Screen Your Sunscreen

My friend in Park City rarely wears sunscreen. He feels the chemicals within have as much chance or more to give him cancer as the sun itself. Fortunately, there are numerous sunscreens on the market today that debunk that theory. It’s true that many of the common brands and less-expensive sunscreens, which will soon be banned in Hawaii and other parts of the world due to coral reef damage, still contain Oxybenzone and Oxtinoxate. Read on to learn about sunscreen:


  1. Know the chemicals: The Environmental Working Group ( researches the safety and efficacy of chemicals in sunscreen, cleaning products, food and more. Check out their website to see how your products rate!
  2. UVA/UVB: Make sure you screen both. UVB rays burn your skin while UVA rays can result in aging and potentially cancer.
  3. SPF: Don’t be misled by a high SPF. There is no need to go beyond SPF 50, but certainly no lower than SPF 15. Be aware of the expiration date, too.
  4. Extra Clothing/Timing: Long sleeves and a hat will always win, even on cloudy days. Try to plan your activities around the sun – early morning or late afternoon.
  5. Waterproof: New regulations and labeling state protection time when water is involved – usually 40-80 minutes.


It’s important to know what’s in our sunscreen, in the same way we should know what’s in our food. Thankfully my friend has already made his way to for guidance on an environmentally and chemically safe product, but in the end, he informed me he’s decided to wear a hat and long shirt. Whatever!

Recycle Utah, your community non-profit drop-off recycling center, provides these weekly tips.