Everything you use on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream in 30 seconds. There are certain ingredients in most sunscreens that have been linked to hormone disruptions and cancer – learn what to switch to instead.
More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Even though more people than ever before are using sunscreen each year, the incidence of skin cancer continues to climb world wide.
The Dangers Of Conventional Sunscreens
According to research from the Environmental Working Group:
Our studies show:
- Certain sunscreen toxic ingredients absorb into the blood
- Certain ingredients have toxic effects on cells.
- Certain ingredients release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight
- Certain ingredients act like estrogen and disrupt hormones
The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA.
A recent study published in Environmental Science Technology has also shown the common sunscreen ingredients oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are estrogenic chemicals linked to cancer.
Isn’t that insane? There are cancer causing chemicals in sunscreens – yet people are slathering them on to protect themselves from cancer.
The Sun Doesn’t Cause Cancer
The sun is essential for your health. Without the sun, most plants couldn’t grow and our body and immune system would break down from a lack of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is crucial for your hormonal system and immune system.
Vitamin D3 has been shown to naturally help boost the immune system, help fight cancer and improve mood.
Types Of Sunscreens
There are mineral sunscreens, non-mineral sunscreens, and some that are a combination of both.
1. Non-Mineral Sunscreens
- Penetrates the skin
- Disrupts hormones
- Can release free radicals when they break down.
- Irritative to skin can cause allergic reactions.
Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in sunscreens. Scientists recommend not using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children because it is known to disrupt hormones. This is especially important for women and their hormonal balance as well.
2. Mineral sunscreens
- Mineral sunscreens contain zinc, or titanium.
- They do not breakdown in sunlight
- Are not absorbed to the body so they do not disrupt the body’s hormones
- They are more effective at blocking UVA rays than non-mineral sunscreens.
Mineral-based sunscreens are the best choice for children and according to Environmental Working Group, they have the best safety profiles of the choices in the United States.
Toxic Chemicals In Sunscreen
Check your sunscreens and make sure to avoid these ingredients!
- Para amino benzoic acid
- Octyl salicyclate
- Menthyl anthranilate
Safest Way To Approach The Sun
You can always have too much of a good thing. I don’t recommend letting your skin burn. However, getting a moderate amount of sunshine daily can actually help decrease your risk of certain types of cancers.
Below is how I approach sun, sunscreen, and summer.
- Allow 20 minutes of direct sunlight on your skin daily. (I still wear a hat to protect my face).
- If you are going to be in the sun for hours, wearing light clothing is the best sun protection there is.
- Throw out your sunscreens … with oxybenzone. Research indicates that this common sunscreen ingredient has hormone disrupting effects.
- Replace chemical-based sunscreens with zinc oxide-based sun-blocks. These can have long-lasting protection without the harmful ingredients.
- Eat antioxidant rich foods. Studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and olive oil, as well as certain dietary supplements with vitamins E and C, and carotenoids, can have sun-protective effects and can combat oxidative damage.