Summer is a time for pool parties, beach trips, and nature walks, but it’s also a time for something else: protecting your skin. When the weather outside gets hotter and the sun’s rays start really beaming down, it’s vital that we take care of our skin and guard against threats like sunburn and skin cancer.
For years, sunscreen has been regarded as the best defense against the harmful UV rays coming down from the sun. We can all remember a time when our parents made us get out of the pool so they could reapply sunscreen. Even though we weren’t thrilled to stop playing, we knew that it was for our health and safety. But what if we told you that many popular sunscreen brands are doing more harm than good?
A number of studies have been published that draw attention to the dangerous chemicals in many popular brands of sunscreen. Our skin is so porous that it doesn’t take very long at all for the chemicals in sunscreen to enter into our bloodstreams.
The corporations responsible for producing these sunscreens have supplied a wealth of science that says these chemicals are absolutely fine. Unfortunately, their science isn’t entirely trustworthy since they want consumers to keep purchasing their product.
So, it’s up to us to decide which sunscreens are safest to use, and which ones we should leave on the shelf. Below are three of the most harmful ingredients found in popular brands of sunscreen today.
Oxybenzone is used in sunscreen because of how well it absorbs UV light, but it has a pretty big downside. The Environmental Working Group claims that it disrupts hormones and leads to cell damage if it enters the bloodstream.
This popular vitamin supplement might sound like a nice add-on, but the U.S. government has suggested that it might accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions when combined with sunlight. It’s pretty baffling to think that certain sunscreens could actually increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
There are too many to name, but keep your eyes peeled for synthetic fragrances like Parabens and phthalates. They might make your skin smell nice, but these chemicals are bad news for your body’s hormones.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that our bodies need sunlight. The sun is our primary source of Vitamin D, and too much sunscreen will disrupt our ability to receive its benefits.
Instead of the generic brands, keep your eyes peeled for natural sunscreen this Summer. Always check the label before purchasing, and seek out brands featuring zinc and titanium minerals. If you’re in a pinch, coconut oil makes a nice natural sunscreen. Though it only has an SPF of eight, it is much gentler on your skin and keeps it hydrated at the same time!
Of course, sunscreen should be our last choice when it comes to protecting our bodies. Clothes and shade are always a safer alternative.
For more information on how to use sunscreen responsibly, check out the video below:
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