Don't Forget the Sunscreen and Your Hat

Summer is here and as you go out the door, after "do you have your keys", the most common reminder is: "don't forget the sunscreen and your hat". We all know that sunbathing is bad and that we should wear hats and cover ourselves with sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. But rates of skin cancer are not declining. Many people stay out in the sun too long, don't apply the lotion as often as they should, and don't cover up. But what about the sunscreen? There is some concern that the chemicals in the suntan lotion itself may be harmful. Ethical Consumer has analysed and identified some ingredients such as parabens, PABA, and synthetic perfumes that are skin irritants and potentially dangerous. It has rated the brands on the market that it considers to be the best, based on a number of criteria including environment, politics and employees' working conditions. Their conclusion--the organics win out-- Dr. Hauschka--a well-respected German brand, Urtekram Sun Lotion ( a Danish company) and Weleda Edelweis are the best buys, followed by Green People and Lavera. At the bottom of the list: Nivea, Piz Bruin, Body Shop and Ambre Solaire. ::Ethical Consumer