It's officially summer, so I am sure you are stocking up on sunscreen for your hikes, trips to the pool and beach vacations! Have you ever considered that the sunscreen that you’re currently using on yourself and your kiddos is actually doing more harm than good?
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! Your skin is your largest organ, and can absorb much of what we put on it. That includes the harmful chemicals typically found in personal care products, including sunscreens. These toxic ingredients get into your bloodstream and disrupt your immune system and endocrine system...hormones!!!
Many personal care products and many popular sunscreens contain an alarming number of harmful ingredients. (Did you know the European Union Bans over 1400 ingredients in the industry and the United States has only banned 30 to date!!) Last month, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their 2018 Guide to Sunscreens, which includes a list of which chemicals to avoid and their recommendations for the safest brands. To make safe and educated decisions this season, check sunscreen labels for the six most common and concerning ingredients below.
1. Oxybenzone – absorbs and filters UV light and is therefore one of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens. It penetrates the skin at very high rates and acts like estrogen once it enters your bloodstream, disrupting your endocrine system...wreaking havoc on your hormones! It undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. When oxybenzone is absorbed by your skin, it can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction as well. This ingredient is also killing our coral reefs and will be banned in Hawaii in 2020!!
2. Octinoxate – also disrupts your endocrine system, affecting hormonal activity, reproductive system and your thyroid. Octinoxate may actually be a culprit for premature aging, as it produces free radicals that can damage skin and cells. This ingredient is also contributing to the destruction of our coral reefs and will also be banned in Hawaii.
3. Homosalate – another common ingredient that disrupts hormone balance. It can accumulate in your body faster than your body can detoxify it through your liver, lingering in your body and increasing your toxic burden.
4. Octocrylene – when exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts.
5. Retinyl Palmitate – A form of Vitamin A. It's function in sunscreen is to improve the product's performance against the aging effects of UV exposure. However, certain forms of vitamin A found in sunscreens—namely retinyl palmitate can be cause for concern. When exposed to the sun's UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer. Yikes!! This is found in many face creams too!
6. Parabens – are commonly added to cosmetics and personal care products to prevent the growth of bacteria and serve as a preservative. Like many of the ingredients above, they disrupt hormones, potentially leading to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. The European Union has already banned 5 types of parabens and the FDA is under pressure to ban them in the U.S. Fingers crossed!
My Favorite Safe Sunscreens
Beautycounter is my favorite and most trusted brand for sunscreen and personal care products. I love their commitment to transparency of ingredients, strict ingredient screening process and their commitment to not only safe products, but to high performing products too!! Beautycounter’s line of sunscreens has consistently been on EWG's sunscreen guide, meaning they are safe and pose very low-hazard.
The mineral-based sunscreens are available in a lotion, stick and mist (non aerosol) and a lightly tinted moisturizer. They are made with non nano zinc oxide and ingredients such as antioxidant-rich California poppy. These sunscreens are blocking blue light rays as well!! (It is now being discovered that blue light might be just as damaging to the skin as UVA and UVB rays!!) They are water-resistant and free of preservatives, allergens, and chemicals that can damage coral reefs–so they are safe for the environment too! The mist and stick makes it very easy to apply to your kiddos! All three products go on easy and fully rub in so you aren't left looking like a ghost!!
Badger is another great brand that I trust. They have an assortment of sunscreen products as well, but they come with a downfall. They don't rub in as well and leave you white! If that doesn't matter to you, then grab a bottle of this at Whole Foods the next time you're there!
Have a Happy & Healthy Summer!
PS...If you would like to learn more about all my favorite safer skincare products, please join my Better Beauty ~ Safer Skincare email list!! i’ll send you occasional e-mails on education, new products, special incentives and giveaways (freebies!) on my favorite safer skincare, cleaner cosmetics, and healthy living products. For the next couple of weeks I am giving away 10 of my favorite products shown below! All you have to do is join the list to be entered to win!! You can see all the details in my Instagram Story Highlights! Only 2 products have been claimed!! I will be announcing 3 more winners this weekend, including the winner of the Beautycounter Sunscreen Mist!!