Your Sunscreen Is Probably Making You Sick. Switch To These. - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


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, 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

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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! 🙁

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

  7. Artur Piterson

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

    • Cristina Joseff

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

  8. 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.

  9. Rosalia Russell

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

  10. Nancy Smith

    I always use SPF 100 whenever I go out of town. And always have a spare bottle in my bag. I never had a dry skin or a sun burn

  11. Quin Meri

    They should lower the price of this kind of products because most people, of course, will choose the one that is cheaper. And only a few look at the ingredients of the product.

  12. Alice Ford

    I should be more careful now with the products that me and my sister use. It’s better to be safe than be sorry later.

  13. Karen Abeyta

    Yes, 11am to 3pm is the time that is so hot! I never left home without a cap and an umbrella with me.

    • Elizabeth Gonzalez

      Well, good luck on not either losing or forgetting them!

  14. Connie Schmidt

    This is an informative article that should be shared to many people because this is a health issue. Everyone should be aware of this situation.

  15. Ana Brose

    I’m a wife who’s always conscious about my family. After reading this, sunscreen should be an investment of every people, because it might be expensive but it’s gonna help you protect your skin and fight off against cancer.

  16. Jenifer Jeni

    Thank you for this article! This made everyone get aware and be conscious about taking care of their skin.

  17. This is a really good information since most people are regretting to take care of their skin when it should be the first one they should be taking care of.

  18. You need to have a budget if you want to be this careful about your skin. Of course, not everyone can and would have enough budget for this.

  19. Paul Daiz

    Being a man, people would judge me for using sunscreen. Being called gay when I just wanted to protect my skin. Stop the hate and be open minded people!

    • William Dean

      Yeah. I agree with you. Some people aren’t open-minded enough -_-

  20. Helen Boone

    I didn’t know that they were that harmful! Everyone should still be careful even if it says that it’s safe.

  21. Edna Badillo

    Wow. I guess I have to stretch my budget if I want to be this careful with my skin. RIP wallet 😂💔

  22. Veola Sancho

    One of my teachers in High School told me about the mole thing in which you can somehow “detect” cancer. If you have a mole that is color black and by time passes, it grows, you should have it checked up immediately.

  23. Linda Williams

    I always go to tanning salon. But I guess I should limit them now or even stop going after reading this! I don’t want to have cancer.

  24. Such a cliche that sunscreens were made to protect our skin yet they can cause cancer.

  25. Michelle Lee

    I use the same sunscreen! The Badger’s SPF30 lavender-scented sunscreen is my favorite! I’ve been using it for years because of it’s good effect.

  26. Kathryn Gibson

    For me, sunscreens and sunblock are just for summer. But now I guess it should be part of my everyday routine.

    • Mildred Davis

      Yeah. It’s for all kinds of weather!

  27. Maxine Ford

    I don’t always use sunscreen. I think that it’s too silly to always wear them. But after reading this, I got a little bit scared and aware how the sun can be harmful.

  28. Esther Devine

    Woah! Those sun rays from windows were that harmful?! I’ve always thought that they were safe since it’s not directly hitting the skin. Better to always use the car’s visor and not to use them as a holder of things. hahaha

  29. Monique Malick

    So which one is better to use? the sunscreen or the sunblock? I’m wondering what’s the difference of the two.

    • Joan Morales

      Well, sunscreen absorbs UVA and UVB while sunblocks reflects them.

  30. Blanche Martina

    I never thought that sunscreens could be bad for you! Knowing that they were made to protect our skins!

  31. Maddi Lemmon

    My mom would be so mad at me if she read this. I got a tan, and she’s disappointed, and if she read this article, she’ll probably kick my ass.

  32. David Robinson

    Lucky I’m that guy who doesn’t put any product on my skin. I hate spreading creams all over my body, it makes me feel sticky and irritable.

  33. Jossen Row

    Who wouldn’t get scared having cancer? It’s the most dangerous disease, and everyone wouldn’t like to have that. As long as we could, we should protect ourselves from them. Visiting the dermatologist couldn’t be a waste of time, right?

  34. Oh no. I always get a tan every summer, and this is my 6th time having a tan. I am seriously tan right now.

  35. Doreen Morales

    I’ll switch spray instead of using tanning beds. I’m thinking about ditching tanning, and love my skin color instead.

