Becoming aware of the sunscreen toxic ingredients is important… particularly now that summer is here. Many of us may be venturing out to sunlight for the first time in at least a year. If you stayed inside during the quarantine of 2020, this might be the first time you are outside in two years! It is very important to take precautions to help you get the protection needed to avoid damage to the skin.
My last article was about best sunscreens 2021 for fun in the sun. Here is a list of name brands that are least toxic.
Which Sunscreen Toxic Ingredients Do I Need to Look For?
I have to tell you this – there are quite a lot of ingredients we should worry about when it comes to sunscreens. Writing these articles has shown me that key toxic ingredients can be given another commercial/patented name. So we may look for a toxic ingredient by one name. It may appear on the label with a completely unrecognized name. I think this is done on purpose to keep us uninformed and powerless.
Please keep in mind that I am listing the basic name of these two biggies. They may be listed with other ones.
Benzene – A Biggie Among Sunscreen Toxic Ingredients
The CDC website describes benzene with this way:
- Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable.
- Benzene evaporates into the air very quickly. Its vapor is heavier than air and may sink into low-lying areas.
- Benzene dissolves only slightly in water and will float on top of water.
- Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities.
- Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
- Benzene is widely used in the United States. It ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume.
- Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.
Benzene works in this way – It causes cells not to work correctly. An example is that it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. It can also damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells. I think THIS is a big deal!
The CDC warns that we can experience benzene poisoning. WHAT?! The degree of poisoning depends upon the amount, route, and length of time of exposure. Other factors that affect the degree of poisoning involves the age and pre-existing medical condition of the person.
Symptoms of Benzene exposure/poisoning:
- Rapid/irregular heartbeat
Eating foods or drinking beverages with benzene is possible too. Think about it… What if you use a spray sunscreen, which gets oversprayed, drifting over food and drinks. Or could you have sunscreen residue on your hands and then put food in your mouth? Here are the symptoms of eating or drinking benzene:
- Irritation in the stomach
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
That is convincing enough for me. Benzene is the top sunscreen toxic ingredients to avoid.
Oxybenzone is another toxic ingredient in sunscreens
Oxybenzone is an organic compound derived from benzophenone. It is found in plastics and works as a sunscreen by absorbing UV radiation. Oxybenzone performs a chemical reaction that converts the UV rays into heat that is released from the skin.
The danger in oxybenzone is it’s potential as a hormone disruptor to the endocrine system (which regulates biological processes like growth/development, metabolism, sexual function, reproductive health, thyroid performance and more. These effects were found in research done, where rats were given much higher doses of oxybenzone than is found in sunscreen.
The big concern in the toxic effect of oxybenzone in sunscreen is that it is absorbed through the skin in large amounts.
- Oxybenzone has relatively high rates of skin reactions and is allergenic
- It has been detected in amniotic fluid, urine, blood, and human breast milk
- Children may be more vulnerable to harm from oxybenzone than adults because of the potential for higher absorption.
Dr. Axe’s Recommendations About Sun Exposure and Sunscreen
Dr. Axe talks about great chemical-free ways to protect our skin from the sun:
- Sun protective clothing and hats
- Avoid peak sun hours
- Check daily UV index
- Rash guards, wet suits, tights
Mindful Thoughts About Sunlight
We have looked at sunscreens as a way to protect our skin from sun damage. That IS a valid concern. Yet we really can’t go overboard to poison our system with toxic sunscreens.
There is a happy balance needed in handling sunlight. Our bodies need a certain amount of it on our skin to produce serotonin. Serotonin impacts every part of our bodies, emotions, and motor skills. It is a mood stabilizer that helps with reducing depression and regulating anxiety. It’s the chemical that helps with eating, sleeping, healing wounds, maintain bone health and digesting.
We need about 20 minutes of non-peak sunlight daily to stimulate serotonin levels. Peak hours are approximately 10:00am to 4:00pm. The precise hours vary with seasons and where you live.
The big point is this – We cannot avoid all sun exposure. I don’t know how you would do that, even if you wanted to do it. Get that 20 minutes daily, breathe deeply, take in those rays. Then pick your best step to reduce sun damage after that.
Enjoy your healthy life!
P.S. Get the support you need to get things rearranged and reduce the chemicals in your home, food, cleaning supplies, and healthy supplements. Request a private consultation with me.