We all know that sunscreen is VERY important when it comes to protecting our skin and our children’s skin from harmful sun rays. However, there are certain sunscreen brands that can be dangerous for you and your loved ones. The brand I’m referring to is Neutrogena, “the number one dermatologist recommended skin care brand”.
According to a recent sunscreen study ran by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Neutrogena came up as being the most toxic out of all the other sunscreen brands that were tested in terms of its toxicity level.
EWG noted Neutrogena sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that can disrupt hormones, damage your skin and even increase your risk for cancer.
The study looked at the worst spray sunscreens, sunscreen lotions and sunscreens available for kids, and assessed certain factors including high SPFs (above 50), and the chemicals oxybenzone and retinal palmitate.
The results showed that 80 percent of Neutrogena sunscreens contain oxybenzone, “a hormone-disrupting sunscreen filter” and 33 percent of them contain retinyl palmitate, “a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage”.
Oxybenzone is used in a variety of products, from sunscreens, hair sprays, cosmetics and even nail polishes. It’s also used in plastics in order to absorb UV light. In sunscreens, it’s used to protect you from UVA and UVB rays, but not in a safe way.
A study done in 2008 revealed that oxybenzone disrupts the hormones in the endocrine system, which can cause cancer, birth defects and developmental disorders.
Retinyl palmitate is a type of vitamin A that many sunscreens are made from. This chemical has been found to cause mutations in your cells that can potentially lead to cancer.
Vitamin A, also referred to as Retinol, is used in many skin products to slow the signs of aging. Although retinyl does not cause cancer, it can cause skin irritations, rashes, and damage to the skin. How? Since retinol increases the rate at which cells renew, healthy skin sells are revealed. This is why you’ll see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles when using products made with vitamin A. However, since these skin cells are NEW, they are more susceptible to sun damage. As such, retinyl palmitate should not be applied before exposure to direct sunlight because it can make skin more susceptible to damage. It is best to avoid sunscreens that contain this chemical.
Retinyl palmitate is also known to cause birth defect for women that are pregnant or breastfeeding, only when exceeding 10,000 IU. If you’re ever hesitant at any time, always consult your doctor and dermatologist to make sure the sunscreen products (or any other product) you’re using, is below that maximum amount of chemical exposure.
If you’re looking for a safe alternative, check out Beautycounter’s Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 (lotion), Protect Stick Sunscreen SPF 30 (face stick), or Protect Stick Sunscreen SFP 30 (body stick). Both of these are mineral based sunscreens made with non-nano zinc oxide, and are free of oxybenzone and retinal palmitate. As such, the chemicals in these sunscreens will not disrupt hormones or cause any skin allergies or irritations. Plus, they smell great and go on clear—no sticky residue there!