    • Ofelia Ruley

      I started using spray tan when I got a skin problem, and it’s better.

  36. Thanks for the tips, Urbanette! BTW, how’s the self-tanner works? I have no idea about that, but I’m familiar with spray tanner.

  37. Jamie Wurst

    I guess me, and my family is going to visit our dermatologist. We will ensure that we often get a skin regular check-up for us to avoid having skin cancer.

  38. Lisa Bryson

    If you wear right clothes, then you can get protected. Don’t expose too much of your skin when going out, and wear head protection like hat, or cap.

    • Brittany West

      What if you’re at the beach? 😂

  39. Jodi Thil

    Producers lie to make money, and they have nothing to do with your health because they don’t care. It’s your job as a consumer to check what you’re going to purchase before paying for it.

  40. Osana Smith

    CRAP! I’ll stop using anything in my body because everything can kill me. I’m just curious, why does the government approve it?

  41. Joss Butler

    I’m a guy, but I use sunscreen. I though it can help me to protect my skin, but base on what I just read here, most of them are ineffective. Does that mean that I should ditch using it?

  42. Candis Melton

    Most of them are ineffective? So, even if it’s safe, it’s not effective? Please enlighten me, because I’m on my way to the supermarket, and I didn’t know if I should buy another one.

  43. Carol Joyner

    My daughter is just 15 years old, and she’s asking me about getting a tan. I didn’t allow her, but when she got home from her vacation, she’s already tan! It’s not good for her because of her age. Is that okay? I think it’s just her first time.

    • Patricia Montague

      Just ensure that she won’t do that next time.

  44. We often ignore the dermatologist because you can see your skin, unlike your internal organs, right? Now, we have to make it a big deal about it because it’s very alarming.

  45. Steev Smith

    I’m watching my girlfriend throwing her sunscreen right now. She has no idea if her sunscreen is safe, or not, but she still throwing them. HAHAHA! 😂😂

  46. Betty Ramos

    When my daughter grows up, and ask me if she can get a tan at the age of 18, I would say, NO. If she’s white, she is white! I used to get a tan, especially if I’m at the beach, but I use protection, and I guess, they are not safe too.

  47. Hachi Komatsu

    Don’t tell me that there are people who aren’t aware that they can have cancer in UV? Lol, You’ve got to be kidding me on that. Even a children know that UV rays are not safe.

  48. Wendy Hartt

    I will check my moles now! 😲 This article makes me scared, and conscious about my skin now.

  49. Deanna Woods

    WHAT??? How can we avoid the sun? Are you kidding me? Hahaha! The sun is there before we are born, and you tell me to avoid them? Use protection is the best term.

    • Olive Williams

      Common sense, it’s just the same. Use protection to avoid the sun’s UV rays. 😠

  50. Carrie Bleau

    LET’S STOP USING SUNSCREEN! I’m sure there’s a way on how we can protect our skin in a natural way, and we don’t need that lotion protection.

  51. Brett Lee

    HAHAHA! I’ll share it with my girlfriend. She’s white, and she wanted to have a dark one. I never stop reminding her about what type of illness she can get if she pursues tanning, and now I can have another evidence to prove to her that I am right.

  52. Sherry Manust

    Oh my gosh! I just got tanned yesterday on a tanning bed. Oh… Why!!! I’m a little bit scared right now because of this. I promise that I will quit tanning.

  53. Wilma Moore

    I am using Babo’s!!!! My friends advised me to use it because she also knew about this issue. I can see my friend’s reaction if I told her about this. Lol

  54. It’s better if you use umbrella, or cap to protect your face instead of using sunscreen. Why take a risk on your health if you can protect yourself naturally.

  55. Oh no. I always use sunscreen to protect my skin, but I think my sunscreen has the unhealthy chemical. I won’t name it, but I’m sure my sunscreen is not safe based on what I read. It’s time for me to shift the brand of my sunscreen.

  56. Robert Patel

    Women are the target of this post because they are the one who always put beauty products on their body. I rarely knew men who use skin protection.

