It’s the height of summer and many of us are more conscious than ever to protect our skin from overexposure to sun. Before you go out to frolic in the sun, remember sunscreen is your last resort. Cover up with light clothes or hang out in the shade. Don’t forget your sunglasses and cool hat. The Environmental Working Group recently released their 2015 guide to sunscreen. The number one culprit for toxicity is Neutrogena, which has been the fav sunscreen for many. Unfortunately, it uses Oxybenzone “a hormone-disrupting sunscreen filter” and 33 percent contain retinyl palmitate, “a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage”.
It’s important to know that Endocrine disruptors like oxybenzone interfere with the hormone system, potentially causing cancer, birth defects and developmental disorders. A 2008 study looking at the effects of oxybenzone on juvenile rainbow trout found that those samples exposed to oxybenzone produced a decreased number of eggs, a smaller percentage of fertilized eggs and a smaller percentage of hatched, or viable, eggs. Yikes!
Another point to note: some Neutrogena products tout an SPF of 70. The US Food and Drug Administration has debunked the effectiveness of any SPF over 50.
Here is the EWG list of the sunscreen hall of shame. Steer clear of them to avoid disrupting your hormones, damaging your skin and absorbing harmful toxins.
Good news! Here is a list of the best sunscreens. I am heading to the Jersey shore for a family reunion and am stocking up on the good stuff. I have found many at Rainbow Grocery in SF and Whole Foods. My favorite is the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen, Sport, SPF 45.
If you ever do get sunburn, one of the best natural remedies is to use aloe vera. It is full of powerful glyconutrients that accelerate healing. Best used fresh from the plant, but if you don’t have one you can get organic aloe vera gel at your local health food store such as Aromatica Organic Aloe Vera Gel.
Finally, to check on all of your other cosmetic and body product safety, the EWG has created a database called Skin Deep that you can use on your computer or download the app. I love it. Happy trails this summer!