VR Recommends: Safe Sunscreen Guide

VR Recommends: Safe Sunscreen Guide

Sunscreen sunglasses and beach

Do you know what is in your sunscreen?

We know how important sun safety is, but did you you know that the ingredients in many sunscreens may cause as much harm as good?

Mineral Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen - what's the difference?

Mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin, providing a physical barrier from UVA & UVB rays. Mineral sunscreens will contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or a combinations of the two). Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skins surface and absorb UV rays. Common chemical filters include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. But the differences do not stop there.

OXYBENZONE - a health risk

Oxybenzone is the most common chemical sunscreen, and the most dangerous. A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one day of chemical sunscreen use (with Oxybenzone and other common chemical sunscreens) resulted in plasma concentrations that surpassed the FDA threshold for human safety.
It has been established that Oxybenzone enters the blood stream 50 times more than other chemical sunscreens. Why is this a concern? Oxybenzone is known to disrupt the body's endocrine system. Endocrine distruptors (also known as hormone disruptors) have been linked to reproductive, neurological, and immune related issues. This is problematic for anyone exposed to Oxybenzone, but particularly children and pregnant women.

Small girl having sunscreen applied

Oxybenzone - a risk to marine life

Given it's effects on humans, it likely doesn't come as a surprise that Oxybenzone is also an environmental toxin, causing serious damage to marine ecosystems. In fact, many chemical sunscreen ingredients are banned in the US, due to coral bleaching. When we swim, sunscreen enters the waterways, and all marine life is affected. Chemical sunscreen can impair growth and photosynthesis in plants, alter DNA, and damage immune and reproductive systems in marine animals.

Watch out for other common ingredients in chemical suncreen.

Chemical sunscreens often contain parabens (or paraben alternatives) - a chemical preservative, and phthalates (often in the form of synthetic fragrances). Both are known hormone disruptors.

Natural sunscreen

When choosing a natural sunscreen, make sure you read the ingredients carefully, and select one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient. Ready as soon as you apply them, these mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin, and cannot be absorbed by humans or marine life. Natural sunscreens are simple and effective. Plus, natural sunscreens have come a long way in the past few years, formulas have improved and they are no longer thick and white (thank goodness!). There are many brands to choose from - let our Natural Product Experts guide you!

Have you tried mineral sunscreens? Which one do you like the best?

Find a huge selection of natural, non-toxic sunscreens at Vitarock! Shop with confidence, knowing all our wellness products have been pre-screened to be PURE, GREEN, SAFE, and FAIR. Founded by a fellow mom, Alicja is one of Canada’s most respected experts in natural product quality and safety.

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