  57. Kelly Gonzales

    I’m scared!!! I have a lot of moles, and some of them are just new. I’m not sure if it is normal, but for safety, I will visit my dermatologist. I’m not sure if I avoided the sun during 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

  58. Genie Mackenzie

    I KNEW IT! My mom already told me about this because my Aunt got her cancer from tanning. I envy my friends who got their tan line because I can’t expose myself to UV rays because my mom would be mad at me. I do understand her point, and I thank her for her concern. If I were you, follow what the dermatologist said because she’s not lying. I never tried the tanning spray, but I guess it’s safe because it is what they suggested.

  59. Evelyn Harris

    You interviewed an expert for this article, wow! I like your articles because it has a lot of sense. I am not a reader, especially in the magazine, but yours is exceptional. You make articles about something that has sense.

  60. Annie Johns

    I will try your suggestions! I have trust on you, Hilary. Thanks for making creating articles like this. Thanks for reminding us that not all products are safe, and we shouldn’t believe in the advertisements.

  61. Linda Montgomery

    I understand everything I read here, and I’ll be very cautious with the sun from now on, but what I don’t understand is, how those chemical sunscreens are killing the coral reef… I need to do a web research about this. I have so many questions right now.

  62. Monica Collins

    So if most sunscreens don’t include the only ingredients that protect the skin, why do they even bother making them? Why do they even get the permission to still create those products?

  63. Basically sun exposure is inevitable so we have to figuratively all gear up against it to protect ourselves…

  64. Sorry if it’s a stupid question but I must ask to be sure, do we need to wear sunscreen in the winter too?

  65. Teresa Tanner

    So what I get from this article is we must wear zinc oxide sun screens even at home cause the windows might reflect sun rays even though it’s not a direct contact. Wow.

  66. Dan Vengenz

    Good read, but – I’m not saying it’s not helping protect the skin – Zinc-oxide ( ZnO) is a chemical too.

  67. Maryann Logan

    I was reading this with my 7 year old daughter, and at the end of the read she asked me this question; “Mama, the sun is still out there even when it hides at night. Does that mean we should use sun lotion even at night?” 🙂

  68. Geraldine Chambers

    Yes!!! You hit a very a good point there. Most of us take care of our skin for the aesthetical reasons. Sadly some of the products we use in order to help looking younger are actually bad for our skin and health! You really should make an article about that too!

  69. Josephine Grenier

    What about those of us who are allergic to sun? What would you suggest for us?

  70. Maria Singleton

    Those tanning beds and the spray tan craziness are more dangerous and risky than the sun itself, in my opinion.

  71. Alexandra Harrison

    This has been seriously eye opening for me. Very important information. Thank you!

  72. Kim Grimm

    I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t trust anything chemical. I never buy sunscreen or lotions. I make them at home myself. We use it as a whole family. And we never faced any skin related problems. Natural ways are the safest in my opinion.

  73. Carolyn Lennox

    It seems like everything causes cancer these days. From the sun to the food you eat. And all the precautions we have to take make it feel like we’re living on eggshells.

  74. Marisa Goss

    What about children? Can they use the sunscreen mentioned in the article? Or do they need some different kind of sunscreen? Only asking cause most lotions and creams adult can safely used, aren’t advised to be used by children. My children spend all day playing outdoors, so I feel very worried after reading this.

  75. Gladys Cargo

    How do we know for sure that they actually have the ingredients that they claim to have?

  76. Joyce McClendon

    Thank you so much for all the tips, and information. I’m about to go on a beach vacation, and these will be very handy! I don’t wanna lose my health for the sake of getting tanned.

  77. Patti Linkous

    I always hear doctors on TV, and social media saying to avoid the sun between 11am to 3pm, but these are the hours when most of us spend outdoors. That’s just inevitable.

  78. Nina Simmons

    I remember reading somewhere about the wrong usage of sunblock causing skin cancer but I didn’t think it was true, cause how could you possibly wear sunblock wrong? But I guess it’s true. Wow. the things you learn everyday. 😮

  79. Christy Barksdale

    Thank you for this very important information. Which brand sunscreen would you recommend?

  80. Kendall R. Manuel

    Wait… I’m so confused… So are we supposed to or not supposed to put on sunscreen?

  81. Evangeline H. Lopez

    That was very informative. Thank you so much! I’ll never do the mistake of going out in the sun without protection.

  82. Rose Aimee

    Interesting read. I’ll be sure to remember all these next time I buy a new sunscreen.

  83. April Henry

    I was just planning to get a tan this weekend, Hahaha! I guess I should change my plan. Any suggestion how can I get a darker skin without risking my health?

