Is your sunscreen toxic?

Is your sunscreen toxic?

Whoo hoo! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, I can leave my windows fully open and not freeze! Hoorah for fresh air! My happiness level has gone up tremendously now that the warm weather is here. I’ve put away the heaters, shut down the wood stove (no more dust everywhere, my OCD self in very happy about this), the windows are permanently opened now, and I’m taking my work outside as often as I can, while trying to avoid the bees and the wasps that have come out to play.


Last weekend I got to get away from my computer and socialize with adults! I love working from home but my laptop doesn’t exactly provide me the social interaction that I need from time to time. So soul mama, friend, and myself went off to the Fingerlake wineries. It was BEAUTIFUL! Normally its freaking freezing when we go and so you can’t really hang outside and admire the scenery but this time around, we were really able to take our time, bask in the glory that is sunshine and enjoy our weekend out.


Now is the season for beautiful weather, long, lazy days, and fun in the sun. Since we like to avoid pain, we make sure to slather on the sunscreen so we don’t turn into crispy bacon.


Today I want to talk to you about how the WRONG kind of sunscreen not only will make you Vitamin D deficient, but also poisons your body and fills you with carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer).


Your skin is your largest organ. It covers and protects EVERYTHING on your body. How you treat it is vital to your health. However, we tend to take this super important organ for granted, and not give it a second thought as we slather products full of toxic chemicals on it day after day.


Sunscreen is one of those toxic products (if you use the wrong kind).


Sunscreen give you a false sense of protection. Slather it on, and you’re safe from burning and getting skin cancer, buttttttt, and crazy as it may seem, most sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that disrupt your hormones and increase your chances of skin cancer. Why? Because of the INGREDIENTS in the product! It always comes back to that! Reading labels isn’t just for food; it also applies to the shit your put on your largest organ.


When picking out a sunscreen here’s what to steer clear of…

-Oxybenzone: this chemical is an organic UV filter that is easily absorbed by your skin and completely disrupts your hormones. Hormone disruptions can lead to liver failure and cancer.

Aluminum: can interact with estrogen receptors and create a toxic build up in your bloodstream. This build up can lead to severe bone pain, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and fatigue.

Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) : A study conducted by U.S. government scientists released by the National Toxicology Program found that when this was directly applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, it can potentially speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions! What????

-Fragrance: Sure a good whiff of sunscreen can instantly teleport you back to your tropical vacation instead of your front yard that desperately needs mowing, but that coconuty scent is linked to organ toxicity and allergies.

-Sunscreen causes Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D (or hormone to be exact) is the master-key for optimal health. The best way to get this vitamin is through the sun but in an attempt to protect ourselves from skin cancer, we slather on so much sunscreen that aint nothing gonna penetrate that! Vitamin D deficiency can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, an increase in appetite, cravings and depression to name a few. You need sunshine! Getting as little as 10 minutes of the sun’s wonderful rays a few times a week is enough to help prevent deficiencies.


Is your sunscreen toxic?

According to the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide the most common offenders that contain all of these shit chemicals and the brands you should avoid are…

  • Aveeno
  • Banana Boat
  • Coppertone
  • Bull Frog
  • Neutrogena
  • Storebrands such as Wal-mart, CVS, Rite Aid, etc
  • Hawaiian Tropic
  • and many more.

You can use the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide to find out how good or bad the brand you have or want to buy is rated.

Now that you know why you want to steer clear of conventional sunscreen, let’s move on to some brands you CAN feel safe using. Thankfully we live in a time where society is awaking more and more to the importance of health and with nothing more than a click of a button or drive to your local health food store, you can replace your Banana Boat with its non-toxic counterpart.


Choose a safe sunscreen

Thanks to the infographic below created by history maker, world changer Vani from FoodBabe, you can know which sunscreens are safe to use, and what to look for when choosing a brand. I loveeeeee infographics. They make boring information quite visually appealing. The Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide will provide you with detailed information about sunscreen safety, but the graphic below makes it easier and more direct.

From FoodBabe… (click on pic to see larger size)


“Below are my favorite sunscreen brands that are rated between 0-2 for their entire line of sun care products and are the safest available. I’ve included the links on where to find these brands online if you can’t find them in stores near you – but most natural food stores and vitamin shops will have one of these options available. 

  1. Badger – Certified organic, several different SPFs and option for kids, babies and active people, unscented available
  2. Thinkbaby/Thinksport – Great for athletes, kids and adults for prolonged exposure in sun
  3. John Masters Organics – SPF 30, only one option available
  4. Seventh Generation – SPF 30, only one option available
  5. Aubrey Organics – SPF 26-45 available, unscented available
  6. Raw Elements – The first organic, non-GMO certified sunscreen
  7. Sunology  – Kids, Face and Body Protection – one of my favorites, because it glides in easily
  8. California Baby (Target carries this brand) – Formulated for sensitive skin, SPF 18-30

*Note – Alba and Kiss My Face are two other brands that are safer than most conventional brands. However, you must only choose their mineral based products – for example Alba’s Mineral SPF 30 Unscented and Kiss My Face’s Mineral Lotion SPF 40 are great choices – but other versions in the same brand category may not be as safe.



And there ya have it!


What do you think? Are you a sunscreen junkie?

One Response to Is your sunscreen toxic?

  1. Christy says:

    You should check out Ava Anderson NonToxic’s sunscreen. It’s a 1 by EWG and uses non-nanoparticle and organic ingredients, with non of the bad stuff.

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