7 Health and Skin Damaging Sunblock and Sunscreen Ingredients

annmarie_beach

Summer is here and that means sunshine!

When I was younger I use to work as a lifeguard and was in the sun all day long.  I never really thought of what it was doing to my skin, nor was I thinking about the skin damaging chemicals that are in most store-bought sunblocks and sunscreens.

Luckily, my skin managed to survive, but knowing what I know now, I am much more cautious around the sun and what natural sunscreens and sunblock I use to protect myself.

Sunscreens are great but you have to be very careful of what you get. Here are a list of the most toxic ingredients and why you don't want to put them on your skin…

  1. Parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-) – Has been implicated in instances of Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Neurotoxicity
  2. PABA – Has been implicated in instances of Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Neurotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
  3. Benzophenone (or Benzophenone-1, -2, -3) – Has been implicated in instances of Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity, Neurotoxicity, Ecotoxicology, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Biochemical or cellular level changes
  4. Octinoxate (Octy-Methoxycinnamate) – Has been implicated in instances of Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Ecotoxicology
  5. Padimate O – Has been implicated in instances of Cancer, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns – NITROSAMINES, Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Endocrine disruption, Ecotoxicology
  6. Parsol 1789 (2-ethylhexyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoic acid or avobenzone) – Has been implicated in instances of Cancer, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Contamination concerns – BENZOIC ACID, 4-T-BUTYLBENZOIC ACID, BENZALDEHYDE, P-ANISIC ACID, ACETOPHENONE, DIBENZOYLMETHANE
  7. Homosalate – Has been implicated in instances of Enhanced skin absorption, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Endocrine disruption, Ecotoxicology

Keep in mind there are more, but these are a start!

Here are the tips I use to protect myself naturally from the sun:

  1. Seek shade as often as you can, particularly on the beach. (Maybe even carry an umbrella with you.)
  2. Wear loose fitting long-sleeved clothes.  These can let air in and make you look like a movie star at the same time!
  3. Use an organic PABA free sunscreen.
  4. Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of foods with high antioxidants content.
  5. If you're exercising or hiking for long periods of time, be sure to apply your natural sunblock often, since these are not waterproof. (Nor can the really be, it's the nasty stuff that makes them resistant to water.)

Hope this was helpful!

Enjoy the sun this summer and drink plenty of coconut water to stay hydrated!

 

PS. My husband and I recently took an amazing trip to Costa Rica, where there is some powerful sun.  It only takes about 20-40 minutes during the middle of the day to get scorched, so we made sure we were prepared with a shady place to sit out and short periods of time under the rays.

Resources: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

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