For years we have been told to lather chemical filled sunscreens all over before going out in the sun. I have always hated sunscreens. They always make me break out and cause my skin to be extremely oily. But I continued to put them because I was always told that I need to protect my skin. I have decided to do a bit of research and dive a little deeper into sunscreens and the chemical effect on our bodies. It is starting to become clear that most of the marketing we see is a lot of garbage.
Studies are starting to show that heavily used chemical sunscreens may actually increase cancers by creating more free radicals on the skin. These chemicals breakdown in the sun and start to form free radicals on the surface of your skin. These free radicals can potentially cause major skin damage and even cancer. One of the most powerful free radical generators known is the ingredient Benzophenone so avoid buying any sunscreen products containing that ingredient.
Adding to the problem is the risk of contamination concerns. Many ingredients used in personal care products contian dangerous contaminants. Some ingredients in sunscreens can form cancer causing agents that absorb right through the skin and enter the bloodstream. The most shocking aspect I have read is that these ingredients have now been found in breast milk and are potentially reaching our children without us knowing.
To further add to the problem many of these sunscreen ingredients also have estrogen like-effects when absorbed by the body (meaning they enter the body and act like the hormone estrogen). Estrogen chemicals can mimic hormonal estrogen and cause many problems. These effects can increase cancers, cause birth defects in children, lower sperm counts in men along with other serious medical problems.
The FDA does not actually approve or disapprove of a sunscreen's ingredients and makes no determination as to a sunscreen's overall safety or ability to protect your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is a recognized fact that what you put on your skin can pass through and enter the bloodstream. Please be aware of what you are putting on your skin it is in your bodies best interest!
So what should you do? Look for sunscreens that use zinc oxide and/or titanim dioxide as the SPF active ingredient. You want to also look at the inactive ingredients to make sure there aren't a bunch of synthetic chemicals in the lotion. Be aware of the mainstream sunscreens you buy at your local store. Just ask yourself, isn't it a bit strange that we have some of the highest SPF sunscreens for protection we have ever had yet skin cancer rates are going through the roof? It just might be possible that our current products used for sun protection just aren't cutting it and may actually be doing more harm then good!
One of my favorite natural sunscreens to use is called MelonSol by PureSunscreen: