Sunscreen advice from a lululemon bag?

Myth Debunked: Sunscreen absorbed into the skin is worse for you than sunshine.

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Many young fitness enthusiasts have been spotted carrying the signature red lululemon bags after purchasing from the popular fitness apparel store.  Typically these bags are covered with inspiring messages that encourage their shoppers to lead a more positive and active lifestyle.  However, one message caught my eye that wasn't inspiring or motivating.  In fact it was alarming to read and I thought that I would clarify for folks that are unfamiliar with the meaning behind it.

The bag reads: Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine.

This message raises so many questions for people who shop there.  Is sunscreen bad for me now?  What’s the right amount of sunshine?

Dr. Kyle’s thoughts:

I get asked frequently about the safety of many chemicals found in sunscreens or the “nano” particles in sunblocks.  I typically recommend a physical sunblock containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  I feel these provide the most sun protection and are often better for patients with sensitive skin, including babies and small children.  A very small amount of these particles may be absorbed into the skin; however, most of the studies investigating this were done with quantities of sunblock applied on the skin far exceeding normal, daily use.  We do feel sunblocks and sunscreens are perfectly safe, and you all will be the first to know if I find otherwise!

Here's what we do know about sun protection: sunblock, sunscreen, hats, and sun protective clothing help prevent cancer!  The first 18 years of life are especially important for the prevention of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.  We encourage people to get outside and have fun, but be smart about it.  If you are going to be outside and wearing something cute like the Free to be Wild Strappy Sports Bra featured below, then make sure you wear your sunscreen!  Seek shade when possible and reapply as directed! 

Ryan KeaheyComment