverse City and Torch Lake, where we got married in Michigan. It was a beautiful trip and we were blessed with beautiful sunny days.
I’ve always had this struggle between my health history and active lifestyle. I had multiple rounds of chemo when I was diagnosed in 2010. I kicked cancer’s @$$ but my doctor’s now have to share we me all the long-term side effects from the treatments. And the big one is skin cancer. Anybody who has received chemo and stem cell transplant, has a much higher risk of getting skin cancer. And I love being outdoors. I’m an adventurer and with the outdoors comes the sun. I experienced my first battle with skin cancer last fall, in November. The tumor was on my lip and I had to have it surgically removed. I was so discouraged bc I am always super diligent about sunscreen but I guess not so much with my lips. So, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your lips or invest in a good sunscreen lip balm. There are other factors that went against me with this diagnosis that weren’t attributed to the sun but I won’t go into details here.
Through the bout of skin cancer, I was very conscious of my diet (eating all vegan, no meat, no alcohol,etc.) I treated it daily with essential oils, ozonated olive oil, CBD oil and other natural products. The tumor decreased in size significantly before I ultimately had the surgery. My lip has healed very well and now I’m even more crazy about applying sunscreen.
SO LET’S TALK SUNSCREEN!
Take note, there is a big difference in sunscreen brands. Some people call sunscreen “cancer creams.” There have been recent studies that certain ingredients in common name brand sunscreens are carcinogenic aka can cause cancer. So, I stick to the more natural sunscreens with less harmful ingredients. The best sunscreen you can use is mineral based (zinc, titanium dioxide). You can learn more here about the differences: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/. The EWG site is really cool. You can search any cosmetic product and it will populate its toxicity profile. It’s transparent so you know what you’re using on your skin.
However, I am here to share my view of the sunscreens I used on my trip when I was out in the sun.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Stick (SPF 50): This is a shimmer stick so it provides some glam when applied. Goes on dry, no “wetness” to it. I bought it bc I have yet to find a lip balm that is above 30SPF. I like thee most protection for my lips. This isn’t necessarily meant specifically for the lips but that’s what I use it for. I also add some to my cheeks and nose. The protection is perfect but it leaves a white residue. The product is tinted a rose color so I really don’t mind it when it’s on my lips. It looks like I’m wearing a frosted shimmer pink lip balm.
Kiss My Face Spray (SPF 30): I really like this sunscreen because it provides good coverage and blends well (no white film). The sprayer works great! It contains some chemical filters but not the most toxic ones that have been reported. Steer clear of Oxybenzone (read more at the above link).
EltaMD Skincare UV Lip Balm (SPF 31): I like this product and it was recommended by my Dr. It goes on smooth but stays “wet” which I’m not a big fan when I’m eating, drinking, talking, etc. bc it seems to rub off easier. However, when I’m not using my lips so much (LOL) I like it bc it provides a nice gloss while still offering great protection.
COOLA Face Mineral Sunscreen Matte Finish, Cucumber (SPF 30): I absolutely love this product! It’s definitely my favorite of the 4 I’ve mentioned. However as I’m reading on EWG.org, it’s not the best choice. It’s better but not the best. I like this product because it blends well. It doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing sunscreen with the matte finish. It’s definitely the most expensive of the 4 as well. It was $36 for a small 1.7oz bottle. Luckily, I got it on sale at my doctor’s office.
I’m always learning about cosmetic products and I’m always trying to make better choices. Did you know that it only takes 26 seconds for chemicals to be found in our bloodstream when applied to our skin? The EWG website is a great resource and offers good suggestions for even better products than what I have listed here. I’m still experimenting with different brands and maybe one day, I’ll find an awesome mineral based sunscreen that I can’t live without and hopefully it will be in an affordable price range. The best thing you can do is become more aware. Take the time to research what’s in your products. You never know what could be lurking and making you or your family sick. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself, your family, and friends!