Is There A Downside To Sunscreen?

We all know that we should be careful when we go out to the sun, and that the exposure to the sun is really not recommended. For years, we are told to wear sunscreen every time we go outside and doctors all agree that this is a great way to prevent sun damages. But it sunscreen really safe for use?

bottle of sunscreenMost sunscreens contain oxybenzone as the main active ingredient. This chemical performs as a blocking agent which not only absorbs the sun’s rays, but also stops them from penetrating the skin and burning it. The catch is that this chemical is an endocrine disruptor that absorbs through the skin.

Furthermore, the oxybenzone produces free radicals which are released into the skin. Some cosmetic companies added antioxidants to counteract the free radicals production in a form of vitamins. The problem is that not all vitamins are good for this purpose.

Vitamin C can be great at neutralizing the free radicals and it can even build the skin’s resistance to the sun. On the other hand, vitamin A is a photosensitizer, so clearly it’s not ideal to add it to a product that is designed to protect the skin from the sun.

Clearly you won’t stop using sunscreen, and wearing long sleeves and a hat is not enough. The best solution is to look for sunscreens that contain minimal amount of oxybenzone, and preferably, contain blocking agents such as zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide.

Other than that, do your best to avoid the sun and not to go outside at the warmest hours (like noon). If you don’t have a choice and have a sunscreen that contains large amounts of oxybenzone, use it mildly.