  84. Sarah Ubitel

    Yikes! Scary stuff. Had no idea sunscreen could be so dangerous…

  85. Rosemary Robles

    OMG, I never new mine was so bad. I am going to find a better sunscreen. I think that I prefer the whole food supplement instead after reading this. I very much enjoy your articles and I like to repost to inform others. Thanks for the heads up.

  86. Fern May

    I have been wearing sunscreen most of my adult life but lately I have discovered I have allergies to sunscreen. I have opted to by the ones made for babies as they give me a lesser reaction. It’s so depressing to think about all of the harmful things “beneficial” products have in them. Thanks for the research and the simple explanations that help us make more informed decisions about our health. It’s about time that people start asking what benefit or harm is being done with the long list of chemicals that constitute sunscreen.

  87. Elsie Spurlock

    Thank you Hilary for writing on this topic. I really appreciate this useful information! And yes, it will change how I shop for sunscreen. There’s a lot of posts going round at the moment about sunscreen. I heard from a coworker that sunscreens could be bad for us, but the person couldn’t tell me why, so I just ignored what she said. Makes me mad that companies can be so unethical about what they list on their labels.

  88. Esther Earl Harris

    I’ve never been a fan of sunscreen and rarely if ever put it on my son. We know that kids loves to play outside and in the sun quite a bit. My rule of thought here is, if they’ve been in the sun long enough, cover up or go indoors. For me, long sleeved shirts and hats are a must for long days in the sun. Very interesting article! Thanks!

  89. Hazel Collins

    I’m not sure how this post found me today; but I’m so relieved it did. I am going to do more and more research on conventional sunscreen now that I know it’s dangers. I use Sanre skin care products and love their mineral sunscreens. This is one of the most helpful and interesting post to be found online. Thank you ever so much for sharing. 🙂

  90. Alice Harris

    Everything you said is just spot on. I want to elaborate, but it would just be repeating what you already wrote. I’ve been eating my sunscreen for the past years with red and orange foods like tomato and carrots with great success. Of course, limited exposure and covering up. I think that a natural option is helpful for those long beach days. 🙂

  91. Elia Scott

    Nice article! I’m always preaching to my family, friend’s and co-workers the benefits wearing sunscreen. sunscreen is helping to prevent skin from skin cancer. Thank you for discussing it here. It will be very helpful

  92. Naincy Winget

    Excellent article! I use Devita facial moisturizer every day on my face (SPF 30).

    And I love Goddess Garden Organics Sunny Body Natural Sunscreen for more protection during hiking or at the beach. Both products are organic

  93. Ketty Ben

    Finally!……Someone who cuts through the hype and gives sensible and well-researched advice. This is great information concisely and well written.This is very helpful. Thank you

  94. Lana Urie

    I found over the years that I am highly allergic to PABA and I will only use physical sunblock such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. I’ve been avoiding chemical suncreen for decades. It is NOT good for your skin. Thankfully, I am sensitive to chemicals so my body tells me what to stay away from.

  95. Nicky Bryan

    This is a very insightful article. Thanks for all your very informative newsletters. I read them with great interest. Regarding sunscreens, I read somewhere “you will want to use a sunscreen product that contains the active ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.” I understood that titanium dioxide is to be avoided in vitamin supplements. Does this not apply to sunscreen lotions?

  96. Matilda Parker

    I have never use suncreens, and never will! Coconut oil works wonders and helps you body heal if you do accidentally sunburn. Avoid soaps when you shower for a few days (just rinse and maybe use a mild soap on your underarms) and your body heals itself from a sunburn much better. I fell asleep out in the noon sun in Hawaii (oops) and applied coconut oil for the next few days. Lobster the first day, lightly pink the second day and none of the pain I remember. I was burnt enough that you could see the bow pattern on my back. I eventually had a little peeling on my shoulders but not the kind of thing I remember happening when I was a kid.

  97. Emma Blackwood

    Even Doctors and Medical professionals seem to follow the old dogma about avoiding the sun. Or they say that only momentary exposure of a couple minutes a day is enough. Bad sunburns are dangerous but mild reddening of the skin can be cured overnight with the application of Aloe vera. The raw leaves of course are the best

  98. Susanna Milton

    what about a sunscreen that protects against UVA rays only???? All I see is both or only UVB protection. I understand if you cant get a tan at all, if you’re pasty white or something. But if UVB is so good why cant they make it to filter out the other? I’d go for that. – of course a natural lotion, not a chemical concoction.

