What To Look Out For And What You CAN Use!

Choosing a sunscreen for yourself or your family has started to feel a little like navigating a minefield of information. There’s so much out there that one might feel hesitant to apply sunscreen and yet also hesitant to go out in the sun without it.

Below are the top (near unpronounceable) ingredients to avoid and why you should stay away from them, the best ingredients for effective and safe UVA/UVB protection, and other tactics you can use so that your summer can be saved!

 

INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

  • OXYBENZONE:

This is currently in approximately 65% of all sunscreens available in the US. It is used in sunscreen as a penetration enhancer but can result in an eczema-like allergic reaction. Studies have suggested there is a relationship between oxybenzone and lower testosterone levels in men, as it can act as a weak estrogen and an anti-androgenic substance in the body.

  • RETINYL PALMITATE (Also known as Vitamin A Palmitate):

This substance is included as an antioxidant, to help improve the performance of the sunscreen against the aging effects of UVA and UVB rays. This form of vitamin A, however, breaks down when exposed to UV rays, resulting in free radicals. Free radicals can become toxic to cells, damaging the DNA and possibly even leading to cancer.

  • HOMOSALATE:

This substance is UV ray-absorbing – hence, why it is often included as an ingredient – however, it accumulates in our body faster than we can process, break down, and eliminate it. It is believed to be toxic at high levels, with potential to disrupt hormone balance.

  • OCTOCRYLENE:

This substance is particularly effective at absorbing UVA rays, which penetrate deeper than UVB rays and have greater potential to cause damage to our skin. However, in breaking down in our body, octocrylene becomes a free radical which can be damaging to our cells, resulting in possible mutations. In addition, it is considered toxic to our environment.

  • PARABEN PRESERVATIVES:

These substances have been known to cause allergic reactions, play a role in hormone disruption, and carry risks of developmental and reproductive toxicity.

  • METHYLISOTHIOZOLINONE (inactive ingredient):

This substance got the dubious award for “Allergen of the Year-2013” from the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

  • OCTINOXATE:

In sunscreens with SPF, it is a substance readily absorbed and thus helps others to be absorbed too. It is thought to potentially be a hormone-disruptor, affecting estrogen and may cause premature aging due to the release of free radicals in response to heat/UV light.

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

So, in the case of protection from the sun, sunscreen should be the last line of defense:

  • Wear a hat, preferably one with a brim to protect the tops of your ears
  • Wear sun-protective clothing
  • Avoid the sun at the height of the day, seeking shade at those times
  • Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection from UVA and UVB rays, such as those containing:
    • ZINC OXIDE and TITANIUM DIOXIDE in NANOPARTICLES: These are smaller particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are found in mineral sunscreens. Based upon the research available to us, the mineral sunscreens with nanoparticle zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the safer choices. Do not, however, apply to any area of broken skin, and do not use in a powder or spray form due to the risk of inhaling the substances. Zinc oxide is stable in heat and exposure to UV rays. It also provides protection from UVB rays as well as the more deeply-penetrating UVA rays, even more so than titanium dioxide.
    • Look for SPF protection of 30-50 and apply every 2 hours unless swimming, when you should re-apply more frequently. NO SUNSCREENS ARE WATERPROOF!

Make sure to pack a safe sunscreen along with your RESTORE on your next sun-soaked day! Shop Now →