How Safe Is Sunscreen in 2018
With summer upon us, many people are heading to their local grocery stores and pharmacies to stock up on sunscreen. Both for themselves and their children. But, have you ever wondered about how safe is sunscreen that you are applying to your skin?
Unfortunately, not all sunscreen lotions are made equally and many of them don’t even provide the sun protection that they claim. The 2018 report from Environmental Working Group, notes that in their testing, nearly “67% of sunscreens didn’t work”. That many of them actually contained harmful chemicals. So let’s take a closer look at how safe is sunscreen in 2018 and look at what ingredients you should avoid.
Is Sunscreen Bad For You?
Overall, permitting that you are using the right ones, sunscreen is not bad for you. Not only can it protect you from an overexposure of sunshine, but it can prevent sunburns and skin cancer. However, sunscreen can definitely be bad for you if you are using ones that either
- Don’t provide adequate protection from the sun’s UV rays,
- Sunscreen that use ingredients such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate which is form of vitamin A
- Ones that are spray on as these pose an inhalation risk.
Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid
The chemical ingredients are the main reason people ask the question How Safe is Sunscreen in 2018. Ones you should be avoiding include oxybenzone, Methylisothiazolinone, and retinyl palmitate or vitamin A. The reason that you should be avoiding oxybenzone is that it is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt your hormone system as it can penetrate as deeply as nine percent into the skin.
This is a huge concern since oxybenzone has shown to cause abnormal sperm function in animals and even the development of endometriosis in women. Endometriosis is a painful disorder that causes uterine lining tissue to grow outside of the uterus on your pelvis, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes. In addition to this, oxybenzone is a skin allergen and is known to bleach and kill off coral reefs.
Methylisothiazolinone is a sunscreen preservative which is found in numerous sunscreen brands, which is a known skin allergen to humans. It is rated as a moderate to high hazard, and may be a neurotoxin.
Finally, the Environmental Working Group has brought up concerns around retinyl palmitate, which has been shown in studies to cause skin lesions, increased photocarcinogenic activity, and an increase in squamous cell neoplasms. The squamous cell neoplasms are the beginning stages of skin cancer. This is because the use of vitamin A products increases cell turnover rates, which leaves the skin more susceptible to sun damage and thus, skin cancer.
Safe Sunscreen for Children?
If you are looking for sunscreens to use on your children, the best ones include any of the following.
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, SPF 50
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
- All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
- BurnOut Kids Sunscreen, SPF 35
- Equate Baby Zinc Sunscreen Mineral Lotion, SPF 50
- Sunology Mineral Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
- Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, SPF 35
That about wraps up our guide to How Safe is Sunscreen in 2018. If you are looking for alternative ways to help protect yourself from the sun, choose to wear protective clothing, make sure you stay in the shade and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You may also want to choose to get out during the morning or evenings rather than during the middle of the day to prevent overexposure during the hottest part of the day.
Keep in mind though, it is still very important that you get enough sunshine (vitamin D) as it can help you avoid health issues like depression, arthritis, and cancer.
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