  99. Jenny Permel

    I’m trying to mix my own homemade sunscreen for myself, and I’m really on the fence about adding zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. I burn very easily and I’m wondering if there is a more natural alternative. Will the natural SPF in oils like coconut, olive, or sesame seed on their own

  100. Evelyn Sandler

    I have lived in the Southern California Mojave Desert my entire life…

    As a child, I played outdoors, rode and cared for my horse and other pets, and later – intentionally tanned – all in the hottest part of summer… with NO sunscreen! I still tan outdoors, I refuse to use sunscreen, have never “fake-baked”…and am still told I look much younger than my age. Not only that, but I find that laying out and relaxing in the sun helps impart a sense of wellbeing and alleviates much of my fibromyalgia-like pain.

    Thanks to a coworker, I now also take D3, and use coconut oil as a supplement, and have started eliminating all artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and other junk from my diet. I am still hypothyroid, and overweight, but I’m working on it.

    A little hint for other sun lovers… after time in the sun, when I’m feeling a little dry and tight around the eyes, I dab on some raw organic virgin coconut oil. It’s not just good for your insides! Try it on your cuticles, hair, knees and elbows, etc.

  101. Melissa Princeton

    Gisele Bundchen says she avoids the afternoon sun which means she could be deficient in vitamin D because there is less UVB when the sun is low.

    I use the physical sunscreen on my face and wear a hat or hood when I’m out for a significant peroid of time. I use my arms and legs to get my vitamin D when my UV index meter reads at least 3 for maybe half an hour and cover up after. This way, the UVA exposure is minimized and the integrity of the vitamin D in the sebum is protected. The main concern for me is skin damage.

    The way the UV index is used can be quite deceiving because it is based on the erythema spectrum which quite closely correlates with vitamin D production but does not account for UVA exposure.

    Do tanning oils actually magnify UV exposure? People claim it helps increase the vitamin D production and scavenges free radicals formed during sunbathing. I bought the tanning oil with sunflower, almond oils, cocoa butter etc and would tan with it.

  102. Kathie Mickey

    Oh my!! I have been stressed about this for a while and thinking about harmful products. I have to agree that not all sunscreens are created equal and in many cases some are harmful and not helpful. Your article gives me some sense of peace & I plan on keeping it as a reminder. Big sigh of relief. Thank you so much Hilary for this!!

  103. Kimberley Foulkes

    Are all types of vitamin A toxic, even if they’re not in sunscreens and states that it’s made from a organic matter? There are many skin care products out there for anti aging, acne and hyper pigmentation with vitamin A as it’s main active ingredients. I alway’s believe it was safe as long as it was to be used at night only.

  104. Jae Medina

    This is a good article.

    However, it does not go into the fact that titanium and zinc, when used in nanoparticle form, can enter the bloodstream directly and be very toxic.

    Better to use no sunscreen at all but to protect yourself through clothing and limiting exposure.

  105. Christina Norelli

    I use pure organic lotions for my face (not sunscreens) and they include beta carotenes or natural forms of vitamin a.. so are you saying natural vitamin a is also toxic to the skin especially when exposed to sun, or are you saying only the synthetic version of vitamin a is toxic to the skin especially when exposed to sun? Thanks!

  106. Elin Hanks

    When I was 14-15 years old, I used sunscreen just about every day and did not believe that vitamin D is extremely important. There is no way to know if I could have grown taller. At the least, I should have received unfiltered sunlight for 20 minutes a day few times a week. We should be informed that there are better alternatives to chemical sunscreens and nanoparticles such as mineral sunscreens and UPF clothing. Most stores do not even carry the sunscreens that we are looking for except for health food stores.

  107. Debbie Jones

    I never use official sunscreen lotions, but a mix of vitamin C crystals and water will soak in to the skin and shield it from sun damage somewhat. I just sprinkle some in my hand, along with a dash of water and then rub it all over exposed skin. I’m somewhat on the fair side, but have found this does the trick for me to go out in the sun for moderate amounts of time without coming back burned. Also, unlike sunscreens, it doesn’t wash off if you go in the water. Hope it helps for when you can’t help being in the sun! It’s not bullet proof, but every little bit of safe protection helps. 🙂

  108. Pasty Clin

    I checked the two moisturizers I use on a regular basis and one has the ingredient Oxybenzone which I intend to throw away and the other moisturizer contains two sunscreen ingredients. One is Zinc Oxide (good) and the other is Octinoxate which I don’t see on the list of bad sunscreens. Is this a bad or a good sunscreen?

