I have a confession. I love the smell of Coppertone. Despite the fact that I know that is one hell of a toxic fragrance, I love it because it brings back happy memories of exhilarating beach days and fun afternoons at our community pool. Regardless, I still don’t use it because there is no way I’m slathering those toxins on me or my kids.
I have gone so non toxic with all my products that now I am extremely sensitive to the toxic scent of synthetic fragrance. I can detect the scent a mile away and I usually cannot stand the smell but Coppertone is the exception.
One question I get asked often is, “what sunscreen should I use,” because by now, most of know that the chemicals in most sunscreens pose serious health risks. Even mainstream western doctors admit that the chemicals found in most brands are dangerous.
I’ve written about this several times over the years, I like to do a refresh on the topic during the summer when we’re all slathering out bodies and out kids bodies with sunscreen. The safest sunblock is non-nanoparticle zinc oxide but if you’r curious about the common sunscreen ingredients that you should avoid, here is a rundown:
8 Ingredients You Do Not Want In Your Sunscreen
This hormone disruptor penetrates the skin, enters the bloodstream and behaves as estrogen in the body. It’s been shown to cause cell damage that promotes cancer, allergic reactions and even endometriosis.
4-MBC is a chemical that chemical enters the bloodstream and behaves as estrogen in the body as well. It’s also been linked to cancer. Both 4-MBC and oxybenzone are such dangerous hormone disruptors that scientists are urging parents to refrain from using any product containing either on children but it’s found in most sunscreens, even those made especially for babies.
3. Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
This widely used sunscreen ingredient disrupts thyroid hormone, affects brain signaling and lab tests show that is kills mouse cells when exposed to sunlight, even at low doses.
Also known as Parsol 1789 and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane. It generates free radicals in the body and has also been cited as an endocrine disruptor. It is unstable and sunlight causes it to break down into unknown chemicals, especially when used with octinoxate.
5. Retinyl palmitate
This is a form of vitamin A. It is an antioxidant that slows the aging process in skin which is fine for use in night creams. However, a study done by the FDA discovered a connection to cancer because it may accelerate growth in tumors and skin lesions when exposed to sunlight which makes it a dangerous ingredient for sunscreen.
The FDA does not conduct any safety testing on sunscreen. It is completely unregulated so manufacturers can use any ingredients they want.
You’ll also find parabens listed as methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. They are found in many cosmetics as well as sunscreen. Like oxybenzone, parbens mimic the body’s natural hormones increasing the risk of various cancers.
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7. Padimate O (Octyl Dimethyl PABA / PABA Ester)
This damages DNA, releases free radicals, mimics estrogen and causes allergies in some people.
This is one of the most commonly found ingredients in sunscreens. It is known to cause cancer in lab animals.
The sunblocking ingredient you want in your sunscreen is zinc oxide made without nanotechnology. Zinc is a physical sun block which means it reflects light back into the environment. Your skin basically does not see the sun.
Nanoparticles have been shown to cross the cell barrier driving into organs, even attaching to brain cells. They’ve also caused developmental issues in animals. Mineral sunscreens are often made with nanotechnology.
In addition to harming out health, these toxins also harm marine life. The coral reefs are being damaged and killed off. This is a major issue. Many clean sunscreens brands will say ‘reef safe’ on the bottle. If it’s safe for us, it will be safe for the beautiful coral reefs.
So what can we use?! Sunscreen that doesn’t have these ingredients. A few good ones are: Coola (great under makeup), MyChelle Dermaceuticals (love this one too), Mad Hippie, Ever (this one has nice shades if you want tinted sunscreen), Block Island Organics 100% Pure, Babo Botanicals.
?**Want to make shopping for cosmetics, beauty & personal care products for you & your family easier? Grab my list of Top 12 Toxic Ingredients to avoid**?
We need sunlight. A deficiency in vitamin D3 causes a whole host of severe illnesses including. Recent studies are revealing that avoiding the sun blocks our body’s ability to produce vitamin D3.
Know someone who is looking for safe sunscreen? Send it their way and share this on Facebook, tweet it, Pin. These ingredients are especially toxic to children and babies because their delicate systems are not fully developed so they have a harder time filtering out toxins.
“… some sunscreens are known to interfere with hormone action… could plausibly increase the risk of various cancers” -Thomas Zoeller, Endocrine Society