It used to be that we were warned to stay out of the sun at all costs... don't leave home without the sunscreen... lather up in the highest SPF possible... always wear a hat... and if you must venture outdoors, go before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
The problem with this, according to Dr. Mercola, is that "wearing sunscreen effectively blocks your body’s production of vitamin D, which happens naturally when your skin is exposed to sunlight. In fact, sunscreens reduce vitamin D production by as much as 97.5 to 99.9 percent."
The article goes on to say that the flip side is that you don't want to get burned.
The happy balance is to slowly expose your skin to the sun a little at a time each day. If you do need to be outdoors to the degree that you risk sunburn, then do the following:
- wear a hat
- use a sunscreen containing the minerals zinc oxide or titanium oxide as the base for sunscreen protection. They don't penetrate the skin like other chemicals used in lotions, and unless you are inhaling the powder, they are completely safe
- wear "strategic clothing" - cover where you need to
- start small and build up the amount of time spent outdoors
Since the diaper rash cream contains zinc oxide, it doubles as a sunscreen. My guess on the spf is around 10-15 (based on 6% zinc oxide; Dr. Mercola's formula has 7%, which he says is a 15 spf). It gets bonus points for containing coconut oil, the food of the tropics.
Read the rest of Dr. Mercola's article for more on ways to find out if your sunscreen is safe, and what makes UVB the good guy and UVA the bad guy when it comes to ultraviolet light.