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Just Say "NO" to Chemical Based Sunscreens

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photo 3.JPG Recently, while packing for a 10-day road trip, I stumbled upon my stash of sunscreens from last summer, and DAMN, what a difference a year can make! Last year, I would have used all of them, no problem. But now, after learning what I have learned in the past year, I will be throwing them all in the trash can. And for those of you who know how cheap I am and how much I HATE to waste things, you know that's a big deal!

Did you know that some of those sunscreens that you slather on your skin every day could be causing you more cancer-causing harm than good!?!?

Here’s what I have learned. There are 2 types of sunscreens:

Physical Sunscreens sit on TOP of the skin and deflects or block the sun’s rays.  Look for products that contain Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.

Chemical Sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. Most chemical sunscreens contain some pretty nasty chemicals, and most have a high penetration rate (sometimes up to 9%!), thus allowing these chemicals direct access to your insides!

Chemical Sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. Most chemical sunscreens contain some pretty nasty chemicals, and most have a high penetration rate (sometimes up to 9%!), thus allowing these chemicals direct access to your insides!

  • Oxybenzone - Acts like estrogen in the body; alters sperm production in animals; associated with endometriosis in women. This substance is easily absorbed in the body. Causes biochemical or cellular level changes, endocrine disruption, Ecotoxicology & organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).
  • Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate) - Hormone-like activity; reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies. Causes biochemical or cellular level changes, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, & organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).
  • Homosalate- Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption
  • Other low-risk chemicals that are commonly found in chemical sunscreens are Octisalate, Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octisalate & Helioplex.

In Summary: Try to avoid Chemical sunscreens and instead use Physical sunscreens.

Thankfully, I have found two brands that I’m a fan of:

THINKSPORT SPF 50 sunblock :

  • Top rated by EWG skin deep database with a "1" rating in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for baby, beach and sport
  • Free of biologically harmful chemicals: no avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, paba and 1,4 dioxane free or UV chemical absorbers
  • Highest -  SPF 50 plus, water resistance (80 minutes), broad-spectrum coverage allowed by the FDA
  • Non-nano formulation average particle size >100micron,  non-aerosol formulation.
  • Applies and absorbs easily. non-oily feel.  does not have an obtrusive smell that many organic sunscreens have.
  • AND this sunscreen gets The Food Babe's seal of approval!

BADGER SPF 35 sunblock :

  • Contains just 5 ingredients! Unscented with an antioxidant-rich Sunflower Oil base.
  • Water & sweat resistant for at least 80 minutes of swimming or activity.
  • Broad spectrum protection from UVA & UVB rays using the safe mineral Zinc Oxide - No oxybenzone, octinoxate, or other chemical active sunscreening agents.
  • 100% Certified Natural and 94% Certified Organic.
  • Biodegradable and safe for coral reefs and other ecosystems
  • Received a “0” rating on ThinkDirty

One (minor) drawback to using a physical sunscreen (as opposed to a chemical sunscreen) is that since Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are essentially ground up rocks, your skin may appear to be a little white. But come on! Would you rather fill your body with toxic chemicals or have a little bit of white on your skin? Stop being a baby & suck it up! Because if The Hoff doesn't care, why should you?

And let’s not forget the old tried and true method of covering up! I have a distinct memory of being about 5 years old, at my family’s 4th of July party, and I was the only kid in the pool who was wearing a Tshirt and a hat. Yes, I said IN THE POOL! Fully clothed! At the time, I hated my mother for this, but I now know that she was just trying to protect me. So if you’re going to be outside for a long period of time, remember that you can always wear a light long-sleeve tee or hat. But maybe take it off if you’re going to go in the water ;-)

So get out there and have fun! and remember to Practice Sensible Sun Exposure!


Remember, Your Skin is your Largest Organ. Treat It Well.

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