While sunscreen and sunblock lotions can help you prevent sunburn, there are a number of significant concerns about using them. For one thing, they block your production of Vitamin D: a crucial nutrient for optimal health which many people do not get enough of via diet alone. But even worse, most topical sunscreens/sunblocks are unstable, toxic, and ineffective against UVA rays.
Sunscreen Is Ineffective Against UVA Rays
UVA rays are the part of the ultraviolet spectrum of sunlight that penetrates deep into your skin. While UVA will not cause sunburn, it damages collagen, elastin, and other cellular structures in skin that many scientists say may contribute more towards long-term aging than UVB. Unfortunately, topical sunscreen does NOT provide very good protection from UVA. ”Broad spectrum” sunscreen lotion is a misnomer and does little to block or absorb UVA rays, leaving you vulnerable.
Sunscreen SPF Ratings Are Misleading
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) only measures UVB protection. SPF does not quantify UVA protection AT ALL. In other words, you may think you are fully protected by buying a sunscreen with SPF 100, but this only measures the amount of protection against UVB rays, NOT UVA. No matter how high the SPF rating, UVA rays still penetrate your skin as if the sunscreen is not there, causing your skin to be damaged. Even worse, because you may not be burning (which is caused by UVB rays) you will not even notice this UVA damage until far after the fact–when it’s too late.
Furthermore, people actually apply much, much less sunscreen during everyday use than is actually used to establish an SPF rating in the laboratory. The result is far less protection than you may think you are getting.
Finally, sunscreen may make you falsely confident, leading you to stay in the sun even longer and cause even more damage than normal.
Sunscreen Is Unstable
It has been clinically shown that many of the active ingredients in sunscreens are unstable and actually break down when they come in contact with sunlight. This is significant because not only are these ingredients losing their effectiveness at protecting your skin from UVB, they are actually degrading into free radicals and reactive oxigen species and increasing the damage caused to your skin! A few of these common photo-unstable compounds in topical sunscreens include avobenzone, oxybenzone, dioxybenzone, octocrylene, Vitamin A (retinal), and Vitamin A derivatives (including retinol and retinyl palmitate).
Sunscreen Is Toxic
Unbelievably, some ingredients in sunscreens are absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream, where they cause all sorts of unintended consequences, including interfering with your body’s natural balance of hormones. In fact, one oft-used ingredient’s detection in pregnant women is even correlated with lower baby birth weights. It’s enough to make you wonder how these common sunscreen chemicals where ever approved for use on humans by the FDA.
For further information about this subject, a list of some of the toxic compounds in sunscreen lotions, and some general guidelines on how to choose a topical sunscreen, please visit: