How to choose the best sunscreen

Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equally

Here is what you need to know about your sunscreen before summer hits.


As you pack for your spring break or summer trip down to Florida, Cancun, and other tropical paradises, I am sure you are probably hearing your mom's voice in the back of your head telling you, "remember to put on sunscreen!" Mothers and doctors agree that solar radiation is very dangerous and can lead to skin cancer. However, not all sunscreens are created equal and can actually have harmful benefits on both your skin and the environment.

The regular use of sunscreen (SPF 15+) can help reduce an individual's chances of skin cancer by 50-73%. This will also slow the aging process, reduce wrinkles, and prevent sunburn, all of which sound great. This is all true if using the right sunscreen. SPF 15 is said to be able to block 93% of UV radiation from the sun, SPF 30 is said to block 97%, and SPF 50 98%. In addition to checking the SPF on your sunscreen bottle, make sure it also says broad spectrum protection. This ensures that you are being protected from UV and UVA rays, both of which are known causes of skin cancer.

People tend to be well informed about what sunscreen is good enough for them to prevent sunburns and keep themselves protected. The problem is that the knowledge of sunscreen stops here. Did you know that between 6000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes off of swimmers and find its way into coral reef environments each year? In addition to this, up to 10% of the world's coral reefs may be threatened by certain chemicals found in most sunscreens. Here are the basics of what you need to know.

What to look for and avoid:

1. Don't trust labels!!!

If a product claims to be "Reef Friendly" or "Reef Safe", there is the possibility of false advertisement. There is little regulation on the labels for sunscreens so make sure to look at the ingredients to avoid harmful products.

2. Use waterproof sunscreens.

This will help minimize the amount of sunscreen that washes off of your body while in the water.

3. Biodegradable

Look for sunscreens products that are biodegradable. This means that the ingredients in the sunscreen will break down naturally in the water, limiting the damage done to the marine environment.

4. Oxybenzone

The main ingredient in oxybenzone is octinoxate. While this changes UV from harmful to harmless heat on the skin, once rinsed off the body it decreases corals defenses against the sun, which increases coral bleaching alters the corals DNA causing irreversible damage. Oxybenzone is found in over 3500 sunscreen products worldwide.

5. Butylparaben

Butylparaben is found in many common over the counter sunscreens as a preservative. While it is effective in keeping sunscreens fresh and useful against UV rays for multiple years, it is known is weaken corals defenses against coral bleaching.

6. 4-methylbenzylidene camphor

Once again, this ingredient is known to negatively affect coral by increasing the effects of coral bleaching. In addition, this ingredient is so infamous for destroying coral reefs that it has been banned throughout Europe and Canada. Despite this, the US and Japan still allow 4-methylbenzylidene camphor in over the counter sunscreens.

Some brands that are both safe for your skin and the reefs include: Think Sport, Raw Elements, Badger, Blue Lizard, and Sun Bum.

Lakes Dermatology - F. Victor Rueckl, MD

There is no need to worry. Making these minor changes to your go-to tanning lotion will not affect your sun-kissed tan. I promise you will still come back with a golden goddess glow and your mom will pester you about not wearing enough sunscreen. In addition to this, all of these brands are still proven to protect you from dangerous UV-rays and will defend your skin against the sun. As you consider making this improvement in your life, consider these tips in other aspects of your life as well. It is simple and easy to check your products for dangerous ingredients that are harmful to both you and mother nature.


S.E.A Aquarium

Coral reefs are not only extremely beautiful, absorb a huge percent of CO2, and beneficial to our environment in countless ways. These reefs are filled with the most diverse group of wildlife and provide homes to mass numbers of marine life. Not to mention the coral itself is alive. Above is a comparison of a dead reef to a live one. Please consider this slight change and save these beautiful ecosystems.

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33 Fun Indy 500 Facts to Share This Race Weekend

Learn more about one of the biggest Hoosier Traditions!

This Race Day, brag a little about your knowledge of the biggest Hoosier tradition: the Indianapolis 500! Check out these 33 fun facts about the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

1. The Indy 500 is actually held in Speedway, Indiana; a town that was built around the IMS.

2. The 500 Festival Parade is the third biggest in the nation.

3. The first race was held in 1911 and was won at a speed of 74 mph.

4. If you lined all the hotdogs and bratwursts sold on race day at the track, it would wrap around 3 times.

5. The events leading up to the race--known as the 500 Festival--started in 1957 with a parade and a square dance gala.

6. It's known as the Brickyard; the track originally was made of hand-laid brick.

7. Rear-view mirrors started at the Indy 500 (Thanks, Ray Harroun!)

8. Danica Patrick is one of 9 women who have run the race, with the highest finish.

9. This year, Pippa Mann is the only woman running.

10. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered the largest sport venue in the world.

11. 200 is the magic number.

It takes 200 laps for racers to complete the 500 miles.

12. When in doubt--it's 33.

33 drivers, 33 directors, 33 princesses, 33 pace cars!

13. There are only 3 racers who have won the race 4 times.

14. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was founded by Carl Fisher.

15. The IMS opened with balloon races originally.

16. It is a tradition that the winner drinks a bottle of milk upon winning.

Thanks, Louis Meyer!

17. Each lap is 2.5 miles.

18. In 1981, it took around 5 months to declare a winner after a controversial finish.

Bobby Unser finished a whole 5 seconds before Mario Andretti, but due to a penalty they revoked his win and gave it to Andretti. Unser and his owner, Roger Penske, challenged the penalty and eventually, he regained the victory.

19. Originally, racers had to have an additional passenger--a ride-in mechanic.

20. Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous WWI pilot, raced the 500 four times and later purchased the track.

21. Jules Goux won in 1913 after chugging champagne at every pitstop.

In 1914, drinking and driving in the race was outlawed.

22. Winners get their faces sculpted onto the trophy.

23. The IMS is bigger than several famous landmarks, including the Coliseum, the Vatican City, and Churchill Downs, among others.

24. The track was almost sold to real estate developers in 1945.

25. There are only 4 sporting venues that are older than the IMS.

They are Old St. Andrews, Churchill Downs, the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and Saratoga Race Course.

26. Tickets to the Square Dance Gala, called the Governor's Ball, were $5 a couple.

27. Of 9 women, 6 countries are represented.

28. The Indy 500 is broadcast worldwide, in over 200 countries.

29. The fastest lap clocked is 237.498 mph.

30. In 1916, the race was intentionally shortened to 300 miles.

31. One winner actually ran 505 miles before winning.

Jacques Villeneuve drove to victory even after a two-lap penalty at the beginning of the race.

32. The youngest racer to ever win the 500 was Troy Ruttman at 22!

33. Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the 500 in 2016--as a rookie.

Cover Image Credit: Sporting News

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer


Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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