Posted on by SMART STUFF

 To reap the benefits of sunscreen and negate the potential side effects of sun damage, avoid these ingredients before choosing which sunscreen you purchase for your family:

OXYBENZONE: This penetration enhancer is a synthetic chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin is found in about 60% of sunscreens sold in the USA. Toxicological studies have shown that once this chemical is absorbed into your skin, hormone alterations can occur, throwing off your endocrine system long after you’re out of the sun. The US Center for Disease Control found that 97% of Americans have this chemical, oxybenzone in their blood.(1) when exposed to UV rays, oxybenzone undergoes a chemical reaction that can cause allergic reactions and other potential toxic effects.

OCTINOXATE: Also known as octyl methoxycinnamate and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, is used to help other ingredients absorb more readily. It is one of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens. It produces free radicals that may attack healthy skin cells and can contribute to premature aging. Studies have shown that it can cause harmful effects on estrogen levels for both humans and wildlife. Should it come in contact with water, it can be harmful to sea life.

PARABENS: Methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben, are preservatives derived from petroleum and plant sources that are suspected carcinogens. Acute and serious chronic affects leading to hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergic reactions have been reported.

HOMOSALATE: Is a UV-absorbing and penetration enhancer that is absorbed into our blood streams. Studies have shown that it accumulates at a rate faster than our bodies can eliminate it.

RETINYL PALMITATE: a form of vitamin a used to increase product performance as an antioxidant in skin care. But, when retinyl palmitate is exposed to sunlight, FDA studies have shown that it may speed up the development of skin tumors and malignant cells.

1. Calafat AM, Wong L-Y, Ye X, Reidy JA, Needham LL 2008. Concentrations of the Sunscreen Agent Benzophenone-3 in Residents of the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004. Environ Health Perspect 116:893-897