Lifeguards, Does Your Sunscreen Help Or Hurt You?

Lifeguards Running Under the Sun SunscreenNot All Lifeguard Sunscreens Are Created Equal. Some May Even Be Harmful To Your Health!

Saving lives while getting a tan is a pleasure limited to only a handful, lifeguards. However there’s a fine line between getting a tan, and getting sunburns, and potentially skin cancer. Despite health warnings about sun damage, many of us still subject our skin to the sun’s burning rays. When your skin is exposed to the sun for a period of time, eventually it burns, turning red and irritated. A great way to stay out in the sun and not fall victim to these adverse effects is to slap on a sunscreen, and not just any sunscreen, one with natural ingredients, like this one here.

While sunscreens are beneficial, it is important to be careful what kind of sunscreens you use. Reports have emerged that some sunscreens contain harmful substances such as oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a pale-yellow solid that is readily soluble in most organic solvents. Among common sunscreens, Oxybenzone is associated with allergic reactions triggered by sun exposure. In a study of 82 patients with photoallergic contact dermatitis, over one quarter showed photoallergic reactions to Oxybenzone. As lifeguards, it is pertinent to watch out and spot sunscreens with this chemical substance and consequently, invest in sunscreens with healthy natural ingredients.

Here’s why you should use a sunscreen with healthy natural ingredients.

Lifeguard Sun Protection SunscreenChemical sunscreens leave an unnatural and slick sheen on your skin. This can potentially ruin your outfit, and you are sure to miss important spots this way. Meanwhile, natural sunscreen has a thicker formula that goes on smoothly and unlike a greasy formula, it disappears into your skin like moisturizer.

The reflective power of natural sunscreen means that the harmful UV rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer are reflected off of your skin, instead of absorbing free radicals. Lifeguards who slap on a sunscreen would want to be cautious that they aren’t actually attracting the rays they intend to deflect.

The human body has numerous hormonal receptors to which oxybenzone readily attaches itself, subsequently increasing hormonal activity within the body. This could prove worrisome as hormone levels play a role in the vital processes of the body, and if your endocrine system is fooled by the presence of these pseudo hormones it can affect your organ systems and other bodily functions. Also, keep in mind that the body can overcome mild changes, but if endocrine system receptors are blocked by oxybenzone on a regular basis, you may experience hormonal imbalances, leading uncharacteristic weight gain, or pain caused by inflammation in the body.

Finally, it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed with the many sunscreen options on store shelves. Thanks to the many sunscreen manufacturers. However here’s a quick guide to find the best products to protect your body from the sun:

  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and a maximum of SPF 50;
  • Make sure labels list UVA and UVB (or broad spectrum protection);
  • Avoid products containing oxybenzone and retinyl palminate if you’re concerned about potentially toxic chemicals;
  • Choose lotions over spray sunscreens for a more evenly distributed protection.

One sunscreen that is specifically formulated for lifeguards is Lifeguard Lotion™. This sunscreen was formulated by lifeguards and it lives up to the standards set forth in this article.

For future information about lifeguarding and related industry topics, visit

How Lifeguards Can Protect Themselves From Ultraviolet (UV) Rays

Sun Protection for Lifeguards

Why Sun Exposure May Be Unhealthy For Your Skin

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