By Kelly Calagna, Managing Editor
Our hemisphere is rolling into the summer season; on go the short sleeves, out comes the sunscreen. But as responsible as we may think we are being using those SPF sprays and creams, we may actually be dodging one crisis only to face another.
While we know to use sunscreen to ward off sunburns, skin cancers and wrinkles, we rarely consider what it is we are actually putting on our skin. Most sunscreens on the market are chemical-based, using ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate as their UV filters. According to the Environmental Working Group, these substances penetrate into the skin and cause hormone disruption within the body.
Mineral sunscreens use safer UV filters, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The EWG’s research has shown these mineral filters to have zero and less than 0.01% skin penetration respectively, and no evidence of hormone disruption within the test subjects. In contrast, the popular octinoxate has shown up to 9% skin penetration into the bloodstream. Additionally, both oxybenzone and octinoxate showed hormone disruption, and so are potent that traces were even found in mothers’ breast milk! Such chemicals in the body have been suggested to have many adverse effects, from developmental and reproductive toxicity, to an increased risk of breast cancer.
PHOTO CREDIT: The Organic Pharmacy, Previse, Keeki Pure & Simple, and derma e.