We all know that wearing sunscreen is important for our health, our skin, and our appearance. From preventing wrinkles to stopping skin cancer, sunscreen is one of the easiest, dermatologists agree that using it is one of the most important things we should work into our daily routine.
However, some sunscreens have ingredients in them that present a host of unintended effects. Here’s what to avoid:
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Avobenzone is more likely to cause irritation to your skin than it’s worth. It’s also not a great compound for sunscreen because it isn’t sun-stable, which means it has to be mixed with toxic stabilizers in order to work.
This compound is a form of synthetic estrogen, which can actually disrupt your body’s normal estrogen balances. Another reason not to use it is that it is poisonous to coral reefs, which is the reason that it is banned in Hawaii.
Retinyl Palmitate is a form of vitamin A, which sounds at first like it would be a good thing. However, when on your skin and exposed to the sun, this compound forms free radicals, which are dangerous and harmful to your skin.
In studies in animals with this compound, there were adverse effects to the thyroid and reproductive systems, and it also was proven as a skin allergen. Not a great track record. To boot, Octinoxate is also poisonous to coral reefs.
Troubled about what you should use on your skin to protect it from the sun? Fear not, because there are sunscreens that are mineral-based, instead of being chemical-based, and these don’t go through the skin to be absorbed by the body, so they are safer to use. Look for ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to be safer in the sun.