skin is the largest organ on my body, I had started becoming suspect of the idea of rubbing chemicals disgused as sunscreen, all over my body to help prevent skin cancer. Lately I have been learning of how lotions containing parabens can cause cancer so why not sunscreens as well? Well my fears have been realized. The latest study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) confirmed my suspicions and then some. Apparently 3 of 5 brand-name sunscreens either don't protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals-or both.
Turns out the main ingredient in my sunscreen (photo of bottle above) is oxybenzone which causes developmental and reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, and biocemical or cellular level changes. And it contains a fragrance that is a neurotoxin. In addition sunscreens are preventing the absorption of a key nutrient, Vitamin D, which supports our immune systems. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing issue these days due in part to the increase in the use of sunscreens. Argh! What to do? Well to start with, I am going to limit my exposure to sun during peak hours (between 10am-4pm) and if I must be out for any length of time, I am going to use a sunscreen off the list below.
Here is the EWG's list of the best sunscreens to use:
For a list of the most toxic sunscreens click here.