Chemicals in Sunscreen

Guys I am overwhelmed by all of the comments and support from yesterday’s post. I am so excited to share with everyone what I have been researching and tips to help live a cleaner life. To me living a cleaner life doesn’t just mean focus on what you eat and how often you workout. Although I will post about both of those topics I am also going to focus on toxic consumer products and easy ways to help reduce waste – we only have one planet and we really need to treat it better, but that is a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about something I have done a lot of research on and seeing that it’s still summer here in the US and I plan on taking my kid to the pool later I want to talk about sunscreen.

Before having Nolan I honestly bought whatever sunscreen brand was the cheapest, usually wal-mart or CVS spray brand. The only thing I paid attention to was the price & the SPF, since having a child I been more diligent about researching products and ingredients. There are two types of sunscreens on the market mineral based (often referred to as physical sunscreen) and chemical based. Mineral based sunscreens use active mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. They reflect the sun’s rays like a mirror to protect exposed skin. Chemical sunscreens use active ingredients that absorb UV radiation, preventing them from penetrating the skin, these products typically include a combination of two to six of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

I want to focus on 3 of the active ingredients in chemical sunscreen as I was alarmed when I read how they affect your body. Keep in mind chemical sunscreen is absorbed through your skin, traces of these chemicals that are absorbed through your skin can be found in your blood, urine and breast milk – how freaken scary is that, you could be feeding your child toxic chemicals!

  • Homosalate: Homosalate has been found in mother’s milk and disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone. There is also concern that it releases harmful by-products as it breaks down.
  • Octinoxate (also known as Octylmethoxycinnamate): Octinoxate has been found in mother’s milk and mimics hormonal activity, which may cause disruptions.
  • Oxybenzone: Oxybenzone has one of the highest penetration percentages in lab studies (1-9%) and acts like estrogen. It has been associated with endometriosis in women and has high rates of allergic reactions.

Based on the information provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG – I will reference them a lot in my posts)  they recommend avoiding Oxybenzone, Homosalate and Octinoxate because they have higher rates of allergic reactions and penetrate the skin.

Here is a link to the worse kids sunscreens to avoid:
http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/worst-kids-sunscreens/#.WWzzDLGZP-Z

Here is a link to the safest kids sunscreens to use:
http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-kids-sunscreens/#.WWzzLbGZP-Y

We use Badger brand and love it, to be honest Bob & I just use the kids formula. I don’t feel the need to buy two different kinds one for our kiddo and one for us. I encourage everyone to go look at the labels on their sunscreen the next time you plan on applying some to yourself or your family.

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