Your Sunscreen Is Probably Making You Sick. Switch To These.

The best non-toxic sunscreens, and why you should probably throw yours in the trash.


The Safest Sunscreens

I’m not sure there’s anyone on Earth who enjoys applying or wearing sunscreen. However, rather than avoiding the sun, I found a great sun-protection alternative. Studies have shown that Red Raspberry Seed Oil has a SPF factor of about 30 and is the only oil to protect against both UVB and UVA rays. So I fill my palm with it every morning and rub it all over my face, neck, hands, and any other area that might be getting exposure. It absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel greasy, and leaves a slight healthy glow. It’s quickly become my favorite oil. This awesome oil is filled with antioxidants and essential fatty acids to keep your skin healthy while helping to fade with scars, sunspots, and acne. I don’t leave home without it! Just make sure that you’re buying the real thing, as some sneaky resellers may dilute it with a cheaper oil. Also, as with any oil, make sure to keep the container tightly sealed in a dark place, since oils go oxidize (lose some of their medicinal properties) when exposed to oxygen or light too many times.

Your Sunscreen Is Probably Making You Sick. Switch To These.

When I’m traveling or otherwise spending a lot of time in direct sunlight, I first apply my oil, and then I layer a zinc oxide sunscreen overtop. My favorite safe, zinc-oxide-based sunscreens are Badger’s SPF30 lavender-scented sunscreen, their anti-bug sunscreen, and their rose facial sunscreen (I’m a sucker for anything rose-scented!), which are organic and has 100% healthy, pretty much edible ingredients. It absorbs without a lot of effort and smells great. Also, not only does lavender have a lovely scent, but has been found in studies to inhibit the generation of the type of free radical that causes much of the damage from UVA/UVB radiation. It also helps protect against cancerous changes—in one study, applying lavender oil reduced skin tumor incidence by 33 percent. (I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to my Red Raspberry Seed Oil, too!)

Another great choice is Babo’s zinc oxide sunscreen lotion, portable sunscreen stick, tinted lip balm (which I also use as blush!), and spray sunscreens. We checked all the ingredients one-by-one, and they are all super-safe. When looking for sunscreen, make sure to read the label carefully. You should recognize the majority (or, better yet, all) of the ingredients in your sunscreen.

As with all skin care, if you can’t read it, or you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t wear it. Period.

Here are some more tips:

Important to Understand

And here’s the part that took me a while to completely understand: There are two types of sun rays — UVA and UVB. UVB causes sunburns and cancer, while UVA penetrates deeper into the skin causing aging. Clouds and clothing may block the sunburn-causing UVB rays, but they don’t block UVA — the deep-penetrating kind that cause aging (and cancer). UVA rays create ambient light too — so when you’re sitting at your desk near a window, you’re still getting exposure to aging rays. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen under clothing and indoors, too. A pain, I know! I hate wearing the stuff too, but it’s better than looking old fast or getting cancer — right!?

Your Sunscreen Is Probably Making You Sick. Switch To These.

What You’re Risking

The body’s first line of defense against the harmful elements of the environment is the skin. We often downplay the value of skin care as purely aesthetic, but we must understand that the failure to take proper care of our skin will not only make us look old, it can also make us sick. In fact, 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer at some point in their life and 1 in 55 will be melanoma — the deadliest cancer. Not to mention, studies show that sun rays weaken the immune system and leave us vulnerable for a whole host of health issues.

According to a study by the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma is the most common cancer for the age bracket of 25 to 29 years old. In fact, melanoma increases faster on 15 to 29 year old women than men. The study also showed that 40 percent, especially those under 30 years old, get their tans mostly from using tanning beds and frequent time in the sun.

“Ultimately, seeking to change the color of your skin is self-defeating because exposure to ultraviolet radiation – either through tanning beds or by seeking the sun – can lead to wrinkles, prematurely aging skin and even a diagnosis of skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD.

Next up — One of NYC’s top dermatologists breaks it all down for us:

Pages: 1 2 3

Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 161 Comments

  1. Avatar of Frederica Pellman

    Frederica Pellman

    Maybe we need to go back to the days when having unblemished white skin was considered a real beauty asset for Caucasian women. Having a tan meant you were poor and had to work in the fields. Now we see a tan as sexy and healthy, which it clearly is not. Skin cancer isn’t sexy or healthy, and as you get older you won’t be going to your dermatologist for fillers and Botox, you will be going so he/she can burn off the cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions that mar your lovely face. In 60’s London it was fashionable to have the “pale and interesting” look. let’s bring it back!!!

  2. Avatar of Arlene Davis

    Arlene Davis

    This is why I’m never fond of using chemical made products. Even if it’s quite expensive, I’d still rather use organic products. It’s better to be safe than sorry

  3. Avatar of Andrea Jones

    Andrea Jones

    Does it necessarily have to re-apply the sunscreen every 30 minutes? Even if you’re inside of the office or at the house, you have to re-apply? Such a hassle

  4. Avatar of Carmen Griffin

    Carmen Griffin

    Whenever I go out, I easily got red skin and face! I didn’t mind that at first. But after reading this, I got conscious about it and thought twice about what I’m doing with my skin.

  5. Avatar of Henriett Bond

    Henriett Bond

    As a single Dad, I read articles like this so that I know what my daughter needs and how I can take care of her better.

  6. Avatar of Zoe Martin

    Zoe Martin

    Woah. Sunscreens are that harmful?! I guess I better switch to organic products now that you made me aware that chemical-based products are so bad for my health and the coral reefs! 🙁

  7. Avatar of Isabela Quagliato

    It’s a hassle to always re-applying sunscreen. Just always bring an umbrella with you

  8. Avatar of Artur Piterson

    Artur Piterson

    I don’t use sunscreen. I’d rather use my cap. I don’t want to have any silly stuff on me

    • Avatar of Cristina Joseff

      Cristina Joseff

      If it’s good for your health, there’s no harm in trying right?

  9. Avatar of Della Martin

    Della Martin

    I guess I should choose organic sunscreens over chemical-made products. And when if I need to buy chemical-made products, I should be careful with the ingredients and made a research about it first.

  10. Avatar of Rosalia Russell

    Rosalia Russell

    Please, do more post like this one, about skin care products. I always follow your tips, and I’ve proven them all 😀

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.