7 Ingredients To Avoid In Your Sun Care

Wednesday, 22 July 2015  |  Sarah

7 Ingredients To Avoid In Your Sun Care

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and often the most neglected when it comes to health. Some choose to slather an arsenal of chemically laden products on it day in day out, thinking that they are acting with their skin’s vitality in mind, but really all they are doing is weakening their skin’s own natural defences (namely the epidermis and the acid mantle, both very important in regulating what goes in and out of the skin).

But what about sunscreen? Sunscreen is a product that most of us apply religiously throughout the summer months, both to our skin and our nearest and dearest. Surely these products are all good for our skin’s health, as well as protecting from the sun’s potentially harmful UV rays? Well, sadly, this is not the case. There are some very scary chemicals in some sunscreen products, and it has been controversially reported in the news that sunscreens may actually be responsible for the rise in skin cancer.

Undoubtedly, if you are out in the sun for any extended amount of time, your skin needs protection. To help you make an informed decision, we have created this list of the top seven ingredients you should always look to avoid in your sun care.

  1. Oxybenzone – this is a penetration enhancer, i.e. it helps other chemicals enter the skin and therefore the body. Oxybenzone blocks UVB rays only, not UVA which are the rays that cause the most free radical damage. When oxybenzone is absorbed by the skin, it can cause an allergic reaction similar to eczema.  It is also believed to be a hormone disruptor.
  2. Octinoxate – another penetration enhancer and another believed hormone disruptor whose effects are seen not only in humans but wildlife also. Although SPF products are supposed to protect skin from sun-induced ageing, it’s thought that octinoxate may produce free radicals that cause damage to skin cells.
  3. Retinyl Palmitate – a form of vitamin A, often produced by combining Retinol (vitamin A) with Palmitic Acid (usually from coconut or palm plants). When exposed to UV, Retinyl Palmitate becomes unstable and as it breaks down produces destructive free radicals that not only damage the skin’s DNA but may also be carcinogenic. A study in 2009 found that when applied to the skin in sunlight Retinyl Palmitate may speed up the development of skin tumours and lesions[1]
  4. Homosalate – this ingredient works by absorbing UV, but also works as a penetration enhancer. It’s accumulative, and enters our body faster than our body can expel it. It’s toxic and also believed to be a hormone disruptor.
  5. Octocrylene – like Homosalate, Octocrylene absorbs UV light, but as it does so it releases free radicals that damage skin. It’s also accumulative and thought to be toxic to the environment.
  6. Parabens – may cause allergies, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity and cancer. Look out for butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl- parabens and avoid!
  7. Fragrance – the trouble with fragrance is that it is a vague term; it can refer to natural or synthetic fragrance. If the fragrance is synthetic it may be derived from petroleum and contain phthalates, a chemical linked to organic toxicity, allergies and cancer.

You can be sure when shopping for sun care with Lucy Rose that your products are free from all of the above ingredients and that both your skin and little ones’ skin will be cared for this summer. Whether you’re sunning yourself in the Caribbean or Cornwall, be sure to pack a sunscreen and an after sun such as Aloe Vera to help care for sun-parched skin!

 [1] – The problem with Vitamin A