Two Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid Like the Plague!
Are you aware that many sunscreens contain ingredients that disrupt hormones or cause cancer? What!? Isn’t that why you were applying them to start with – to protect your skin from the potential of sun damage and skin cancer?
You need your fun in the sun and beachtime, just make sure to do it safely. Everything you put on your skin absorbs into the bloodstream in about 6 seconds and begins to circulate throughout the body within minutes. Can you see how important it is that you make sure what is in your body is safe!
To truly protect your family and littles, you need to use sunscreens with safe ingredients. Environmental Working Group (EWG) has taken the guesswork out of it for you by publishing a list of safer sunscreens. After testing 1,500 products, they found 75% of them provide inferior results or contain harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. These two ingredients should be avoided like the plague!
Of all the beach and sports sunscreens tested, 40% contained oxybenzone. Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions and laboratory studies show it is a weak estrogen making it an endocrine disruptor in females and males. Other studies have linked it to more health issues including low birth weights.
EWG found that 14% of the sunscreens they tested contained an “inactive ingredient” - retinyl palmitate. This is a form of vitamin A which you would think is good for the skin. Right?! Wrong! When put on sun-exposed skin, it has been found to speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. The very thing we are trying to avoid in the first place. While the FDA is waiting to make up their mind, you should stay away from products with this ingredient.
On the EWG website you can find the 230+ sunscreens that passed the safety test, as well as a list of the worst choices so you can see if your brand is on the wrong end of the spectrum. You can even look up the specific ingredients and find out why they are good or bad. Now EWG makes it easy to find the sunscreens you want with direct links to Amazon!
My family loves Badger brand for our fun in the sun. I just restocked for the summer because these quality products do have expiration dates. As with all sunscreens, you will need to reapply if you are spending a lot of time in and out of the water. When you notice that your sunscreen is separating or becoming watery, it is time to get a fresh one for maximum protection. Some are thick cremes that require a little elbow grease to rub into the skin while offering superior protection over the spray on types.
Speaking of spray ons, aerosols pose an inhalation risk, do not provide even coverage, and contain more bad ingredients. The FDA is currently reviewing safety data on sprays. Avoid them like the plague, too. If you must use one, spray it on your hand and then apply to the skin.
We also love sunscreen made with therapeutic grade essential oils added. Skin loving oils such as Carrot Seed, Helichrysum, and Lavender are a great addition to your DIY recipes with a natural lotion or coconut oil base. Or, place some of your favorite purchased sunscreen in your palm and add a few drops of these oils, mix in well and apply. We only use this brand because of their Seed to Seal promise of purity. We have found that other oils may be legally diluted by 95% while their label says they are “100% pure”.
Whatever you choose, have fun with your family and littles all summer long with safe products that contain natural ingredients that truly protect your chemical-free lifestyle.
Shortly after this was originally posted, our favorite oils company introduced a Mineral Sunscreen!! Woo-hoo! We tested it out and love,Love, LOVE it! I will share our story in a separate blog post here.