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The Dangers of Chemical Sunscreens. Are they protecting you from skin cancer?

Posted by Marie



With a growing conscience of a healthier lifestyle many people have increased their use of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer.   Yet, there has been an astonishing rise of skin cancer over the past several years.  A lot of medical research is going into testing the chemical ingredients in many of the sunscreen products on the market.  One concern is that these toxic chemicals could be increasing your cancer risk and doing more harm than good.  Many of the chemicals in our sunscreens are actually promoting free radicals and contain chemicals that disrupt hormone balance and normal sexual development in girls. Here is a list of chemicals that are in most often found in popular sunscreens on the market. 

Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)

Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate)

Digalloyl troleate

Menthyl anthranilate

Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)

PABA (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB,  glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)

Avobenzone (butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789).

Many of these chemicals generate free radical growth, which accelerate the aging process and contribute to cancer.  Currently, the FDA is evaluating requirements and possible changes to the labeling requirements to make the public more aware of the dangers of the sun. Read the labels and look at the active ingredients when choosing your sunscreen and always make sure you are choosing a sunscreen that is a “broad spectrum” sunscreen. Usually the toxic chemicals begin with oxy, octo, octyl or ethyl, or methyl. Ingredients that have been declared “chemical free” and most effective in blocking the UVA and UVB rays in sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

I did some research through EWG, The Environmental Working Group(http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008/index.php) to find out which sunscreens on the market are the safest (free of toxic chemicals) and still protect us from both the UVA and UVB sun rays. These are some of the top ranked sunscreens that are chemical free.  I encourage you to always check the ingredients on the sunscreen before you buy. If it is loaded with chemicals then you may want to consider a different sunscreen.

1.     Badger Sunscreen SPF 30 – costs about $15 for a 2.9 oz tube and can be bought online athttp://green.thefind.com

2.     TruKid Sunny Days Sunscreen SPF 30 – costs about $11 for a 4oz tube and Face sticks SPF 30 for about $9 and can be purchased at www.amazon.com or http://www.trukid.com

3.     California Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – costs about $13-$18 for a 2.9 oz tube and can be found at most Targets or online at www.Amazon.com or Target stores. 

4.     Kiss my Face 100% Paraben Free with Oat Protein SPF 30 – costs about $8 for a 4 ounce tube and can be found at www.amazon.com or http://green.thefind.com

5.     Goddess Garden Kids and Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 – costs about $13 for 3oz tube and can be found at www.goddessgarden.com

6.      Jason`s Natural Cosmetic Sunbrellas Mineral Based SPF 30- costs about $12 for a 4oz tube and can be purchased at http://www.jason-natural.com/ , Trader Joe`s or the organic section at your local market or health store. 

7.     Vanicream Sunscreen (sport, sensitive skin or regular) SPF 15 and above – costs about $15 for a 4oz tube and can be purchased online at www.amazon.com

8.     Mexitan or Tropical Sands Lotion SPF 30 – costs $16.95 for a 8oz tube and can be purchased at http://www.mexitan.com

9.     Soleo Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 – costs about $14 for a 1oz tube and can be purchased atwww.amazon.com or http://www.soleousa.com.

 10.   Sun Science Organic Daily Wear SPF 30 – costs about $22 for a 3.4oz tube and can be purchased online at http://skincarerx.com.  They have a coupon for 15% of sunscience15 at checkout.

 Keep in mind that you should always check the expiration dates on your sunscreens before applying.  If you have a tube that is from last year and you haven`t used it in awhile you may want to consider tossing it and picking up a new tube.  Sunscreen does lose its effectiveness over time and may not keep you properly protected from the UVA/UVB rays of the sun.  Try to avoid being in the sun during the hottest times of the day noon-4pm but if you  must then be sure to reapply your sunscreen every 30 minutes to be sure you are being properly protected.

Interesting Read: CBS News, Many Sunscreens Ineffective, Group Says, March 26, 2009


11 Health Benefits of Sunshine

From better bone health to improved sleep, these are the top reasons to log a bit of time in the sun

Mar 30, 2015 | 5:41 pm


Diana Gerstacker

Summer is on the way and that means longer days with more sunshine are in the near future.


While many of us love the sun for the warm feeling it leaves on our skin or the opportunity to shed some layers, sunshine brings a few other lesser-known benefits. From better bone health to improved sleep and even a reduced risk of developing some cancers, the sun’s rays can greatly benefit our health.

That said, it’s common knowledge that too much direct exposure to the sun’s rays can be harmful to our heath, causing skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Finding the right balance is key. Most people only need a few minutes in the sun to start taking advantage of the benefits; but you should always be careful not to let the skin burn. 

Start out with just a few minutes in direct sunlight and take advantage of these 11 health benefits.

Reduces Cancer Risk
It’s common knowledge that prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection can lead to skin cancer, but sunlight can also offset the risk of developing other types of cancer. According to a scientific paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives, “Whereas skin cancer is associated with too much UVR exposure, other cancers could result from too little. Living at higher latitudes increases the risk of dying from Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers, as compared with living at lower latitudes.”

Improves Sleep
Exposure to sunlight during the day helps keep circadian rhythms on track and boosts levels of serotonin, which in turn helps you fall asleep more easily, enjoy a better night’s sleep and wake up more refreshed.



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