With June being just around the corner (I can’t even begin to process my mind around that fact!) let’s discuss a few chemicals of concern that may be in our sunscreen/SPF products.
In my last blog post I mentioned how our skin is the largest organ in our body. Research has shown that we absorb 60% of the chemicals found in our products which make their way right into our bloodstream and can negatively impact our health in many different ways.
Today I will be discussing 3 main chemicals of concern to look out for in popular summer sunscreens and why they are flagged by researchers.
Perhaps the most common and worrisome ingredient in the market, Oxybenzone (other names: benzophenone-3 or BP-3), is found primarily in sunscreens but also in many plastics, and toys.
It aids in absorbing ultraviolet rays, but has been found to act as an endocrine disruptor and has been detected in human breast milk, amniotic fluid, urine, and blood!
Homosalate (other names: homomenthylsalicylate) exists in sunscreen to filter out organic UV rays. The FDA has not confirmed whether this is a safe and effective ingredient to use, but it still continues to be in many popular products on the shelf. Homosalate penetrates the skin and has the potential to accumulate over time, disrupt hormones, and produce toxic byproducts.
Octocrylene is another UV filter to protect our skin from the sun’s damage, however, this chemical also breaks down under UV light producing free radicals – which in return can increase the risk of skin cancer.
The accumulation of Octocrylene has been witnessed in aquatic life, and has been shown to cause DNA damage and negative reproductive effects!
When looking for products, I recommend keeping these three ingredients in mind and trying to avoid them when possible. A helpful resource I often refer back to is ewg.org. It’s a database for consumers to look up different brands of sunscreen and SPF products and it outlines harmful ingredients that may be present and provides tons of alternatives!
I hope you enjoyed reading the second edition of my skincare series, and as always, please send me an email with any questions/clarifications at firstname.lastname@example.org with attention to Rav!