Sunscreen is good for you (Titanium oxide and Zinc oxide, or just a hat), but many chemical sunscreens aren’t. This article titled The Chemical Sunscreen Health Disaster is a real eye opener to the dangers of chemical sunscreens.
The three main concerns are:
1. They are powerful free radical generators
Many of these chemicals are used in labs for cancer research: they just expose them to light and they burst into free radicals spinning around, ready to attack cells. Not the kind of thing I want sinking into my skin.
2. They often have strong estrogenic activity
As with so many chemicals, they can tweek our hormone balance.
3. They are synthetic chemicals that are alien to the human body and accumulate in body fat stores. Enough said.
Chemical Sunscreens Include:
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, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate)
Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)
Avobenzone [butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789] – This is the only chemical sunscreen currently allowed by the European Community. However, its safety is still questionable since it easily penetrates the skin and is a strong free radical generator.