I am pretty sure that your goal when using skin products is not to hurt yourself, but slathering your skin with toxic ingredients is something of an everyday regime for most people. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and make your own sunscreen!!! (see post – Skin Food: Natural Sunscreen) Even some natural sunscreens have toxic ingredients so if you do purchase sunscreen be careful to get the right kind! The Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. The primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin. The Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology says oxybenzone is safe….WHAT? Well of course they do.
“Oxybenzone is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides effective broad spectrum protection from UV radiation, and has been approved for use since 1978,” said Dr. Daniel M. Siegel, president of the academy. A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used sunscreen ingredient called oxybenzone that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. A companion study published just one day earlier revealed that this chemical is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin.
VIEW NAME-BRAND PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN OXYBENZONE:
- Sunscreens (588 products)
- facial moisturizer/treatment
- other products with SPF
- lip balm
- anti-aging creams
- fragrance for women
Although oxybenzone is most common in sunscreen, companies also use the chemical in at least 567 other personal care products.
Environmental Working Group identified nearly 600 sunscreens sold in the U.S. that contain oxybenzone, including products by Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, and Banana Boat (see the full list of 588 sunscreens here) as well as 172 facial moisturizers, 111 lip balms, and 81 different types of lipstick.
The Food and Drug Administration has failed miserably in its duty to protect the public from toxic chemicals like oxybenzone in personal care products. At the request of industry lobbyists, including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who represented the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, the agency has delayed final sunscreen safety standards for nearly 30 years. FDA issued a new draft of the standards last October under pressure from EWG, but continues to delay finalizing them at the behest of the regulated industry.
EWG research shows that 84% of 910 name-brand sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients, like oxybenzone, with significant safety concerns.
The last safety review for oxybenzone was done in the 1970s, and does not reflect a wealth of information developed since that time indicating increased toxicity concerns and widespread human exposure. A recent review in the European Union found that sufficient data were not available to assess if oxybenzone in sunscreen was safe for consumers.
Here is a list of toxic ingredients to avoid:
- Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)
- PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA,
- p-aminobenzoic acid padimate O or Octyl dimethyl PABA)
- Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl, p-methoxycinnamate)
- Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)
- Avobenzone (butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789)
- Digalloyl trioleate
- Menthyl anthranilate
- Propylene Glycol: Called a humectant in cosmetics, it is industrial antifreeze, and the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid. Material Data Sheets on Propylene Glycol warn to avoid skin contact as it is systemic and can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. If anti freeze is spilled on your garage floor and a dog or cat drinks one lick, it will kill them.
For your own natural sunscreen recipe refer to my post: Skin Food: Natural Sunscreen