75% of Sunscreens are Toxic: What to do Instead

More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. And even though more and more people are using sunscreen each year, the incidence of skin cancer continues to climb world wide.

It’s that time of year where we all start enjoying the weather outside, but did you know that 4 different studies conducted in the 1990’s indicated a higher risk of malignant melanoma among individuals who used the most sunscreen!

Several years ago when I started revealing the dangers of sunscreen many people were surprised. But over the past 5 years more research is starting to come out about the dangers of sunscreen.

Now I’m not telling you never to wear sunscreen!
Sometimes, you should wear sunscreen (more on that later). But first, I want to share with you the benefits of not wearing sunscreen for a portion of the day and also let you know what brands are toxic-free and safe for you and your family, and where you can get them.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just published their 2014 guide to safe sunscreens. They reviewed over 2000 sunscreens and over 257 brands. They found more than 75% of the sunscreens contained toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and other health issues.

The Dangers of Conventional Sunscreens
According to research from the EWG: Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA, and the SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn.

toxic-sunscreenSo in review, some ingredients may

  • Absorb into the blood
  • Release free radicals in sunlight
  • Act like estrogen
  • Disrupt hormones
  • Cause allergic reactions
  • Cause skin irritation
  • Have no rigorous safety standards

A recent study published in Environmental Science Technology has also shown the common sunscreen ingredients oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are estrogenic chemicals linked to cancer. That’s right, I read the labels on not only my food products, but on anything I’m putting on or near my body, and you should too. If your sunscreen contains any of these chemicals I’d throw it away right now!

List of Unsafe, Toxic Chemicals in Sunscreen

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Octocrylene
  • Methoxycinnamate
  • Parabens

Stay away from these chemicals and use the natural sunscreens I recommend at the end of the article.

The Sun Doesn’t Cause Cancer
In truth, the sun is essential for your health. Think about it. Without the sun, most plants couldn’t grow and we would perish from a lack of Vitamin D3.

Of course, you can have too much of a good thing. I don’t recommend letting your skin burn, and this is a common point people miss. Getting a moderate amount of sunshine daily can actually help decrease your risk of certain types of cancers.

The Sun is your best source of Vitamin D3.
When you get approximately 20 minutes of direct sunlight, your body naturally generates enough Vitamin D3 (Calciferol), and you body also knows the right amount to generate without overdose.

Vitamin D3 has been one of the most researched nutrients over the past 5 years and it has been shown to naturally help boost the immune system, help fight cancer and improve mood.

There are two types of sunscreens: non-mineral and mineral.  And some that combine both.

Non-mineral sunscreens penetrate the skin, are potentially disruptive to hormones, are allergenic, and like I mentioned earlier, can release free radicals when they break down. Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in sunscreens. Scientists recommend not using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children because of this hormone disruption.

Mineral sunscreens are ones containing zinc, or titanium.  These do not breakdown in sunlight, are not usually absorbed ( so do not disrupt the body’s hormones), are not allergenic and are more effective at blocking UVA rays than non-minerals.  These sunscreens are a good choice for children and according to EWG have the best safety profiles of the choices in the United States.

What I Use

Kiss My Face SPF 30

What Natural Sunscreens to Buy

The best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals for the skin to absorb, no questions about whether the product works and no bogus claims like “sunblock.” (No conventional product blocks out all rays. Which is why the FDA is trying to ban the term.)

When buying sunscreen I’d first check the EWG database. Here are my top 3 recommended brands of the top natural sunscreens:
1. Kiss My Face SPF 30

2. 100% Pure Hydration Organic Pomegranate

3. Aubrey Organics SPF 30 Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin

These healthier sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as a more natural form of sunblock. However even these ingredients aren’t flawless as you’ll see in the EWG ratings system.

Foods and Supplements that Protect Your Skin
According to the American Cancer Society, oxidative damage can increase your cancer risk,  so I recommend eating a diet high in certain foods which can potentially decrease your risk.

List of the best foods and supplements to protect your skin

  • Resveratrol (red wine, blueberries and red grapes)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon and fish oil)
  • Astaxanthin (salmon and fish oil)
  • Catechins (green and white tea)
  • Vitamin E (pumpkin seeds, almonds, and asparagus)
  • Beta-carotene (carrots and red bell peppers)

For a more extensive list, check out my article on fighting skin cancer with food.

