Are You Wearing the Right Sunscreen?

Are You Wearing the Right Sunscreen?

Jeffrey Morrison by Jeffrey Morrison

Are You Wearing the Right Sunscreen?

July 07, 2022

Whether you’re gearing up for beach season or traveling somewhere warm and sunny, we want to make sure you’re practicing safe sun protection. While many common brands of sunscreen contain endocrine-disrupting ingredients like triclosan, parabens, and phthalates, there is a growing number of health-conscious brands selling safer sunscreens. Below, we explain what to watch out for in conventional sunscreen and how to choose cleaner products.


Do I even need sunscreen? What about getting enough vitamin D?

While a certain amount of sun exposure is important for healthy vitamin D levels, it’s also true that the sun’s intense UV rays can cause sunburns, wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancers. Sunscreen can protect the skin against the effects of too much sun exposure and free radical damage from UV rays.

What’s the concern about sunscreen?

While it was once thought that sunscreens are not absorbed through the skin, we now know that they are — on May 6, 2019, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study showing that common sunscreen ingredients do in fact show up in the blood when applied to the skin. Other studies have shown that sunscreen ingredients can be measured in breast milk and urine samples. A number of these ingredients can have detrimental effects on our health — more on that below.

Which ingredients should I avoid?

Some of the chemicals to avoid include:

  • Methyl, ethyl, and propyl parabens
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octisalate
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • Triclosan

Why are these problematic?

Endocrine disruption: Most of these chemicals act as endocrine disruptors — compounds that mimic female hormones and suppress male hormones by binding with estrogen receptors. This activity is thought to increase the risk of hormone-related cancers like breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers in adults, and affect reproductive development in children.

Skin cancer risk: Retinyl palmitate has been found to increase the risk for skin cancer when exposed to UV light in animal studies. While this effect is certainly concerning, retinyl palmitate continues to be an ingredient in many sunscreens.

Environmental concerns: Many of these chemicals have been found to damage sea life and coral reefs, leading Australia, Hawaii, and Palau to ban oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Skin damage: Oxybenzone may cause skin irritations, and octinoxate may cause cellular damage to the skin.

How can I choose a safer sunscreen?

A great resource for checking sunscreen safety is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It also provides a list of the cleanest products available.

When shopping for a sunscreen, opt for a mineral-based lotion that uses natural titanium and zinc, which functions as a mirror to reflect the sun’s rays. There are various natural sunscreens that are safe and effective!

Some of our favorite clean sunscreens include:

Let us know which one you like the best!

Want to know more about staying safe under the sun?

Chat with our team of integrative practitioners today to learn more about sun safety and how to boost your skin’s natural SPF. Call our office to find out more: 212-989-9828.

Share this post:

Connecting with your heart health, inside and out.
Connecting with your heart health, inside and out.

by Jonah Dall February 01, 2023

Today, the heart is at the center of both our physical and spiritual health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for years in the running.1 So, this month, we’re taking on the question “how do I know if my heart is healthy?”

Continue Reading →

Key Steps to Managing Stress for Optimal Health
Key Steps to Managing Stress for Optimal Health

by Stephanie Mandel January 25, 2023

Stress is a normal and natural part of life; we just need to recognize how our minds and bodies are meeting our daily challenges, and provide ourselves with the necessary support so we stay healthy. 

Continue Reading →

Baked Whole Fish
Baked Whole Fish

by Jeffrey Morrison January 20, 2023

The Morrison family LOVES fish! As the picky eater in the family, Sylvie can never resist grandma Marti's baked fish. We are happy to share her secret recipe with you!

Continue Reading →

Mind Body Spirit Release™: Intention-Based Energy Clearing for Profound Positive Change
Mind Body Spirit Release™: Intention-Based Energy Clearing for Profound Positive Change

by Stephanie Mandel January 12, 2023

Do negative patterns in your life keep repeating themselves? Maybe it's physical, like pain, or challenges in relationships with family, partners, or coworkers. Whatever it may be, our energy field can hold unconscious "blocks" that, when brought into awareness, can be removed, so life flows with more ease and joy.

Continue Reading →