Natural zinc oxide Sunscreen

does chemical sunscreen ingredients act as endocrine disruptorsI’ve always used a chemical sunscreen because I never liked the look of white paste over my skin from a physical sunscreen, like zinc oxide cream. However, there has been a lot of discussions lately how some of the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens may not be so good for our health, especially long-term. There has also been improvements in all-natural sunscreens with invisible, micronized zinc oxide.

What’s the Difference Between a Chemical Sunscreen vs Physical Sunscreen – How Do They Work?

A chemical sunscreen typically contains three or more chemicals such as octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene and/or benzophenone (currently, there are 17 FDA-approved chemicals) and is absorbed into the skin where the chemicals absorb and filter ultraviolet (UV) rays. A physical mineral sunscreen or sunblock will contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and simply acts as a barrier or shade-shield by reflecting UV rays. Physical sunscreens “sit” on surface of the skin and are not absorbed.

Chemical Sunscreen Cons

  • Of the 17 FDA-approved chemicals used in sunscreens, 15 are considered endocrine disruptors – interfere with function of hormones.
  • They need to be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure for absorbtion by the skin in order to work.
  • The chemicals soak into your bloodstream – These chemicals have been detected in blood, urine, and breast milk 2 days after a single application (Krause et. al. 2012).
  • The absorption can generate DNA-damaging chemicals – free radicals which may lead to cancer.
  • Can cause allergic skin reactions and irritation to those with sensitive skin.

Chemical Sunscreen Pros: Many provide broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection. Some waterproof/sweatproof forumulas can provide protection for up to 80 minutes without reapplying, however some lose 90% of UV-blocking effectiveness only after 1 hour and need to be reapplied more often. Chemical sunscreens are relatively inexpensive, especially generic brands.

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