  109. Dana Rosatti

    I’m beginning to believe that Vitamin D3 and astaxanthin are essential in my diet regimen. I’m at risk for ARMD and also have diabetes that is finally getting under control. I was starting to see a rather large black spot in front of my left eye and a smaller one in front of my right eye upon waking in the morning about 6 months ago. Since taking astaxanthin, the spots have mostly gone away–only returning if I forget to take it. Vitamin D3 seems to be helping with the diabetes.

  110. Charleen Washington

    SYNTHETIC vitamin A is dangerous. Natural vitamin A (from foods) is not. I don’t want people to think that all vitamin A is dangerous. In fact, consuming it from natural foods is absolutely necessary to health.

    Aloe vera also nourishes skin, if you can buy it pure (just check the label, commercial mainstream products often are not pure).

    Diet plays a huge role. Consuming coconut oil and other health fats protects against the sun.

    My kids have never worn sunscreen, nor will they (though I’ll admit I have a zinc-oxide-only one on hand, just in case we ever were unable to control exposure). They are very fair-skinned and go outside for hours in the middle of the day and they don’t burn. They’ve never burned. They eat so well and are so healthy that they just don’t. I am very fair too, and *used* to burn as a kid (badly), but since switching to real food, I don’t either.

  111. Deborah Henry

    I remember my childhood days when my family and me went to the beach or other sunny places… and the only “sun rays blocker” was coconut cream or more specifically oil coconut. I knew several persons that were dedicated to work at the beach, at the “quebrada” in Acapulco, and those divers NEVER used more than coconut oil in order to keep the skin healthy, staying at the sun ALL day, since they were working. All of them are now old, really old and as I know they never (not only one) developed some skin problem… no cancer no melanoma, nothing, those divers are the most healthy people in the world that never used a sun blocker from a laboratory, just coconut oil from mother nature.

    I am now a doctor, and recommend too to my patients the use of only coconut oil, and they report no sun burns… coconut oil alone is the best conditioner of the skin in order to avoid sun burns.

  112. Gwen Keaton

    My dad had a buddy who just loved to sit in the sun. We would go to San Felipe twice a year, and spend most of our time on the beach in the hot sun. While we all were sitting in the shade of the canopy he would be in the direct sun applying generous amounts of sunscreen. He would turn red and then a kind of purple/black. We would tell him to get out of the sun, but he ignored our concerns. At the age of 70 he started getting cancer melanomas on his back. His doctor had to cut huge chunks of skin off. He then got leukemia, shingles; and died at the age of 76. He was a pale New Yorker as we are. My dad used very little sunscreen and still have no cancers at the age of 72. We’ve spent and still do spend a lot of time in the southern California sun. I also have not used any sunscreens for years, but I get out of the sun when I feel “the burn”.

  113. Carolyn Robertson

    I LOVE this post! Thanks so much!!

    Remember everything we put on our skin gets partially absorbed by our bodies. Especially toxic chemicals. If you don’t want it on the inside, don’t put it on the outside.

    If a supermodel says something smart, she doesn’t need a PHD for it to be true.

    BTW, how did we ever survive thousands of years without our Ray Bans? We should all be blind by now.

    Sunlight in and of itself is not the cause of cataracts & other eye problems. It is the lifestyle and internal environment of the human that allows normally healthy sunlight to cause damage.

    Address the environment in your body and get it healthy and then ditch the sunglasses and sunscreen. 🙂

  114. Chiara Hill

    I’m curious to know what it means to be “responsible” with sun exposure. Is it safe to say that if you are in the sun (without sunscreen) and not getting burned, then you are safe? I don’t use any sunscreen on my children’s and they never burn (we are outside 2-3 hrs every day). Does the fact that they aren’t burning mean they are not being overexposed and are safe from any negative effects from the sun?

