I remember the first time I got a really bad sunburn; you know, the type that blisters the skin and induces fever? I was about 15 years old and had gone swimming in the ocean without any sun protection.
Needless to say, as I was laying in my hotel room bed that night, covered in wet towels to relieve the pain, I decided to never make that mistake again.
And with over 2 million Americans finding out they have skin cancer each year, I’m a little worried. In fact, in 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified indoor tanning practices as Class I human carcinogens due to their strong links to increased risks of skin cancer.
Now, researchers are telling us that the sunscreen we’ve been using to help protect our skin from deadly UV rays is actually harming it.
To wear sunscreen, or not to wear sunscreen? That is the question!
So, your skin is important to protect, yet there’s strong evidence that your sunscreen is toxic when absorbed into the bloodstream, great. Well, back in 2014, the Environmental Working Group(EWG) released a guide for which sunscreens are safe to use.
After reviewing 2000 sunscreens and over 257 different brands, their research concluded that more than 75 percent of them contained toxic chemicals.
In short, they found the chemicals to have these side effects:
- The chemicals absorb into the bloodstream
- Can release free radicals when exposed to the sun
- Has the potential to act like estrogen
- Has the potential to disrupt hormones
- May induce allergic reactions
- Can cause irritated skin
- 1978 was the last time sunscreens were regulated in the United States, and the FDA has zero safety standards regarding the products
And these are the chemicals you should stay away from:
- Para amino benzoic acid
- Octyl salicyclate
- Menthyl anthranilate
So, what should you be using instead, if almost every sunscreen out there is dangerous for your health? Your first choice, if you’re worried about burning, should be your clothing. Hats and shirts will help protect you the most. However, there are natural sunscreens out there that only contain chemicals like titanium oxide and zinc oxide:
Kiss My Face SPF 30
100% Pure Hydration Organic Pomegranate
Aubrey Organics SPF 30 Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin
These sunscreens contain chemicals that do not break down and absorb into the bloodstream when exposed to sunlight. And, they have been shown to actually block UVA rays better than traditional non-mineral sunscreens (which are the toxic ones).
So, before purchasing your next bottle of sunscreen, check the ingredients, see what you’re putting on your skin. Opt for the natural, mineral sunscreens if you can, your body will thank you for it.