Actions Steps
1. Get 20+ minutes of sunshine daily
2. Cover up with light clothing before you get burnt
3. Wear natural sunscreen if you’re going to stay out for a long period of time
4. Eat a diet high in anti-oxidants to protect your skin
5. If you get burnt, use a mixture of aloe, coconut oil and vitamin E on your skin

So what are your thoughts on Sunscreen and the Sun? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

sourceshttp://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/
Kunisue T, Chen Z, Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Hediger ML, Sun L, Kannan K. Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in U.S. Women and Their Association with Endometriosis.  Environ Sci Tech 2012 Apr 17;46(8):4624-32. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

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58 comments so far - add yours!

  1. Kelly Bailey says:

    Nate and I have been aware of the dangers of sunscreen, but weren’t sure which ones were truly safe. Thank you for recommending three specific ones! This is especially important to us as we use sunscreen on our toddler.

  2. We use Dr Mercola’s sunscreen – when we have to wear it.

  3. Sophie says:

    I didn’t see the Mercola sunscreen mentioned on you list. What are your thoughts on that sunscreen?

  4. Stella says:

    what happens when u let ur skin burn? when i am outside running or tanning my skin burn turns red than peels but i get a nice tan after. any suggestions? thank you !

  5. Julianna says:

    I agree with everything you said & love the good you are doing ~

  6. Ericka J. says:

    I had never heard these warnings! WOW! Thanks for the advice!

    What are your thoughts on lavender essential oil for sunburns? I use it for other burns (if I hurt myself cooking, etc) and it works incredibly well! Just wondering if there’s a reason you didn’t suggest it for a sunburn.

  7. Wayne Whitworth says:

    Thanks Dr. J….I’m headed to Israel next week and I was wondering how I should handle the situation. You are the best chiropractor, hands down!

  8. Melisa says:

    We use Badger and California Baby brands too…both rated well on EWG Skin Deep website.

  9. Krista says:

    I LOVE this article. I do not put sunscreen in my family unless we are in the sun for lengthy periods of time. I learned a few years ago of the dangers if low vitamin d and how sunscreen blocks the absorption but I had not heard of the dangers inside the sunscreen. This article came just in time as I am purchasing sunscreen tomorrow. Thanks so much!!!

  10. Paige says:

    What do you think about Blue Lizard?

    Thank you for being such a knowledgeable and essential resource!

  11. Paige says:

    Which “safe” water bottle do you recommend? Insulated and noninsulated please?

    Thank you!

  12. Thelma Green-Woods says:

    Very informative!

  13. Adrian Goad says:

    Dr. Axe: Kiss My Face received poor scores at EWG and was NOT recommended by them (??). If instead you’d like to recommend a product that is handcrafted here in your local city of Nashville, received EWG’s recommendation, AND received their “best value” rating… then you could recommend Releve’ Organic Skincare’s SUN-LITE sunscreen. It’s the ONLY one on the list made with hand-filleted RAW Aloe Vera as it’s primary ingredient !

    • Lauren says:

      I looked up EQG’s 2012 report and it rated Kiss My Face and Releve Organic Skincare’s SUNLITE both as fair with a 1 rating.

    • Lauren says:

      I looked up EWG’s 2012 report and it rated Kiss My Face and Releve Organic Skincare’s SUNLITE both as fair with a 1 rating.

    • Dr. Axe says:

      Hi Adrian, actually, certain bottles of Kiss My Face received the highest scores. The one I linked to in my article had less ingredients and was more natural than other variations of Kiss My Face.

      Also, there is no good sunblock. Even Zinc Oxide has been under major scrutiny which is also in Releve.

      Read this: http://gizmodo.com/5908501/sunscreen-could-be-giving-you-skin-cancer

      I do agree however that Releve is one of the top natural sunscreens for those who choose to use sunscreen.

      No matter what you are picking one of two evils if you choose to stay out in the sun uncovered for lengthy periods… get burnt which can have harmful effects to your skin or use any “natural sunscreen” that does have some potentially harmful ingredients.

      Again, my recommends are:

      1. Get out in the sun for vitamin D3 synthesis without getting burnt
      2. Cover Up
      3. If you’re going to get very burnt you are still better off using a natural sunscreen

      Also, load up on anti-oxidant rich foods and put vitamin e, coconut oil, and aloe vera on your skin for natural hydration.

  14. Brigitte Nelson says:

    I have checked all my sunscreen bottles – and I have 6 different brands here (grocery store, walgreens etc). None of them have any of the ingredients you cited as toxic! The closest I came to was propylparaben, and that was usually the last ingr. listed (implying, in the least amt. present). I was happy to buy the Kiss My Face brand, but now I wonder if it is indeed necessary.

