Navigation Menu

INGREDIENTS TO AVOID: Synthetic Sunscreens

This week, the ingredient to avoid is:

Synthetic Sunscreens

Sunscreen comes in two forms: chemical (synthetic) and mineral. 
Chemical sunscreen is the most popular because it goes on clear and does not have the chalky residue of some mineral SPFs.


Provide sun protection

Why should you avoid it:

Chemical sunscreen penetrates the skin, absorbing all the ingredients into your blood stream, and they have been linked to endocrine and reproductive changes. It mimics estrogen in the body potentially causing hormonal disruption.

It may lead to breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer for men.
It can also cause skin irritation.

Moreover, because people wear sunscreen when they are out at the beach and in the sea, these ingredients are also known to attribute to the bleaching of corals.

How to identify on a label:

The three most toxic ingredients are oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. 

4-Methyl-Benzylidencamphor (4-MBC), Oxybenzone Benzophenone-3, Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC), Octyl-Dimethyl-Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid (OD-PABA), Homosalate(HMS)

They are found in sunscreens, facial moisturizer, lip protection products.

Safer alternatives:

1) Mineral sunscreen
Use sunscreen products that uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients do not penetrate the skin, have shown no endocrine or reproductive changes, and have the lowest toxicity concerns.

2) Protect with natural oils
If you are worried about nanoparticals, then your best bet is to use natural oils such as coconut oil and carrot seed oil, that provide SPF protection.


There is a general misconception that the higher the SPF, the longer you can stay under the protection of the sunscreen. But it actually refers to the ability of the sunscreen to block Ultraviolet B Rays~

Here’s a quick reference guide:

SPF 15 – Blocks 94% of UVB Rays

SPF 30 – Blocks 97% of UVB Rays

SPF 45 – Blocks 98% of UVB Rays

After that, it does not really make much of a difference. 

So, to ensure that you are protecting yourself from these harmful rays, reapply sunscreen often (every 2 hours or so) and dont forget your eyes and lip area too!