It is no secret that sunscreens can cause premature aging and even disease. According to a recent report, certain sunscreen ingredients can disrupt our endocrine systems, cause organ toxicity, and harm aquatic life. The big three chemical offenders are oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate.
So, what should we use instead? Look for natural sunscreens that contain mineral-based ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Just be sure to avoid those with ‘nanoparticle’ forms of these ingredients – these are extremely small particles that can pose risks if they are absorbed by our bodies.
The sunscreen debate is a complex subject and it’s worth educating yourself to make sure you buy the products best suited to you and your family. Synthetic sunscreen absorbs UV rays, whereas natural sunscreen blocks them. So, the way you are protected can also affect the skin differently. The sunscreen market is huge and you have to read between the lines and look carefully at ingredients. The label may say ‘active natural ingredients’ but it doesn’t mean 100% natural as there are many other components. Brands are continuously improving and upgrading to better ingredients so take the time to investigate, especially if you have any type of skin issue.