  15. Nathan David says:

    I found another highly rated mineral based sunscreen. I was wondering what your thoughts are on it. It is called All Terrain AquaSport. The old formula is sold by many vendors, but the new formula says oxybenzone free and fragrance free. It is 16% Zinc. The best vendor I’ve seen that I’d trust to sent the new formula is Swanson’s website.

  16. Jonathan says:

    This, like so many other things I have read from Dr. Axe, is eye-opening but seemingly unreachable for the average American family. Went to buy “new” sunscreen today; 16 dollars for an 8oz bottle of the Kiss My Face! We had to settle for the 9 dollar bottle instead (which is still ridiculous). Why does living right have to only be attainable a lot of times on a “Dr. Axe” salary?

    • Dr. Axe says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Unfortunately, things that are more natural including organic foods and skincare are more costly.
      I would search the EWG website and you may find some other sunscreens with a 1 rating at a better price.

      Also, I know many families who have a very small budget who find ways of living organic. Doing your own garden
      is one great way to save.

      And living right isn’t based on income, I have many very close friends who’s budget is minimal but they’ve found
      ways to be healthier than 99.9% of the population.

      Many Blessings,

      Dr. Axe

    • Chiropractor Freehold says:

      What is more costly, spending a couple of dollars more now on organic foods and sunscreens or waiting til the ill effects of the more dangerous and toxic substances cause illness and disease which is substantially more expensive in the long run?
      Just a thought and what I tell my patients all the time.
      It’s just like people who cut costs by putting lower grade gas into their cars.. which leads to lower fuel efficiency and the car breaking down more down the road which costs a lot more.

  17. Adele Wilkins says:

    .thank you…I really appreciate your website. After my dermatologist removed a basil cell from my nose, he recommended my using a sunscreen and here 9 months later I have another spot coming back in the same area and will need to return again. After reading your article I checked the sunscreen recommended and found that several of these toxic ingredients were present….this is upsetting to know I will have to have surgery again. Any suggestions to avoid surgery for basil cell removal.

    • sally says:

      Ask your doctor about using an escharotic cream. If he poo-poos the idea, get a new doctor. It will only remove the cancerous cells. You need to follow the directions and only apply a little at a time. I usually reapply after the scab comes off naturally. If it leaves a big hole, relax, wait for the scab to fall off, then reapply. Everytime it has filled back in and leaves a very little scar. If you remove the scab too soon, or don’t reapply until all bad cells are gone, it may leave more of a scar than necessary. I have done this at least 3 times on significant areas on my face. Most do not react, but my nose, lip and cheek had 5mm areas. I am currently redoing my lip and also a spot on my eyebrow. Good luck

    • Stella says:

      Adela as harsh as it may sound sunscreens cause cancer. vitamin d is necessary, and is good for you. this video may be really helpful to you and it states how chaga may be so benefical when you have skin disorders ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9OFiKtL7_o

      also most alternative health gurus are against sunscreens because they are poisonous. vitamin d prevents cancer and can even cure cancer, do some research and challenge your doctor !!! it is also said if a person does get skin cancer it’s not from the sun it can be either 1) from the sunscreen or 2) the sun is drawing out toxins from ur body. medical docotrs do not know anything about preventing disease. their main thing is to keep you sick. check out the books kevin trudeau natural cures they dont want you to know about ! ur world will never be the same !

      i believe everything can be and is curable without drugs and surgery, as i am expressing my first right amendment.

  18. Mary says:

    Dear Dr. Axe,
    Kiss My Face SPF 30 contains Octinoxate which, according to this newsletter article should be safe. However, in another source I read that Octinoxate is the same as ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, with the latter being on Dr. Axe’s toxic list. I am not a chemist and am wondering if Octinoxate is just as bad and Kiss My Face SPF 30 product should be avoided. I would very much appreciate your help here. Thank you!

    • Stella says:

      i would not put that on , the sun is good for u dont put anything on ur skin that u wont eat. ur body absorbs everything twice as much and fast through the skin . all those spfs are a scam, watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeAQ9VTfDQ8

    • Dr. Axe says:

      Hi Mary,

      Great question. As I said in the article, as of now there is no perfect sunblock. In EWG’s rating system they do a great job of pointing out the most dangerous ingredients and as said in the article, 75%+ have highly dangerous ingredients.

