It’s that time again to begin shopping for sunscreen and enjoying time outside. With so many options, it can be overwhelming. Choosing a sunscreen is an important health decision and it should be bought with care.
Why? The goal with sunscreen is to prevent skin cancer, however, most sunscreens contain carcinogens, which are substances that actually cause cancer in the body. The majority of sunscreens also contain xenoestrogens, which cause dangerous levels of estrogen in the body contributing to breast cancer and hormonal disorders. Some active ingredients that contain these substances and should be avoided are: titanium dioxide (often found even in “natural” sunscreens), octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, homosalate, oxybenzone and octocrylene. Even natural brands like Kiss my Face, Jason and California Baby all contain titanium dioxide, a known carcinogen.
Swapping Frugally: There are a few safer sunscreen options. Seventh Generation offers their baby sunscreen (which can be used on adults, too!) with the only active ingredient being zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is currently considered to be safe and is not a known carcinogen. Badger sunscreen, Keys Solar Rx sunblock, Green Screen and Trukid Sunny Days are also made with zinc oxide as the only active ingredient. Amazon is the most frugal way to purchase these (clicking the links will take you to that product on Amazon). While zinc oxide is currently considered safe, all side effects are not 100% known. Keep in mind that it will go on heavy, so less is needed. For a truly all natural option, Hazelnut Oil can be used as a sunscreen and is the most frugal form of natural sunscreen. If you prefer the convenience of a spray, hazelnut oil can be used in a spray bottle.
Using umbrellas, wearing light weight, light-colored clothing and staying in the shade are the best and cheapest options. Be sure to soak up some sunlight, as it is needed to promote healthy levels of vitamin D in the body.