The Importance of Safe Sunscreen

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The Importance of Safe Sunscreen

I was someone who was actively in involved in the boy scouts of America growing up. That meant that I was outdoors plenty, especially during the summer months. Over the years my love for nature has only grown. I’m an avid fan of canoeing, rappelling and backpacking. While engaging in outdoor activities I think back to being a child  and always being warned to apply sunscreen. I was not always the best at taking this advice but when I did I would often just buy whatever bottle I could find at CVS or in my family’s house that was spray on and apply that. At the time I could not comprehend the importance of using sunscreen as well as other methods to protect myself from this sun. After researching this topic I was shocked at the amount of information I had been missing. If you don’t like using sunscreen or don’t think it’s important, you need to read on and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls of those that don’t apply.

Why Use Sunscreen?

seems harmless
seems harmless
  1. Protection from harmful UV rays- The continuous depletion of the ozone layer has resulted in us being at a higher risk of being affected by the sun’s more harmful rays which include UV rays. Without applying sunscreen on a regular basis there is nothing to block the sun’s more harmful rays from penetrating into your skin and creating skin disorders.
    Sunscreen has powerful anti-aging effects- Sunscreen will keep your skin looking great and will keep you from developing signs of aging including wrinkles and fine lines.
  2. Lower skin cancer risks- If worn on a regular basis sunscreen does a great job at shielding your skin from various types of cancer including melanoma. Melanoma is especially dangerous for women especially if they contract it when they are in their 20’s.
  3. Can decrease the blemishes found on your face- When applied to your face sunscreen does a great job at preventing you from getting your face covered in irritated blemishes and your red veins from erupting. Applying sunscreen to your face also is able to help prevent you from contracting acne or other sun ray induced damage.
  4. Prevent sunburn- Most people consider a good tan something they want and will bake in the sun for days just so their skin will be perfectly golden. Tanning is relaxing, looks great and an essential part to any summer. A summer without a tan is just as wrong as a baseball game with no seventh inning stretch. Having a tan is a wonderful thing but there is a downside that is unhealthy and dangerous. Every time you are tanning outside you are at risk of being harmed by ultraviolet B rays. Applying some good quality sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to protect yourself from UV B rays is a good idea. Sunburns not only cause pain and discomfort but weaken your skin causing you to be more susceptible to bruising, peeling, hives, or itchiness. All of this is in addition to causing the skin conditions like cancer that we’ve mentioned. Tanning doesn’t need to become obsolete but certain steps must to be taken to insure that the innocent, fun summer activity isn’t a catastrophically damaging mistake and sunscreen is the first of those steps.
  5. Contains positive ingredients for your skin-A lot of sunscreens can help protect your essential skin proteins including collagen and keratin.
  6. Most sunscreens are waterproof- This gives you the opportunity to go for a swim without you having to worry that you may burn yourself. However, if you have dry or sensitive skin it is important to reapply a coating of sunscreen every now and again, especially after a swim to ensure your skin stays safe.
  7. Cost effective- Nowadays you can choose from a whole variety of sunscreens for an affordably priced option. You can even make a DIY sunscreen saving you even more money.
  8. Tends to be a great cosmetic option- Most sunscreens these days tend to also function as a cream. To use it all you need to do is apply it and leave it in your skin.

Top Unsafe Ingredients in Sunscreen

Some of the most common types of sunscreen out there contain chemical filters to help protect your skin help it maintain stability in sunlight. These chemical filters tend to include 2-6 of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Some other hazardous chemicals, which a lot of sunscreens have as ingredients, include homosalates and parabens.
According to several lab studies some of the chemical UV filters from the list above have the potential to mimic hormones, cause skin allergies, or cause other health defects caused by frequent sunscreen application. In this article will just focus on a few of them: oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens and homosalates.

Related: Sulfates in Hair Care


Oxybenzone tends to be the most hazardous of these chemical filters. Oxybenzone is a common ingredients in the majority of sunscreens which people use and has potentially hazardous side effects which include allergic skin reactions and hormone disruption.


Octinoxate is yet another potentially hazardous ingredient to watch out for when buying sunscreen for yourself and your family.
Several tests have been conducted to see what the side effects of octinoxate may be. Results show that it may negatively impact the endocrine system which is a highly important aspect of keeping your hormonal balance in check. Octinoxate has also shown to increase the amount of estrogen in your cells and can be rapidly absorbed into your skin when applied. This is especially alarming because high concentrations of estrogen have been shown to be associated with the development of breast cancer. In the case of Octinoxate, although there is no definitive link to prove for sure, there is evidence to suggest that this ingredient may also be associated with the contraction of thyroid disease too.


Once absorbed this ingredient has the potential to accumulate in your body at a faster rate than we can get rid of it. Homsolates then become toxic within our body and can disrupt our hormones.


People who use sunscreen containing parabens have been shown to possess both acute and chronic side effects that include allergic reactions, disrupting your hormones, reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Sun Safety Tips

Besides for using sunscreen there are also a bunch of ways that you can protect yourself from the hazards of the sun and its ultraviolet rays.

  • Wear dark tightly woven clothing, long sleeved shirts, and pants
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat
  • Avoid using sun tanning beds
    not safe at all
    not safe at all
  • Keep children under 6 months out of the sun
  • Wear sunglasses that are rated with having total UV protection
  • Stay in the shade as often as possible
  • Regularly check your skin. This will help you figure out what is normal for your skin and will allow you to be aware of any changes or growths.
  • When using cosmetics or contact lenses use the ones which offer UV protection.
keep the rays away!
keep the rays away!

Remember that the sun is strongest between 10am and 2pm. It is important to keep yourself even more protected from the sun during this time period.


Sunscreen and sun protection in general are crucial elements to having healthy skin. There are still unsafe ingredients found in sunscreen that you should stay away from and alternative ways to protect yourself from the suns UV rays that do not include using sunscreen.
Yes, it is important to try and put a lot of the non-sunscreen ways of protecting yourself against UV rays into practice. You still can’t replace some gold old fashioned sunscreen. It is important to, when using sunscreen, be wary of sunscreens, which contain the potentially hazardous ingredients that we listed above. The more natural sunscreens will provide a safer and more effective solution that you might be looking for.

There are plenty more ways for you to take better care of yourself and learn new health info! visit for a host of useful information on everything from private labeling 101 to great oils like avocado!

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