  115. More than “beauty” reasons, I’ve learned to use sunscreen even at a young age because I’m afraid of skin cancer. Thanks for the information, it will help me select the best product! Definitely trying your recommendation!

  116. Carol Warren

    Is Vitamin D produced IN the skin, or ON the skin? And must natural skin-oils be present, containing cholesterol? Or will other oils do the trick? And do our obsessively clean habits, washing away skin-oils daily, interfere with the whole process?

    I would love some clear answers, if anyone has them.

    • Daisy Clarke

      In short, D is produced ON the skin and may be washed off if you bathe using SOAP. So try to not use soap on the sun-exposed parts of your skin for at least 24 hours! According to some, it may take up to 48 hours for full absorption of the Vitamin D though.

  117. Im kind of confused is this speaking about vitamin a being toxic in general or stricly when used in the sun, sunscreen,etc?? because vitamin A is recommended by tons of derms for acne, hyperpgmentation, anti agin,etc to use at night

    • Leah Helms

      I agree, they put vitamin A in everything for your skin, including the Neutrogena “healthy skin” which works quite well. Maybe we can get some petitions to get rid of it. Petrochemical derivative? That should be mentioned on the label of such products.

      Also,food and vitamin mfgrs should be required to mention if their “food products” contain non-food type items or items not readily absorbed by the human body. Perhaps that would stop the use of iron filings in “iron enriched” cereals.

  118. Issabbell Symon

    I’ve never been a fan of sunscreen and rarely if ever put it on my kids. We are ranchers and in the sun quite a bit. The rule of thought here is, if you’ve been in the sun long enough, cover up or go indoors. Long sleeved shirts and hats are a must for long days in the sun.

  119. For sunscreen, I drink a teaspoon of melted extra virgin coconut oil in some

    raw juice before going outside. I get a beautiful tan, my skin glows, and I never burn.

    The trick is remembering to take it! I have forgotten to and burned!

  120. Oh no! I’m not protected 🙁 I honestly did not consider secondary sun exposure as harmful…

    Thanks for this informative article! Tips from skin expert!

  121. I’m not against sunscreen but I would never use sunscreen around the eyes. Everything you put around your eyes ends up IN your eyes. Like looking through scotch tape, not to mention what the chemicals eventually would do to your vision. Just wear a hat – or maybe enjoy the sun and forget about wrinkles.

    • I’m with you, Rachel! I don’t put and against putting chemicals around my eyes.

  122. my concern is that EVERYONE bashes the FDA but who is doing anything about the quality of their decisions or the education being fed to them? I of course am not doing anything about it athough I have written to them about the idiotic comments made about trans fats and how they are allegedly controlling it. Got no response. If everyone working for the FDA were at least 70, then maybe we would have a fighting chance but the baby boomers who are running our lives now feel we have to have “change” from the “olden days” and think everything they do is better. you will never get thru to them.

  123. Monika Smith

    Great post! I definitely shared this article with my friends. It’s so crazy to think about all of the harmful things “beneficial” products have in them. Thanks for your research and the simple explanations that help people make more informed decisions about their health!

  124. Bravo for a great report Hilary. 🙂 Since sunscreen was introduced into the market, skin cancer has more than doubled. That should be a huge RED FLAG, but the FDA is true to form, supporting BIG BUSINESS, not public safety as you said in your article. The FDA has become a BIG JOKE and can not be trusted for anything relating to health. Keep these kinds of articles coming.

  125. Very good information! I’ve read a little on GNM and its made me more interested! The cancer “experts” are ignorant wooses of a quacks who know nothing about real health. Many of them still don’t know cancer is caused by nutritional and enviromental factors. Not genes!

  126. Lulia Jan

    Great article! I prefer getting our internal sunscreen from carotenoids in food like carrots, strawberries, spinach, red bell peppers, peaches and tomatoes among others! Astaxanthin from orange ocean algae is not in the human food chain, therefore without a record of safety, but is cheap to put in supplements

  127. Good points, Hilary! It’s common sense that sunscreen chemicals that are toxic to our bodies would be toxic to nature as well! I think chemical sunscreens are bad news all around and should be banned.

  128. Great post! Sunscreen doesn’t just harm humans. It’s also doing damage to our environment. I first heard about this from an Australian article that the coral died off when exposed to the chemicals in sun screens. I love wild water, rivers, lakes, oceans, wetlands. I hope we humans can get it together to protect & restore one of our most valuable resources.

