Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Truth About Sunscreen

With summer rapidly approaching and a need for a new bottle of sunscreen, I went to research products and a rumor I've been hearing over the last several months about the safety of sunscreen. What I found out is horrifying and I think it is SO important that I share with everyone who reads my blog.
In simplified terms, most sunscreens on the market are harmful to your health for a couple reasons. First, most contain cancer causing chemicals. Secondly, sunscreen depletes the body of Vitamin D, which can slash all forms of cancer by 77%. One article I read states: "Scientific evidence shows quite clearly that sunscreen promotes cancer by blocking the body's absorption of ultraviolet radiation, which produces Vitamin D in the skin."
The carcinogenic products in sunscreen have never never been tested or approved by the FDA. As a side note, I took a pharmacology course recently and learned that many drugs are never tested by the FDA, but they pay the FDA to write them off. I believe that this is the truth regarding sunscreen products.
The chemicals that are proven to be harmful when absorbed into the skin include:
Benzophenone-3 or Oxybenzone: These are both free radical generators activated by ultraviolet light. Free radicals can initiate reactions and lead to melanoma and other skin cancers.
Triethanolamine (TEA): his ingredient may combine with nitrite (used as a preservative or may be present as an environmental contaminant) to cause formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines. Nitrites are not disclosed on cosmetic labels so there's no way of telling which products are contaminated with nitrosamines. Particularly disturbing is that up to 35 percent of TEA applied to the skin can enter the bloodstream.
Titanium Dioxide: has the ability to cause DNA damage in human cells and there is concern that it may be carcinogenic.
The Good:
Zinc Oxide: Zinc oxide is a mineral that provides complete UVB/UVA protection, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered a safe sunscreen ingredient. However, the regular form of zinc oxide leaves a strong white residue on the skin. To create a clear skin product rather than one that leaves a white residue, zinc oxide is now made in the form of nano-size particles. There is growing concern about the toxicity of nanoparticles, which has initiated a world-wide effort to study the skin absorption and phototoxicity of nanoparticles of preparations used in sunscreens and cosmetics.

From here, I felt helpless but found a few brands of sunscreen that did not contain the harmful products normally used in mainstream products; I ultimately chose to order a sunscreen from Kabana Skincare.
In addition to ordering sunscreen, I felt it was extremely important to buy some Vitamin D capsules as well.

To read more about sunscreen safety, click here or here
*Update: Check out EWG's website for more information and help with picking out the right sun care products for you.


  1. Great post!! Have you ever read de. Mercola? I think you would enjoy him. I use an oral vitamin d spray and totally believe in moderate sun time and then sun protection like hats. Thank you for the safe brand recomendations!!

  2. Then why do most sunscreens on the market use titanium dioxide?