Sunscreen is a funny thing. It protects you from skin cancer which is great, but it also has toxic ingredients that can be associated with cancer. Which is not so great. ☀️
Back in high school, I used to slather on some tanning oil, lay on the sand, and bake until I was super tan (let’s not even bring up tanning beds). But NOT anymore. Besides skin cancer, I also don’t want to have wrinkly skin and if I can prevent 1) skin cancer and 2) wrinkles, you bet I’m slathering on sunscreen and staying in the shade (for at least most of the time!) 🙋♀️
I started researching sunscreens in the spring to prepare myself for summer. We spend the summer at the beach pretty much every weekend and we’re there for 7-8 hours a day! So I knew I was going to need ALOT of natural and effective sunscreen.
So what’s actually in sunscreen that makes it’s so bad for you?
The Environmental Working Group also evaluated 1,800 sunscreen products and concluded that only 25 percent are safe.
- Oxybenzone: the main bad guy. It’s an endocrine disruptor which can lead to certain types of cancer in women. In 2008, a study showed it was present in urine in 97% of the people tested with even higher levels in women and girls!!!! 97%!!!!!
- Retinylpalmitate: a form of vitamin A that may harm the skin.
- Fragrance: banana and coconut scented sunscreen anyone? Yeah, that’s artificial fragrance. Smells good but like I’ve said, the ingredient “fragrance” can have up to 12,000 other ingredients in it that they don’t have to disclose. No thanks.
- and for my environmentalists out there… the 4,000-6,000 lbs of sunscreen that comes off of us in the ocean actually kills coral reefs!!! Yuck.
*as a side note.. SPF ratings only refer to UVB rays (which cause sunburns and skin cancer), but not UVA rays (which also cause skin cancer and damage).. so make sure when you are buying sunscreen it specifically states BROAD-SPECTRUM (UVA & UVB protection)
But here’s the thing.. obviously preventing skin cancer is important and in my opinion, it’s better to actually wear sunscreen than not at all. But how can you pick ones that are safe for you? Here’s some guidelines (taken from the Environmental Working Group) and some products I love!
- Some sun-exposure is ok. Our bodies need Vitamin D, but try to limit your exposure by wearing protective clothing (hats) and spending some time under an umbrella if possible.
- Look for sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc-oxide. These are called physical blockers and they provide you with broad-spectrum coverage (protection from both UVA and UVB rays). Just remember to reapply these often!
- Don’t use sunscreens that contain retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A).
- Avoid sunscreens with SPFs higher than 50 (these products may not provide additional protection but give consumers a false sense of safety).
- BROAD SPECTRUM ONLY. Avoid sunscreens that lack protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Here are the products I use and love:
Beauty Counter Sunscreen
I love this one. I’ve been using this all summer on my body and face. Its consistency is the same as “regular” sunscreen and it keeps me protected all day long! They also have face stick options too if you have sensitive skin (find it www.beautycounter.com)
Young Living Mineral Sunscreen
This one has been getting rave reviews, too. I’m adding it to my Young Living order next month and can’t wait to try! Find it at www.youngliving.com
This one I found at Target and it actually came out pretty low on the Think Dirty app. I like it because it’s affordable and easy to find. Caution: they also have a face sunscreen which is WAY more toxic and higher on the app (different chemicals in it) so if you’re going to get this, I’d stick to just the body sunscreen! Find it in stores or at www.target.com
I hope this helps! I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and toxin-free summer using these sunscreens!!!