4 sunscreen ingredients can cause health damage

Sunscreen is born to protect your skin. However, some sunscreen ingredients may also have potential for damaging the skin.

Sunscreen is considered an indispensable product in slowing down the signs of aging by fighting harmful UV rays and preventing skin cancer. However, not every "sun hero" can protect your skin optimally. That means that some of the ingredients you are consuming daily may be hazardous to your health.

Today, let’s learn about these 4 dangerous sunscreen ingredients to find better alternatives to your skin.


Photo: HelloSurfing


Oxybenzone is a derivative of Benzophenone, which is commonly used in combination with other sunscreen ingredients. It is known that this ingredient has been banned in Hawaii in 2016 because it can kill a series of coral reefs.

In addition, in the 2018 assessment of US Environmental Working Group (EWG), the EWG has indeed confirmed that Oxybenzene is the most worrisome sunscreen ingredient. Since this substance is a synthetic form of estrogen, it can penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream and cause hormonal disturbances.


Like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate is also banned in Hawaii because it is a "killer" that harms coral reefs. According to the researchers, Octinoxate is a common ingredient in sunscreens. When this substance is absorbed through the skin, it promotes other ingredients to be absorbed faster on the skin and can cause skin allergies.

Some experiments done in animals with this substance have affected their reproductive function and thyroid system.


Photo: Medical News Today


Avobenzone is an oil-soluble ingredient used in sunscreen products. Some studies have shown that this substance does not cause interruption of hormonal exchange in the human body as it did before. However, EWG has found out that this sunscreen ingredient may cause a high rate of irritation.

In addition, this substance is not stable. This means that Avobenzone should be mixed with Octisalate (which contains not-worrisome toxicity, according to the EWG) for the sunscreen to work effectively.


Retinyl Palmitate is a derivative of vitamin A that is commonly used in anti-aging skin care products and also sunscreen. In fact, vitamin A-rich in are always recommended for the great benefit of this substance.

However, when the Retinyl Palmitate is on the skin and affected by the sun, it is when your skin can be damaged by this sunscreen ingredient. Exposing to sunlight, Retinyl Palmitate forms free radicals that can damage the cells.

So, which type of sunscreen is recommended?

According to the EWG, mineral sunscreens are better than chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreen ingredients are often zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Therefore, this product line does not directly penetrate the skin but only forms a strong protective layer to keep your skin from the negative effects of sunlight.

By: Mithrine Smith

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