We were always careful about sunscreen growing up, and apart from a brief teenage period in which I decided a tan didn't suit me anyway, I've used sun protection any time I was outside for more than a few minutes. As with many other products, during my first pregnancy, my eyes were opened to the other side of this common product. A few explanations that helped me understand how ingredients in conventional sunscreen can increase our risk of cancer are here, here, and here. Here is a look at mineral (physical barrier) sunscreen and a review of 60 natural sunscreens, a marvelous resource that I used to choose my first mineral sun cream. Also, antioxidants internally may be just as important as externally. Finally, here is a simple, effective recipe if you would rather make your own.
We all do our best with what we know, and so do those who love us. Let's keep learning and make changes when we can, without worrying about what we've used in the past. Enjoy the sun and be wise!