Do you know what the difference is between sunscreen vs. SAFE sunscreen? Not all sunscreens are created equal and some of them contain ingredients that are downright dangerous!
Everything that you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream; your liver has the job of filtering and your kidneys must get rid of it. While you may think this is no big deal, it’s actually a huge deal!!
Sunscreen vs. safe sunscreen
If you use sunscreen correctly by slathering it in a thick coat all over your body (and reapplying frequently), you’re actually coating your skin with carcinogenic chemicals. So, a few times doesn’t hurt, right?
How many times does it take before it becomes toxic? Where’s your tipping point?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) is a non-profit organization that investigates the chemical properties of thousands of every day products. They look at each chemical and report on its’ potential to cause cancer, mimic hormones, damage organs and many other areas.
The EWG talks about sunscreen at length on their website and here’s why sunscreen has so many chemicals in it:
… ingredients in sunscreen should not be irritating or cause skin allergies, and should be able to withstand powerful UV radiation without losing their effectiveness or forming possibly harmful breakdown products. People might inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some of the ingredients they apply to their lips, so ingredients must not be harmful to lungs or internal organs. Furthermore, sunscreens commonly include ingredients that act as “penetration enhancers” to help the product adhere to skin. As a result, many sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the body and can be measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples.
What stands out to me about the last sentence is the ability to measure these toxic chemicals in blood, breast milk and urine samples.
What Are The Dangerous Chemicals?
The active ingredients in many sunscreens act as chemical “filters” that keep harmful UV rays away from your skin. While that sounds good, some of the chemicals are known to cause all sorts of problems including skin reactions, hormone disruption and organ damage.
Europe is wa-a-a-a-y-y-y-y ahead of the United States when it comes to banning dangerous chemicals and they actually have better sunscreen protection that we do because of this.
Here are some of the culprits and why they’re dangerous:
- oxybenzone – high rates of skin allergy and known hormone disruptor
- avobenzone – associated with allergies and possible carcinogen
- octisalate – can cause contact dermatitis and acne
- octocrylene – increased production of free radicals possibly causing melanoma
- homosalate – directly impacts the estrogen system
- octinoxate – known hormone disruptor
This is not a complete list by far – but you get the picture. Umm…is this what you want to put on your skin?
To make matters worse, sunscreen is killing off the coral reefs. Why is that a problem? Sunscreen bleaches the coral reefs which ultimately kills them.
According to SnorkelsAndFins.com which is an reef-friendly snorkeling website, up to 14,000 TONS of sunscreen wash off of people and into the ocean every single year. Here’s why that’s so bad:
Record heat registered in the past years, pollution, and a series of other environmental factors caused the bleaching of over 50% of the coralin Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Based on the latest trends, scientists predict that about 90% of the world’s coral will be threatened by 2030 (NOAA Coral Reef Risk Outlook).
Since the ocean gives us most of the oxygen we breath, a loss of marine bio-diversity poses a risk to human life everywhere.
According to research (International Coral Reef Initiative, 2018), one of the main causes of coral bleaching is sunscreen; more precisely oxybenzone and octinoxate (NCBI, 2018), two compounds found in most sunscreens.
There are natural alternatives to the toxic ingredients found in sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group publishes an annual list of sunscreens that are MUCH safer to use. Here’s just a few with their websites:
Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Sport, SPF 30 http://www.SuntegritySkincare.com/
Badger Active Clear Zinc Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 30 http://www.badgerbalm.com/
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ http://www.californiababy.com/
All Good Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 https://allgoodproducts.com/
These are NOT affiliate links, but links to the companies themselves where you can find out more about each product and purchase directly from them. You can find many of them on Amazon. I chose the companies listed above because they have a good variety of sunscreens for all ages.
I want you to be as healthy as possible. And I know it’s so much easier to go to the drug store and buy whatever sunscreen is on sale. But think twice about what you’re putting on your skin and the damage you do to your liver.
While you’re being safe about your sunscreen, remember, at Scented Balance, there’s products for chronic pain, skin disorders, menopause, digestive issues and many other concerns – that are good for you!
Many blessings and thank you for stopping by!