      But even Zinc Oxide which is the “main” sunblock ingredient found in “natural” sunscreens even has been scrutinized. I recommend
      1. Getting as much sun as possible without burning
      2. Cover Up
      3. Use natural sunblock in areas that can get burnt

      Also, eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods to protect your skin and use aloe, vitamin e, and coconut oil to naturally hydrate your skin.

      • Claudia says:

        Dr. Axe,
        I’m still reading everyone’s comments but so far see this is a touchy subject for many. Maybe you and your colleagues can invent a safe sunscreen that we know we can trust?? We are in the sun a lot when the kids are out for the summer. We see the pool almost everyday atleast 3 hrs so sunscreen is a must. We use California Baby and it’s $17 for a small tube (which last all summer bc it’s so thick, a little goes a long way) but I’ll have to ck the ingredients after reading this post. I do appreciate when you give brand examples for products because it can get overwhelming trying to pick all the “right” things. I need a manual on buying the best food brands, seriously! Hint, hint

  19. Natalie Hohman says:

    Very interesting!!! I’m shocked!

  20. Jennifer says:

    How about the Kiss My Face spf 50 spray? I saw it has Oxybezone, is that the same as Oxybenzone?

  21. Rhonda says:

    I always wondered about sun screen. I have tried it on my kids when they were younger and my son broke out with a rash and it was a 20 and it was for babies. Our Dr said to use a low number and reapply as needed so I always use a 4 or a 6 and mt kiddies never had problems with the lower numbers. I am getting ready to buy some so I will be on the alert for those toxins. And I have a question for Dr Axe!!! Is tanning in a tanning bed for 15 minutes 2 times a week dangerous,

  22. wholesomegal says:

    Never thought of using Coconut Oil for my sunburns, thanks for the informative article! I don’t need it though as I was wearing a hat and light cover up on the beach all weekend!

    • Stella says:

      that’s smart lol i need all the coconut and aloe vera i can get 4 hours in the sun running can really get u fried.

      thanks dr. axe for the tips!!

      i also heard drinking coconut water to hydrate ur skin : )

  23. Claudia says:

    So after everyone’s comments I checked the ingredients in my kid’s sunscreen California Baby. We started using it yrs ago bc one of mine would get a rash and I was told this one wouldn’t do that. Well, I’m happy to say it doesn’t have ANY of those harsh chemicals Dr. Axe recommends staying away from! About the cost, it’s $17 at Target for 2.9oz. Ouch! However, we can make it last all summer! It’s super thick and we only use a little and we are at the pool almost everyday. And we have a super tight budget so I don’t want to hear complaining. You may have to make sacrifices in other categories on the budget. Also, Target is almost always sold out of it and it’s in the baby section not the sunscreen section. At the end of last summer my sister’s Target clearenced it so she stocked up for me. Something to consider.

  24. Shauna says:

    Great article. Love the info and passing it along. Thanks!

  25. DrS says:

    Dr. Axe, the chiropractor, has NO idea what he’s talking about. I just went to the AAD national meeting this spring. There’s no evidence of sunscreen safety issues to date direct from the Derm working with the FDA on sunscreen re-labelling. I still use it, my family does, etc. Until I hear info to the contrary, I am not going to change that. I personally rely more on avoidance, shade, and protective clothing. But on any exposed areas, I use SPF 70-100.

    RE: Vit D:
    I prefer safe oral supplements over cancer-causing radiation any day.

    “Vitamin D intake may not lower cancer mortality.
    • While some studies have suggested that vitamin D can reduce deaths from cancer and/or improve cancer survival, other studies have not been able to confirm these observations.
    • The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that the evidence for associating vitamin D status with health benefits other than bone health was inconsistent, inconclusive as to causality, and insufficient to inform nutritional requirement.
    • Based on currently available scientific evidence that supports a key role of calcium and vitamin D in skeletal health, the IOM Recommended Dietary Allowance* (RDA) for vitamin D is:
    • 400 IU (International Units) for Infants/Children 0-1 yr
    • 600 IU for children, teenagers and adults 1-70 yr
    • 800 IU for adults 71+ yr
    * The RDA is intake that covers needs of 97.5% of the healthy normal population.
    •Because the amount of vitamin D a person receives from the sun is inconsistent and increases the risk of skin cancer, the IOM’s RDA was developed based on a person receiving minimal or no sun exposure.”

