SUNSCREEN DOs and DONTs

Commercial sunscreen and too much sun can both be damaging to your health. Learn about safe sunscreens and healthy ways to enjoy the sun.

According to research conducted over the last ten years, the chemicals contained in most commercial sunscreens can be dangerous both for human and ecological health. These synthetic chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, can mimic or block natural hormones by altering the synthesis, breakdown, and functioning of hormones and hormone receptors. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to various forms of cancer, can inhibit human growth and reproductive health, and can persist in the body and in the environment. Until more research is done on the long-term effects of these chemicals, watch out for these common sunscreen ingredients:

  • benzophenone-3 (Bp-3)
  • homosalate (HMS)
  • 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)
  • octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
  • octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA)

Chemical-free and natural sunscreens use mineral blocks, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, to protect the skin from UV rays. These physical, barrier-type sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

The following products, which are non-toxic, low in skin irritants, and free of perfumes or petroleum-based polymers, are healthier for the skin and provide full spectrum protection:

  • Ecolani
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Aveda
  • Dr. Hauschka