Recent News and Events

by Allyson Cunius

Posted in Blog.

July 11th, 2018

Three Myths About Sun-protection You Need to Know

Everyone is headed outdoors now that summer is in full swing.  As athletes and health-conscious people, most of us will protect our skin with sun protection.  But do you know if what you are using is safe?  Like many of you, when I headed out for training or a race, I would spray myself down from head to toe with a waterproof, sports sunscreen of 70 SPF or higher.  I had no idea that just like the food you eat, you have to read the labels of what you are putting on your skin too.  Because of a gross lack of regulation, it is perfectly legal for companies to put ingredients into products that you use every day that are linked to cancer, infertility, as well as common skin irritants.   In the European Union, there are over 1,100 ingredients that are banned or restricted because they are linked to human health concerns.  In the US, there are only 30.  In fact, the last time Congress passed major legislation governing the personal care industry was in 1938.
As a coach, I have always been super passionate about helping others to be as healthy as possible. Three years ago, I aligned myself with Beautycounter, a company that brings together people to educate and advocates for more health protective laws in the personal care industry so that we can fulfill the mission of getting safer products into the hands of everyone.
According to more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Here is the 411 on choosing a sunscreen that is both effective and safe.

1. There is no such thing as “Water Proof” Sunscreen.  There are different levels of water resistance, but it is recommended that you reapply after sweating or swimming or every 2 hours…whichever comes first.   Most people get sunburned because they don’t reapply or apply enough. The recommended amount is 1 oz 15 minutes before sun exposure.

2. Higher SPF does NOT mean more protection!  SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and only relates to UVB (the Burning Rays) NOT UVA (the Aging rays that are linked to premature aging and skin cancer).

3. Going from SPF 15 to SPF 30 does NOT give you double the protection.   SPF’s are not directly proportional to the amount of protection.  Here’s what I mean:

  • At SPF 15 you are protected from 93% of the sun’s UVB rays
  • At SPF 30 you are protected from 97% of the sun’s UVB rays
  • At SPF 50 you are protected from 98% of the sun’s UVB rays
  • Higher than 50 you are exposing yourself to toxic ingredients such as Oxybenzone and Avobenzone while only giving you less than 1% more protection.
What can you do?
1.  Choose a Sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, protecting you from UVA & UVB rays!
2.  Choose a Sunscreen with an active ingredient is Non-Nano Zinc Oxide.  It’s the only sunscreen active ingredient approved for the use on babies and children.  AVOID Oxybenzone (and Avobenzone).  Oxybenzone is a Sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.   Not only that, but Oxybenzone is killing the coral reefs.  In fact, Hawaii has recently banned the use of Oxybenzone.
3.  Check the ingredients on the products you use the most. At Beautycounter when formulating our products, we have combined the 1,100 ingredients banned in the E.U. with another 400 to create a “Never List” of ingredients linked to human health concerns that we choose not to use.  For a comprehensive list of what to avoid, click HERE.
4.  Join Beautycounter in our advocacy efforts.  Text betterbeauty to 52886 to ask Congress for more health protective laws in the personal care industry.
5.  Vote with your wallet by choosing safer products, like Beautycounter’s Countersun sunscreen collection.  For more information click HERE.
6.  Add your voice to the movement for better beauty by becoming a Beautycounter consultant.  Educate those you care about most, effect change, all the while earning a paycheck.  It takes many voices to fuel a movement, and we are looking for health-minded people to educate those you care about most.  To see if the consultant opportunity might be a good fit for you click HERE.
For more information about choosing safer products or how to lend your voice to the movement for better beauty contact Allyson at
Allyson Cunius is a Senior Director with Beautycounter and is a former tier 2 marathon coach for Team In Training, a Newton Natural Running coach, as well as marathoner and triathlete.  
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