☀️ How to Pick a Safe Sunscreen


One of the biggest questions that both I have received over the years is–What Sunscreen is Safe?!
On one hand, you want to manage the potential damage that the sun can cause from prolonged exposure.  But you also don’t want to harm your health with chemical-filled sunscreens that are supposed to protect you!

Recently Stanford professor and podcaster, Andrew Huberman, PhD, recently said in an interview: 

“I am as scared of sunscreen as I am about melanoma. Some of the things in sunscreen are really spooky…I don’t like what I see in most sunscreens because when you look at the compounds, they cross the blood-brain barrier. I don’t want compounds crossing the blood brain barrier…Once you know a little bit about neurons, you realize the neurons you’ve got are the neurons you’ve got for basically your entire life…Protecting those is key and a lot of things in sunscreen are downright dangerous.”
Risks associated with chemical sunscreens

Since it is absorbed by the skin, chemicals in sunscreens raise concerns about possible health risks, including hormonal disruptions and potential neurological impacts due to some compounds crossing the blood-brain barrier. 

What to Avoid

Based on the research of Dr. Rhonda Patrick, she recommends that we avoid three main chemicals found in some sunscreens: Oxybenzone, Octisalate and Avobenzone. 

These ingredients can stay in the bloodstream for weeks, and the side effects of this are not known.

Further, there are sunscreen chemicals that could be potentially harmful to your hormones by disrupting your endocrine system. These chemicals to avoid are: Homosalate, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, and Oxybenzone.

Safer Options

Did you know that the FDA categorizes only two sunscreen ingredients as safe and effective: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. They do not significantly permeate the skin and are considered safe. You can read more about this here from the FDA. 

So for now, Mineral-Based sunscreens appear to be the winner

In the coming years, I am sure we will continue to learn about the negative health impacts of chemicals in our sunscreens, makeup and skincare.

This summer our family is currently using Blue Lizard mineral sunscreen, which is a mineral sunscreen with Zinc Oxide.  Additionally–we often pack a sun shade, sun shirts, hats and sunglasses if we will be spending a day at the beach. 

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