The Environmental Working Group released a study in the U.S. that found 84% of 785 sunscreen products with an SPF rating of 15 or higher offer inadequate protection from the sun’s rays or contain ingredients with safety concerns.

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is one the best ways to ensure your skin maintains its youthful appearance. We have been trained over the years to be sure to slather on lots of sunscreen before heading out into the sunshine.

The only problem is the Food and Drug Administration has not issued regulations about potentially harmful ingredients, which compose sunscreen. The creams and lotions said to protect against carcinogenic sun damage contain chemicals known to in fact increase skin cancer risks.

The chemicals in everyday sunblock can cause anything from acne to skin cancer. Before slathering on that sunscreen, make sure to check the label, for your favourite lotion may be doing more harm than good.

No chemical ingredient in sunscreen is without concern; however, some have proven to have more toxic effects than others. The following chemicals are found in many sunscreens and have the highest concern for their toxic effects:

Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC): This is a strong hormone disruptor that can also have a negative effect on thyroid hormones. One study concluded that it showed behavioural alterations in female rats.

Benzophenone / Oxybenzone: This chemical is found in 60% of sunscreens and raises a concern because it disrupts hormones. It increases the potential for allergic sensitivity to the sun and it is especially important to avoid in children.

Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC): This chemical has multiple estrogen-altering effects and will also reduce thyroid hormones.

Padimate M: This chemical compound is absorbed through the skin and has estrogen mimicking effects that can lead to cancer, infertility and other menstrual problems.

Still not sure what to do this summer about your sunscreen? Check out how your sunscreen rates on the EWG’s website and play it safe in the sun!

Better yet, our team of Naturopathic Doctors can recommend the best sunscreen for you and your family. To learn more, please contcat our Oakville clinic to book an appointment