What's up with all the chemicals in our sunscreen?

Protecting our children’s delicate skin from the sun and harsh environmental contaminants such as radiation is just as important as what foods we feed them internally for their health. The damaging effect of the sun when our skin is exposed to it is accumulated from a young age, to prevent this from happening, Elly la Fripouille recommends to also protect your child’s eye with our 100% UV protection sunglasses that fights against UVA, UVB/C rays. Suitable for babies, ages 0 to 3 and children, ages 3 to 7.

With numerous sunscreens to choose from in the market, we need to turn our attention to the ingredients listed at the back as more and more harmful chemicals have been popping up that has been scientifically verified to be hazardous to our health.

Here is a list of the top 5 common chemicals found in non-organic sunscreen:

  • Fragrance
    Sunscreen is often injected with a variety of artificial ingredients as a means of making the product more appealing to the market and tolerable to the senses. The list of aroma-making ingredients is a long stretch and are often disguised under the label, ‘artificial fragrance’. Cancer, allergies and even birth defects have been found to be linked to this so it is best to steer clear.
  • Avobenzone
    A popular favourite that is often featured in commercial sunscreens due to its effectiveness in absorbing a wide range of ultraviolet (UV) rays, specifically the type that causes sunburns – ouch! Commonly regarded as a relatively safe chemical but recent studies suggest otherwise, it has been proven that Avobenzone degrades in the sun resulting in the release of free radicals that might actually increase in the risk of skin cancer.
  • Oxybenzone
    Similar to Avobenzone, another favourite of commercial use. Whilst it does absorb the sun’s rays so it doesn’t penetrate the skin, this little chemical is found to be behind the increased rates of melanoma (the skin cancer that everyone is avoiding by the use of sunscreen)! It has also been found to lower the birth weight of girls whose mother’s bodies have had high exposure levels. 
  • Vitamin A
    It might be a surprise to see this as a listed ingredient due to it being regarded as a necessary nutrient. The shocking truth is that when it appears in the form of a retinyl palmitate and is exposed to UV light, it creates free radicals that may cause genetic mutations that actually increase cancer risk. Pregnant women are advised to steer clear as daily usage can be toxic to the developing fetus. Often found to be linked to brain swelling and developmental toxicity. Retinyl palmitate produces excess reactive oxygen species which can lead to cell death.
  • Parabens
    It is commonly used as preservatives in sunscreens as well as other beauty products. There are 18 different varieties and can be easily spotted as they all contain the word “praben” in their chemical nomenclature. This chemical has been found to be the cause of infertility, obesity, asthma, allergies and breast cancer.

So what is the solution? Now that you are aware of the risk you are putting your body at, the best thing you can do is go organic! This will be an ideal choice even for parents to choose as it contains only natural ingredients making it suitable even for young babies. Choose also our Sun protective swimsuits that are also eco-friendly and help to protect your skin from the UV rays. Now you can enjoy your family vacation without worrying about whether the sun or your sunscreen is affecting your health in any way.

baby sunscreen

Anne Shearman
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