Sunscreen may not be as protective as you think

The sunshine is finally here which means we must protect our skin from powerful rays to avoid sunburns or skin damage. Did you know 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer throughout their lifetime? Skin cancer ismichelle headshot 2015 frequently detected and treatable but by choosing safer sunscreens that do not contain toxic chemicals, you can prevent a future breast cancer diagnosis.

After examining 1,700 skin protective products the Environmental Working Group found that 80% of the included ingredients were either a carcinogen, toxic, or raised a red flag. Top ingredients
on product labels to avoid include:

  • Benzophenone, toxic to organ system, endocrine distruptor, potential carginogen
  • Homosalate, contained in +50% of sunscreens with endocrine disrupting effects
  • Octinoxate, endocrine disruptor
  • Oxybenzone, endocrine disruptor and carcinogen, linked to female endometriosis
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), carcinogenic potential- avoided in many products but replaced by equally harmful byproducts
  • Padimate O, derivative of PABA; endocrine disrupting effects

Chemicals that protect your skin and serve as UV filters are absorbed into your bloodstream through dermal exposure. As listed above, many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors which affect the human endocrine system. An example adverse effect includes declining male fertility rates, as a result of endocrine disruptors. 45% of UV filter chemicals approved by the FDA are linked to a reduction is sperm cell count.

As you can see, sunscreen contains harmful chemicals that could lead to various cancers, endocrine disrupting effects, or other harmful diseases. No need to worry, there are safer products on store shelves to choose from! USDA certified organic products will protect your skin from the sun without damaging other systems within your body.

If you’re in need of a new, safer-alternative sunscreen we suggest using EWG’s Skin Deep Database to find brands that do not contain harmful chemicals. EWG rates the products on a 1-10 scale based on the data available on the ingredients. Another helpful tip is to choose mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreens to avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Be sure to cover up and frequently apply safe sunscreen while enjoying your time outdoors this summer season


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