Is Your Sunscreen Giving You Cancer?


There seems to be some discrepancy on whether or not sunscreens are safe. On one hand, it protects our skin from burning and later developing skin cancers, yet on the other hand, most sunscreens are chemical-laden and can cause cancer later in life.

So, which is the right choice?

Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

First of all, the sun does not cause cancer; UVA rays and sun damage do. It is suggested that we get 20-30 minutes of unfiltered sunshine preferably in the early morning when UV rays are not yet at their most potent. This naturally creates vitamin D in our body and helps with our heart, fight cancer and boost our immune system.

It is important to note that the FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. In fact, in the United States, sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978. According to the Environmental Working Group’s “Sunscreen Guide for 2015” eighty percent of sunscreens on the market were found unsafe, ineffective or both. That said, there are those who are concerned about skin damage and looking for the right sunscreen for them.

To gain a greater perspective, it is important to understand what type of products you are dealing with. Before I get into the different type of sunscreen products out there, I wanted to remind everyone that SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn. There is no way to measure UVA rays. Learn about the difference between UVAs and UVBs here. That said, natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can help protect against the damaging rays (more on that later). Keep that in mind when reading about the two main categories of sunscreens:

Chemical sunscreens are products that contain synthetic ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are absorbed into the skin to filter and absorb UV rays. This category of sunscreens are very effective in protecting deeper layers of skin. That said, it can also lead to skin irritation and other adverse reactions. Plus, the ingredients can generate cell-damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun. It is always important to look at the ingredients in your sunscreen. For instance, scientists recommend not using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children because it disrupts hormones. As well, aerosolized sunscreens may seem convenient, but they may pose serious inhalation risks and do not completely cover the skin. Try and refrain from purchasing sunscreens with the following ingredients, as these have been shown to cause severe skin reactions, allergic reactions, hormone disruption, damage DNA and cause cancer:

  1. Oxybenzone
  2. Methoxycinnamate
  3. PABA
  4. Octinoxate
  5. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)
  6. Homosalate
  7. Octocrylene
  8. Paraben Preservatives

Read about which sunscreens are in the Hall of Shame due to the additives and chemicals added.

Physical sunscreens contains naturally derived minerals that cover the surface of skin to physically block or reflect broad spectrum of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that many of these type of sunblocks can be thick and messy to apply, and can leave a white sheen and residue on the skin that can clog pores.

Since the population has become more aware of the dangerous chemicals found in certain sunscreens, many companies are coming out with natural products that are chemical free and have naturally derived ingredients to protect the skin. As well, they have found a way to get rid of the thick and messy application too. Two of the most common ingredients to look for in natural sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Some of the most popular natural sunscreens to choose from are:

  1. Kiss My Face SPF 30
  2. OZ Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30
  3. Aubrey Organics SPF 30 Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin
  4. Alba Botanica Very Emollient, Sport Sunscreen, SPF 45
  5. Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream – SPF 35

As well, adding certain foods to your diet can help you develop an inner sunscreen to further protect your skin from the sun. Read about these six foods here.

The following video goes into detail on how dangerous chemical-laden sunscreens are to our body, and what we can do to naturally protect ourselves.

To conclude, we need to be more proactive in understanding the products we put on our bodies. If the FDA is going to allow cancer causing ingredients, we need to be better at familiarizing ourselves with the ingredients and their long-term effects. Choosing a more natural route for protecting your skin can lessen your chances of being subjected to hormone disrupting and cancer causing sunscreens.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 7th, 2015
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  • Synickel

    There have been studies showing that vegans rarely get skin cancer. Evidently, the causative radical is in animal products.

    • dogbite186

      Yeah,…’re probably right. But vegans are always so self-righteous about their presumed state of piety that I usually end up kicking sand in their face and punching their lights out.

      • Jasper

        You’re talking to the wrong guy about that. I couldn’t care less what you eat, or what anyone eats. I enjoy the improved health I have since becoming vegan and your little life doesn’t enter into my thoughts. However, if you tried to kick sand in my face, you might be surprised as I was a welterweight AAU Midwest champ. You could end up in a fail video.

      • dogbite186

        Easy Jasper. it was a joke. I mean I’m 70 years old a bicycle 20 KM daily. Just having some fun. Besides…..I have a cary permit.

    • Alan

      I suspect that vegans probably eat healthier. Meaning, no or not a lot of GMO’s or heavily processed foods. It is the GMO foods and the processed foods that contain high fructose sweetners and trans fat, hydrogenated cooking oils/fats that are causing cancer and other diseases. Vegans are healthier for the above reasons ,not because they are vegans. There are some nutrients and vitamins that only come from meat as a natural source not plants. As far as cooking oils go, avoid the cheap processed oils. Peanut oil is high in omega 6. It causes inflammation. Use cold-pressed virgin or extra virgin oils. 100% olive, avocado, coconut, or the best macadamia are some good choices. (Don’t use olive for high heat cooking. It becomes a trans fat at high temp.) Don’t use Canola, vegetable (which isn’t vegetable, but vegetation), corn oil. These are some of the worst. With peanut oil take an omega 3 supplement to counter the inflammation producing omega 6 it contains.

      • Jasper

        Alan, wouldn’t the millions of vegans be dead if there are certain necessary nutrients and vitamins only available in meat. Closer studies show that not be factual. Unless of course cholesterol, cancer cells, growth hormones and antibiotics is considered a nutrient.

  • Alan

    I subscribe to several email health news letters. Some by reknown doctors. What I’ve read is to be exposed to the sun without sunscreen for 20 minutes at the prime hours of the day, not early morning. (10 AM – 2PM). My view- If you are going to use a sunscreen take a vitamin D3 supplement. D3 is the natural form of vitamin D.

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