The summer months are right around the corner. Protecting yourself and your family members from sunburn and UV rays is one of the most important things you can do for your skin. Unfortunately, many sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can have dangerous effects on your skin and body. Knowing what to look for can help keep you and your family safe.

Here are six dangerous sunscreen ingredients you need to watch out for:

1. Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin. It undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays, and it can cause a eczema-like reaction to your skin. Research also suggests that oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor that can have negative effects on your endocrine system.

2. Octinoxate

Octinoxate is one of the most common ingredients found in SPF sunscreens. It’s designed to protect the skin from sun-induced aging, but experts believe it may actually cause premature aging. Octinoxate produces free radicals that damage the skin and cells. It’s also an endocrine disruptor.

3. Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant designed to improve sunscreen’s performance against UV exposure. Unfortunately, retinol compounds break down when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. This reaction can produce free radicals that damage DNA. Studies have shown that retinyl palmitate may even speed up the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to the skin.

4. Homosalate

Homosalate helps sunscreen better penetrate the skin. Once the skin absorbs it, homosalate accumulates quickly in the body. It builds up at a rapid pace and the body isn’t able to get rid of it. The build up of homosalate becomes toxic and disrupts hormones in the body.

5. Octocrylene

Octocrylene absorbs UV rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage the cells. When octocrylene is absorbed by the skin, it can accumulate in the body in high amounts. It can end up causing cell mutations, and it’s also toxic to the environment.

6. Paraben Preservatives

Parabens can cause allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental toxicity and reproductive toxicity. They’re often used in sunscreen, along with deodorants and other cosmetics.

Natural Sunscreen Alternatives

It’s important to protect your skin from the sun. It’s equally important to make sure you’re protected by ingredients that aren’t harmful to you. Try a natural, organic sunscreen this summer! Here are a few to consider:

Goddess Garden Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion – Biodegradable, Vegan, Cruelty-free, Gluten-free, GMO-free, Nano-free, Made with organic ingredients

True Natural Ultra Protect 50 Antioxidant Sunscreen – Non-nano, GMO-free, Cruelty-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Made with organic ingredients

Badger SPF 25 Sunscreen Lotion Unscented – 100% NPA Certified Natural, certified NSF Non-GMO, Non-nano, Cruelty-free, Made with 95% certified organic ingredients

Badger Damascus Rose SPF 25 Face Sunscreen Lotion – 100% NPA Certified Natural, Certified NSF Non-GMO, Non-Nano, Cruelty-free, Made with 95% certified organic ingredients

Women’s Health Magazine
Organic Authority
Safe Cosmetics
EWG’s Skin Deep
EWG’s Skin Deep
Safe Cosmetics