Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so protecting it from radiation and harsh environmental contaminants is crucial to your wellbeing. Sunscreen helps to protect the outer layer of your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. However, it often contains some chemical ingredients that may be harmful to your health. People seldom consider that there might be harmful chemicals in sunscreen, so organic sunscreen is the ideal choice as it contains only natural ingredients and includes no chemicals or other dangerous substances.
The Harmful Chemicals in Sunscreen
Most sunscreens have been linked to some health maladies, and we’ve compiled a list of 5 common chemicals in non-organic sunscreens and their health effects.
Avobenzone is a common agent in many sunscreens as it is useful in absorbing a wide range of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Specifically, the types that cause sunburn, however, research suggests that avobenzone degrades in the sun, resulting in the release of free radicals that may increase the risk for cancer, accelerate skin ageing and cause allergies.
Oxybenzone and avobenzone are similar in function, and both are found in the majority of commercial sunscreens. Oxybenzone is considered more toxic than avobenzone and may be behind the increased rates of melanoma, the skin cancer that most people are attempting to avoid by using sunscreen. Oxybenzone has also been found to lower the birth weight of girls whose mothers’ bodies had high exposure levels, and it’s also been linked to cell damage, hormone disruption and allergies.
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in a variety of personal care and beauty products, including sunscreen. There are 18 different varieties, and what makes them dangerous is that they’re oestrogen disruptors. Parabens have been associated with infertility, abnormal development of the testes, obesity, benign tumours of the uterus or digestive tract, breast cancer asthma and allergies.
- Retinyl Palmitate
Vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate, when exposed to UV light, creates free radicals that may cause genetic mutations which may actually increase the risk of cancer and may also be toxic to the developing fetus of a pregnant woman. It has been linked to brain swelling, toxicity, cellular changes, developmental and organ toxicity, and may also be involved in cardiovascular disease.
Sunscreens often contain artificial fragrances to make the product more appealing, and you’ll rarely see the actual chemical name of a fragrance on a label, as many chemicals are grouped under the term “artificial fragrance.” Cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and congenital disabilities have been linked to artificial fragrance.
Go Organic and Chemical Free
Non-organic sunscreens pose unwarranted health risks and possibly contribute to the diseases they’re supposed to protect against. Instead, use sunscreens that are made from natural and organic substances and avoid any possibility of being exposed to harmful chemicals in sunscreen.