Is your sunscreen making you sick?
Updated: May 27
Last year, the Journal of American Medical Association (find the full article here) put out research stating just that. The fact is that chemicals such as oxybenzone have been known to affect hormones for quite some time. However, in light of recently published research, the FDA is finally calling companies to action to do further testing before many of these chemicals found in sunscreen can be GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
In CNN's news release they stated the following:
"In 2008, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed urine samples collected by a government study and found oxybenzone in 97% of the samples. Since then, studies have shown a potential link between oxybenzone and lower testosterone levels in adolescent boys, hormone changes in men, and shorter pregnancies and disrupted birth weights in babies, but researchers caution about assuming association.
Of all of the sunscreen ingredients, oxybenzone is known to be the most common cause of contact allergies; a 10-year study found that 70% of people had a positive patch test when exposed. A Swiss study found oxybenzone or one of four other sunscreen chemicals in 85% of breast milk samples, sparking concern that newborns could be exposed."
Twelve years ago. 2008. Can you believe that this has been a known issue and yet they are just NOW giving it a closer look??
Your skin is your largest organ and absorbs most of what it comes in contact with. Unfortunately we can't completely control the environmental toxins we're exposed to on a regular basis. The fact that endocrine disrupting chemicals are found at such a high blood level concentration after just one day of use is alarming. Think about it: In the summer, many of us apply sunscreen daily, even multiple times per day, while we enjoy the outdoors. After continued use, these chemicals remain in the bloodstream for DAYS. Exposure causes hormone imbalances, skin sensitivities, and is overall stressful to the body as it tries to clear out the toxins and get you back to normal.
What you can do:
-->Check out the Environmental Working Group's 2020 guide here
for more information about safer sunscreen options.
-->Select a safer sunscreen option free of toxic chemicals! You can find some great products here.
-->Keep yourself covered with a rash guard, light long sleeves and/or a wide-brimmed hat if out in the sun for long periods of time.
-->Periodically seek shade to take a break from the sun.
-->Avoid going out when the sun is highest in the sky to avoid burns.
Check out my other post here for more safer sun tips.