The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just published their 2012 guide to safe sunscreens. They reviewed over 1800 sunscreens and over 257 brands. They found more than 75% of the sunscreens contained toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and other health issues.
The Dangers of Conventional Sunscreens
According to research from the EWG: Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA, and the SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn.
So in review, some ingredients may
- Absorb into the blood
- Release free radicals in sunlight
- Act like estrogen
- Disrupt hormones
- Cause allergic reactions
- Cause skin irritation
- Have no rigorous safety standards
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. That’s right, I read the labels on not only my food products, but on anything I’m putting on or near my body, and you should too. If your sunscreen contains any of these chemicals I’d throw it away right now!
List of Unsafe, Toxic Chemicals in Sunscreen
- Para amino benzoic acid
- Octyl salicyclate
- Menthyl anthranilate
Stay away from these chemicals and use natural sunscreens.
The Sun Doesn’t Cause Cancer
In truth, the sun is essential for your health. Think about it. Without the sun, most plants couldn’t grow and we would perish from a lack of Vitamin D3. Of course, you can have too much of a good thing. I don’t recommend letting your skin burn, and this is a common point people miss. Getting a moderate amount of sunshine daily can actually help decrease your risk of certain types of cancers.
If you do the things that are necessary to be healthy, your body will use the suns energy to produce health, rather than being vulnerable to diseases like cancer. Focus on as much of your diet as possible being fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. They are rich in antioxidants and nutrients and each color provides a different profile of these health-protectors. The more antioxidants and nutrition your body absorbs, the more effective your body will be at combating any negative effects of too much sun exposure and sun burn. It will also help you to feel and look as amazing as possible!