We've been told over and over again to put sunscreen on to prevent sun damage and even skin cancer, but did you know a lot of the ingredients in lotions meant to protect us, haven't even be tested for safety or efficacy?
Our skin is our largest organ and what we put on it absorbs into the body. The chemicals in sunscreen have actually been measured in blood, breast milk and urine samples.
The reason we don't want them in our body is because they've been linked to things like hormone disruption, which can lead to an array of health issues, and tissue damage.
Tips when picking sunscreens
Higher SPF doesn't mean it's safer.
These high SPF sunscreens don't necessarily protect you for longer and they usually have more chemicals in them. High SPF gives people a false sense of security from the sun and they don't reapply as needed. SPF between 30 and 50 has shown to give adequate protection, even for people with sensitive skin (when reapplied as directed).
Avoid Vitamin A.
Sometimes called retinol or retinyl palmitate, synthetic vitamin A has shown to speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight. This is not something that should be in sunscreens, but unfortunately, as of today, it's still in some.
Look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient. These two ingredients have been recognized as safe and effective, based on existing test data, according to the FDA. There's another 12 ingredients that the FDA has said they don't have enough data to say if they're safe! One ingredient in particular the FDA raised concern about is oxybenzone and its potential to affect hormone levels, especially in children.
I showed some clean brands on ABC10 Morning Blend Extra Shot, but you can also check out the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website to see how your sunscreen rates.
Love this article? Catch more of Megan Evans on Morning Blend: Extra Shot, weekdays at 11 a.m. Read more about Megan, here.