    • i was thinking this also. We once went to a beach in mexico and the water was covered with a film. When we asked, they said it came off peoples bodies (sunscreens). I am all for not using sunscreens. Cover up or get out of the sun in mid-day. Maybe if you have to use sunscreen, wash it off before going into the water?

  129. Thats probably whats behind the increase in childhod cancers (along with chronic nutritional deficiencies and toxins) parents are bathing their kids in sunscreen instead of letting them soak up natural vitamin D.

  130. I used sunscreen for years and I’ve had skin cancer for quite a while. I didn’t use any sunscreen last year. It’s amazing, how many LIES we are living under – all in the name of PROFIT! Big Agri, Big Pharma, Big Finance…no “theories”; just conspiracies!

  131. Last year, my 3 kids and I had a nearly sunscreen-less summer and it was wonderful to not have to worry about the nasty stuff. It is so doable to forget the sunscreen and enjoy the sun in the right dosage! We simply used swim shirts, hats and made sure to head for the shade if needed, aside from using natural sunscreen for all day events.

    I cringe when I see mommies around me SPRAYING those chemical suncreens into their babies/children’s faces. I’m definitely going to share this information with more of my friends!

  132. My mom grew up in Slovakia, in a small village. People work so hard on the farm all summer and I never heard somebody used sun scream and I never heard somebody had skin cancer. My grandmother worked so hard and had 8 children. She worked in the farm early morning, she came home to cook lunch and afternoon she again went to the farm and all her children helped her. They never used sun screen and never even came close to skin cancer. I think people get skin cancer from using sun screen…

    • Something in the dirt that collects in your fingernails protects you from skin cancer. Seriously, it is all the dark green leafy veggies. More vegetables, less sugar and chemicals. FDA should all go home and raise gardens.

  133. Would like to add something that is tangential to the many good points made- and that is that this hoopla about sunscreen is related to a more general disconnect and yes, even irrational fear, of Nature! Such a disconnect results in people who cannot “tune in” and get out of the sun and into the shade when they have had enough, or stop eating when they have had enough, or sense the relationship between toxic cleaning/home/body care chemicals and their own malaise. They think (or possibly are no longer thinking at all) that isles full of lawn and insect chemicals in the Spring is “normal”. The medical industry has taught culture to fear and disconnect from their very own bodies, to the point wherein nothing useful is taught in the schools or homes of our culture any longer. Without this understanding through immersion and wisdom in living with nature and natural processes, health and healing are seen as complex mysteries by many.

    • Sabrina Grattidge

      Excellent point! It’s a point I like to harp on–there are limits naturally present in our environment and those limits are a form of guidance for our behavior–yet we continue to ignore and override them. Health and wellbeing (for ourselves and the environment) is a natural result of respecting nature’s limits. Any time we override those limits it’s at our own peril (and unfortunately often at the peril of other lifeforms as well).

  134. Melani Kalev

    This is useful information, indeed! It seems I have to find a new sunscreen – a healthier one!

  135. I had no idea sunscreen could be so harmful. Such an informative article. Now I don’t want to go the beach this weekend. Gah!

  136. Are these also great for males? I read somewhere men are prone to suffer skin cancer more than females. What’s up with that?

  137. Christine Muchoe

    Using sunscreen is so so so important!

  138. This makes me want to go in front of the mirror and check myself for any irregularities. Thank you for reminding me.

    • You are absolutely correct, Sandra. How often do you check yourself? I try to see a dermatologist once a month, every 2 weeks if it’s summer since I’m by the beach or pool a lot.

  139. Francis Woods

    ZINC OXIDE. Will remember!!! 😀

    • Gabrielle Williams

      You should start putting on a lot of sunscreen even at a young age. I make sure my kids are protected and me too.

  140. This is why even though I absolutely love tanning, I need to be extra careful. WILL DEFINITELY try the sunblocks mentioned here.

    • Francis Woods

      I love tanning too! Where do you usually go tanning? I love going to the beach but when I’m lazy I just go to the balcony!

  141. As a redhead with quite pale skin, I had a few painful sunburns as a kid that made me really responsible about putting on sunscreen. Now I use it all the time; it's easy and has so many benefits!

  142. Randie Cadiogan

    This skin talk is helpful! 🙂 

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