Chemicals in Sunscreen and Safer Options

I know many people that use sunscreen daily, particularly on their kids, and a new study by JAMA showed that blood levels of toxic chemicals from sunscreen increases after one day of use. You can only imagine how high the levels get after continued use!

What’s the harm? According to an article on, “The four chemicals studied -- avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene -- are part of a dozen that the FDA recently said needed to be researched by manufacturers before they could be considered "generally regarded as safe and effective." In addition, a recent FDA study showed the oxybenzone was absorbed 50 to 100 times higher than the other chemicals. Studies have shown that oxybenzone is potentially linked to lower testosterone levels in boys, hormone changes in men, shorter pregnancies and disrupted birth weights. Oxybenzone has been banned by European Union but it’s still allowed here in the United States. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that a majority of the sunscreens sold in the US has oxybenzone.

What to do? Use sunscreen only when and where needed, and choose a safer product. The best reference for safer skincare products is the EWG website. The Skin Deep site reviews most personal care products and they also have a special guide on sunscreens because of the importance. The guide has helpful tips on alternatives to sunscreen, as well as rates the various products based on levels of questionable chemicals.

The stick is great for kids and applies easily to the face.

The stick is great for kids and applies easily to the face.

What do I use? I use the Beautycounter line, which is EWG verified to be one of the safest options. In addition, the FDA recently proposed a rule to declare mineral sunscreens as safe. I prefer the stick or the lotion (voted best of beauty by Allure!), but they also offer a mist and recently added a tinted mist. Please contact me if you would like more information but click here to use a safer option for sun protection this summer!