Commercial sunscreen could do more harm than good. Some popular sunscreen brands contain chemicals that can be toxic for you and your family.
Vanderbilt University said that some of these chemicals can produce carcinogenic response when exposed to sunlight. Vanderbilt notes that the evidence of such a reaction is still under consideration. Benzophenone, benzophenone-3, avobenzone and oxybenzone, the chemicals found in many sunscreens are some chemicals that researchers suspect to release free radicals in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet light.
According Healthychild.com, ingredients found in common sunscreens are suspected carcinogens or known and/or endocrine disruptors, including diethanolamine, triethanolamine (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, the benzophenone, oxybenzone, homosalate, octyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), salicylates and parabens.
The results of many studies suggest that most popular sunscreens may contribute to cancer because of their mutagenic effect and generating free radicals. And perhaps most disturbing finding is that many chemicals commonly used in sunscreens have strong estrogenic actions that may interfere with normal sexual development and cause reproductive problems. The chemicals in sunscreens can also cause skin irritations and rashes.
“The Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that can lead to skin cancer.”
Many popular sunscreens contain the chemical ingredient benzophenone (or benzophenone-3 or oxybenzone derivatives) because it is one of the best chemicals to protect against UVA and UVB rays. However, sunscreens containing these chemicals are NOT a good choice. Here is an example in which the protection they may create does more harm than good and actually cause the disease it tries to prevent. Benzophenone is a powerful free radical generator activated by ultraviolet light. These free radicals can initiate a reaction which can ultimately lead to melanoma and other skin cancers.
Studies show that some of the chemicals present in sunscreens are absorbed into the blood stream in significant quantities. The more chemicals are put on the skin, the greater the absorption by the body. One study noted that “it would be prudent not to apply oxybenzone to large areas of the skin for extended and repeated periods, unless no alternative protection is available. There may be an additional concern for young children with less well developed elimination process, and have a greater body surface area relative to their weight than adults. “
Many sunscreens contain triethanolamine (TEA). This ingredient can combine with nitrite (used as a preservative or may be present as an environmental contaminant) to cause the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. Nitrites are not disclosed on the labels of cosmetic so there is no way to tell which products are contaminated with nitrosamines. It is particularly worrying that up to 35% of the TEA applied to the skin can enter the bloodstream.
ARGH! That’s why we make our own sunscreen!
Homemade sunscreen recipe
• 1/2 cup of 100% pure aloe (preferably organic) – it should be sticky, as if it is from the fresh plant.
• 20 carrot seed oil drops OR raspberry seed oil – (raspberry seed oil has a higher SPF if this is what you want)
• 5 tablespoons of coconut oil
• 3 capsules of vitamin E or hemp seed oil (2 tablespoons)
• 5 drops of lavender essential oil
• 2 tablespoons zinc oxide (buy a non-nano version that will not be absorbed by the skin. Do not inhale the powder).
This is a superior natural SPF 20 or you can add more. Make sure you do not inhale the zinc oxide, use a mask if necessary!
NOTE: Please omit zinc oxide from the recipe for a truly natural and toxic free version of this sunscreen, particularly during the preparation. Zinc oxide can affect the lungs and reproductive system if inhaled. Replace zinc oxide with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil which helps increase the sun protection factor (SPF).
Or you can simplify with this simple 3 ingredient recipe:
Coconut oil sunscreen recipe
• 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
• 2 tablespoons of non-nano zinc oxide
• 1 tablespoon of raspberry seed oil
No one wants to burn, but keep in mind that a lot of times we do not need sunscreen. Most people are deficient in vitamin D and could remain at least 20 minutes outside on direct sunlight each day to give their body a much needed boost of vitamin D.
Sources: healthychild.com, earthremedy.org