The Dangers of using regular sunscreens
We know the damage sun can have on our skin and the health consequences that go with it; this is why we have been taught to always use sunscreen before exposing to UVA and UVB. However, while sunscreens help prevent a sunburn, it does not prevent skin diseases, far from it, because of the ingredients used to make sunscreens. Regular sunscreens made in the US typically contain oxybenzone which is a chemical that can change the way hormones act in our body and is said to be even more dangerous than the sun itself. Oxybenzone only blocks UVB radiation and starts acting only when exposed to the sun. In Europe, oxybenzone has been labelled as toxic and any sunscreen containing this ingredient must have it mentioned on the packaging. Sunscreens can contain other ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to name a few. Titanium dioxide is used in sunscreens for its UV-absorbing capacities. It is used in cosmetics as a pigment or a thickener. It is used also to manufacture paint or window cleanser. Used on the skin, titanium dioxide actually creates free radicals that damage the skin at the core level of the skin cell. Zinc oxide has binding properties and used in the manufacturing of plastic but also in many skin care cosmetics, shampoos, powders for its anti-bacterial properties. It is widely used in sunscreen for its ability to block UVA and UVB and if not absorbed into the skin, there is no consequence. However, sunscreen manufacturers often use nano zinc oxide (smaller particules of zinc oxide) that can penetrate the skin and that is actually being studied for its hazardous consequences on health.
Why choose organic sunscreens?
Organic sunscreens should be the number one choice when planning on exposing our skin to the sun for an extended period of time. Not only organic sunscreen will protect our skin against sunburns, it will also protect and nourish our skin without inducing further skin damage thanks to the natural and organic ingredients present in it.
A truly organic sunscreen is a titanium dioxide-free sunscreen and an oxybenzone-free sunscreen, does not contain chemical UV-absorbers, parabens, fragrance and other chemicals but instead contains botanical ingredients. However, organic products are in fashion and we should be careful with all those marketing tactics and messages displayed on product packaging such as “natural” or even “organic”, “your natural choice” etc…. Not all products labelled “natural” are natural and your best bet is to read the list of ingredients to find out. If one ingredient looks suspicious to you, ask the company or do a little research to ensure the sunscreen that you are buying is truly an organic sunscreen or a natural sunscreen. In doubt, you can also consult this environmental working group website called EWG that has put together a list of safe sunscreen brands.
I am suggesting this truly organic sunscreen by Badgers that is available on Amazon. I have tested it and while this cream has a quite pleasant smell and is easy to apply, it is also one of the safest cream out there. It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and all of them are known ingredients including Extra Virgin Olive Oil*, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil*, Cocoa Butter*, Shea Butter, Essential Oils of Lime Oil, Lavender essential Oil*, Sweet Orange Oil*, Sicilian Orange Oil*, Moroccan Blue Tansy Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, and CO2 extract of Seabuckthorn Berry*. The * means that these ingredients are issued from organic farming.
As a final note, try to limit your exposure to the sun for long period of time. While a nice tan is in fashion, it is very unhealthy and tanning can cause skin diseases.