How Safe Is Your Sunscreen?

How Safe Is Your Sunscreen?


Sunscreen made it's debut in the late '60's. From baking in the sun with oil to screening out the UV rays, the pendulum has now moved a little more to the middle. We are not suggesting you slather on the sunscreen without allowing any rays to absorb into your skin. Sun exposure allows your body to produce vitamin D. A study from the Lancet demonstrates the benefits of sunlight exposure:

"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."

We want our vitamin D from the sun giving our immune system a healthy boost. However we also want to make sure that after we get our daily dose we apply a physical block sunscreen. We will explain why we suggest opting out of using any kind of chemical sunblock. Our concerns over the chemical ingredients in sunscreens are shared by a wide audience including physicians, scientists and also research driven parents.


Here is a list of the chemical blocking agents in many available sunscreens that typically include a combination of two to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. When you shop for sunscreen, avoid any of the above mentioned chemical blocking agents and opt for a mineral blocking one instead.  If you want to look for a specific sunscreen that has already been approved by the EWG experts, then take your pick from the ones here: PRE APPROVED SUNSCREENS

EWG provides information on sunscreen products from published scientific literature to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate both efficacy and the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in each product.

According to Joseph Mercola, MD, other harmful ingredients include:

  • Parabens: Synthetic preservatives that interfere with hormone production and release.
  • Phthalates: Synthetic preservative linked to reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, and birth defects) and liver and kidney damage and a known carcinogen.


Several of the most common chemicals used for sun protection including oxybenzone, octinoxate and homosalate have been shown in studies to mimic hormones and disrupt the endocrine system.

Oxybenzone has been studied the most. Over 20 studies have been cited by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) that link oxybenzone to hormone disruption. Higher concentrations of oxybenzone in the body are linked to an increased risk of endometriosis and lower birthweight in daughters.

The journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published a study in 2015 that demonstrates male fish exposed to higher concentration of oxybenzone developed characteristics of female fish and exhibited higher estrogen levels.

Octinoxate has been linked to thyroid and behavioral changes in animal studies. The physical blocking agent homosalate is known to disrupt estrogen, androgen and progesterone.



Blue Lizard baby provides the sunblock needed with safe active ingredients including zinc and titanium dioxide. They made EWG's list of safe sunscreens and Blue Lizard's gentle mineral-based baby formula provides 40-minute water and sweat resistance without adding fragrances, parabens or other harsh chemicals.


Avoid all chemical blocking agents since we want to reduce the likelihood of absorbing hormone mimickers and endocrine system disrupters. We offer SophytoPro sunscreen that has anti-aging ingredients: SunBoost ATB™, a powerful blend of antioxidants and skin-soothers to reduce the appearance of aging. You can also find good options at Earth Fare, Whole Foods and other places that offer organic food and wellness products.

Have fun in the sun without harming your body or the environment!


Back to blog