The Hidden Dangers of Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients

I am so excited to bring you my very first special guest writer in today’s post: the absolutely gorgeous, fabulous Jennifer Devlin. Jennifer is a Master Esthetician and has created an all natural and organic skin care line called Celtic Complexion. She is very knowledgeable about holistic skin care, and is extremely passionate about educating the public on the dangers posed by many commonly used sunscreen ingredients and those found in other products that people put on their faces and bodies every day. 
I have already posted about how protecting yourself from the sun can help fight off free radicals and reduce your risk for developing certain skin cancers. I briefly discussed how all chemical sunscreens are toxic to the body, and can create free radicals themselves. In one of her articles, Jennifer goes into great detail about the dangers of chemical sunscreens, and offers lots of food for thought. Her views may be considered controversial by some, but they are all well supported by scientific studies…here she is.

The hidden dangers of chemical sunscreen…

For decades, irresponsible cosmetic companies and a small group of very vocal, publicity-seeking dermatologists have strongly advocated that chemical sunscreens should be heavily applied before any exposure to sunlight, even on young children. They insisted that such sunscreen use would prevent skin cancer and protect your health. This was despite of a lack of any adequate safety testing of these chemicals. (It should be emphasized that most dermatologists are much more cautious and careful.)

There are two camps of thought when it comes to sun exposure and cancer. One group believes that the use of sunscreen chemicals may be increasing incidence rates. Another argues that sunlight is actually a preventative treatment for human cancers.

Many sunscreen ingredients do more harm than good.


many sunscreen ingredients are known toxicantsIt now appears that many heavily-used chemical sunscreens may actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating properties. According to The Holistic Health Library, “many commonly used sunscreen chemicals have strong estrogenic actions that may cause serious problems in sexual development and adult sexual function, and may further increase cancer risks.”

The rise of melanoma is evident in countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted, and Queensland Australia was no exception. Researchers found that people who live there are at a higher risk for skin cancer because they use chemical sunscreen more often than anywhere else.  Queensland now has more incidences of melanoma per capital than any other place on Earth.

The science is there…

According to studies, the incidence of skin cancers has increased even as chemical sunscreens have become popular among fair-skinned people. The establishment’s answer to this increase in the cancer rate is that wearing sunscreen makes people stay in the sun too long. However, critics say there are many other factors which contribute such as diet and pollution levels. It may be premature for conclusions about causation, but they agree with keeping up on your SPF!

Some say that people who wear higher factor sunscreens tend to stay out in sunlight much longer, because they feel protected. However, others have pointed out that if chemical sunscreens were protective, the factors of longer sun exposure would be countered by the sunscreen’s supposed protective actions.

Why is this allowed to happen?


This raises questions as to why no member of the academic dermatology community over the past 30 years has raised warnings about the dangers of chemical sunscreen ingredients.

The answer is that the cosmetic industry has effectively silenced leading academic dermatologists by a widespread pattern of payments in the form of consulting fees, grants, retainers, vacation arrangements, and so on. In essence, industry has bought their silence on issues and products that might be embarrassing. Most academic dermatologists focus their attention on innocuous, safe, non-controversial topics that will not offend their corporate sponsors. They must honor their agreements with their benefactors.

In my opinion, corporate greed has created products that are harmful. I’m talking hundreds of chemical sunscreens that I believe are toxic because they contain man-made chemicals. These chemicals I believe can cause serious health problems and increase your risk of disease.

Here’s why:

The main sunscreen ingredient used in chemical sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet B light is octyl methoxycinnamate; OMC for short. OMC has been found to kill mouse cells even at low doses. Plus, it was also shown to be particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine. And guess what? OMC is present in 90 percent of sunscreen brands!

But that’s not the only reason to be weary of chemical sunscreen ingredients.

A common ultraviolet A filter, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, has also demonstrated toxic properties. The sunscreen ingredients present in chemical sunscreens have also been shown to produce estrogen. Several studies show that the chemicals commonly used in sunscreens are absorbed through the skin and end up circulating in your blood stream. Not good. Therefore:

I consider these chemicals to be dangerous and potentially life threatening. Do yourself a BIG Favor: if your sunscreen or moisturizer contains any of the following chemicals, toss them out!

-Para amino benzoic acid
-Octyl salicyclate
-Padimate O
-Menthyl anthranilate
-Trolamine salicyclate

The safest sunscreen ingredients are non-nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

These two active ingredients are natural minerals, which actually come from clay and beach sand deposits. This means they are not the harsh, synthetically-produced chemicals you’ll often find in popular brands.

Unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb ultraviolet light, nature provides us with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are two remarkable ingredients that remain on your skin to reflect and dissipate both UVA and UVB rays from your body. It may surprise you to find out that zinc oxide has been used all over the world for over 75 years as a safe sunscreen to help you prevent excessive sun exposure.

How do they do this?

Quite simply, they do it by forming a physical barrier, without irritating or clogging your pores. I would recommend going to The Environmental Working Group and search for the best sunscreen for you and your family. They have a very comprehensive sunscreen guide.

For more about Jennifer Devlin and her skin care products, please visit her website at www.CelticComplexion.com.

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  1. Pingback: Sun Safety Facts and Common Sense - LEAF Lifestyle

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