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Lifestyle

How to choose the ideal sunscreen, free of harmful toxins

How to choose the ideal sunscreen, free of harmful toxins

Summer has arrived and the holiday season is upon us. Since this is the time when sunscreens are most used, it's time to learn more about their safety.

There are a few things you should know about sunscreen so you can be as informed as possible about the ingredients that are considered harmful. Conventional sunscreens have been linked to a host of health concerns, as well as the destruction of coral reefs.

Some chemical ingredients in sunscreen have been banned in some countries around the world because of the harm they are causing to human and aquatic life.

How to choose the ideal sunscreen, without toxins

Most common creams contain harmful ingredients that you probably want to avoid.

Some of the most harmful ingredients are:

Avobenzone – Risks causing cases of skin allergies.
Fragrance – According to data collected by AgroWeb.org, fragrance blends are often associated with allergies, dermatitis and respiratory distress. Phthalates that are often in synthetic fragrances are also linked to endocrine disruption and birth defects.
Homosalate and Octinoxate – Types of UV filters that penetrate the skin, can unbalance your hormones and affect thyroid health.
Oxybenzone – Several studies have shown that oxybenzone disrupts the endocrine system and causes allergic contact dermatitis. Increased levels of oxybenzone in teenage boys can lower testosterone levels.
Parabens (methyl-, propyl-, ethyl-, benzyl-) – A family of preservatives that mimic estrogen and are directly linked to cancer.
PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) – A group of ingredients with the prefix “PEG-” followed by a number.
Phenoxyethanol – Skin exposure to this preservative is associated with allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis.

As you can see, looking for safe sunscreens is an important step in taking care of your health.

Which creams can you choose?

Look for safe sunscreens that have either non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients.

These creams physically block the sun's radiation by forming a barrier that sits on top of the skin. This barrier reflects the sun's rays, causing them to be scattered and not absorbed by the skin.

In addition, these types are gentler on the skin and do not penetrate the skin barrier or enter the bloodstream like the ingredients in regular creams do.

Plus, they work immediately after application, unlike others that take 20 minutes before they start working.