    References:
    -Freedman DM, Looker AC, Abnet CC, Linet MS, Graubard BI. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cancer mortality in the NHANES III study (1988-2006). Cancer Res 2010;70(21):8587-97.
    -Ross AC, Manson JE, Abrams SA, Aloia JF, Brannon PM, Clinton SK, et al. The 2011 Report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: What Clinicians Need to Know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab Nov 29 2010 (epub ahead of print)
    -Institute of Medicine. 2011 Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    • Claudia says:

      While I can appreciate that you have done research yourself on this subject, I personally feel Dr. Axe has been helpful to many and does know what he is talking about. Let’s keep our post to information not people bashing. Thank you. Also, I am grateful to know that I am using safe ingredients on my children vs chemicals that I may never know all the long term effects. There are enough studies on the chemical change to food and what it’s doing for our health. What makes these chemicals safe to rub into our skin? I’m grateful that Dr. Axe helps out with sharing a more natural approach. I also would be careful in “believing” everything the FDA says. They are not always looking out for your best interest. It can be more about $$

      • Stella says:

        claduia there was a famous quote it it went like this ” the sad part is people think the FDA is protecting them when in reality there not”

        it’s always all about the money check out kevin trudeau’s books natural cures they dont want you to know about, it’s a great book, everyone should read it.

    • Molly MacIntyre says:

      Who are you to comment on the intelligence of another? Or to make lofty statements without looking for evidence?

      “There’s no evidence of sunscreen safety issues to date direct from the Derm working with the FDA on sunscreen re-labelling”

      1.) Does evidence have to come DIRECTLY from the Derm who are working with the FDA? I believe there are still other reputable journals who can study the effects of toxins in humans.
      2.) I believe I have found some things you have missed.

      Bryden AM, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, Chowdhury MM, Beck MH, Bourke J, et al. 2006. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch study group. The British journal of dermatology 155(4): 737-747.

      FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 1978. Report on Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Drugs. 32 CFR 412. August 25, 1978.

      Gonzalez H, Farbrot A, Larko O, Wennberg AM. 2006. Percutaneous absorption of the sunscreen benzophenone-3 after repeated whole-body applications, with and without ultraviolet irradiation. The British journal of dermatology 154(2): 337-340.

      Janjua NR, Mogensen B, Andersson AM, Petersen JH, Henriksen M, Skakkebaek NE, et al. 2004. Systemic absorption of the sunscreens benzophenone-3, octyl-methoxycinnamate, and 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor after whole-body topical application and reproductive hormone levels in humans. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 123(1): 57-61.

      Allen JM, Gossett CJ, Allen SK. 1996. Photochemical formation of singlet molecular oxygen in illuminated aqueous solutions of several commercially available sunscreen active ingredients. Chemical research in toxicology 9(3): 605-609.

      Balmer ME, Buser HR, Muller MD, Poiger T. 2005. Occurrence of some organic UV filters in wastewater, in surface waters, and in fish from Swiss lakes. Environmental Science & Technology 39(4): 953-962.

      Calafat AM, Wong L-Y, Ye X, Reidy JA, Needham LL. 2008. Concentration of the sunscreen agent, benzophenone-3, in residents of the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. Environmental health perspectives 116: Available online March 21, 2008.

      CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 1983. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Benzophenones-1, -3, -4, -5, -9, and -11. Journal of the American College of Toxicology 2(5): 42.

      CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2002. BENZOPHENONE AND BENZOPHENONE-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, AND – 12. Journal of the American College of Toxicology 2(5).

      Cuderman P, Heath E. 2007. Determination of UV filters and antimicrobial agents in environmental water samples. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 387(4): 1343-1350.
      Danovaro R, Bongiorni L, Corinaldesi C, Giovannelli D, Damiani E, Astolfi P, et al. 2008. Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections. Environmental health perspectives 116(4): 441-447.

      Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ. 2006. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free radical biology & medicine 41(8): 1205-1212.

      Hayden CG, Roberts MS, Benson HA. 1997. Systemic absorption of sunscreen after topical application. Lancet 350(9081): 863-864.

      Heneweer M, Muusse M, van den Berg M, Sanderson JT. 2005. Additive estrogenic effects of mixtures of frequently used UV filters on pS2-gene transcription in MCF-7 cells. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 208(2): 170-177.

      Kunz PY, Galicia HF, Fent K. 2006. Comparison of in vitro and in vivo estrogenic activity of UV filters in fish. Toxicol Sci 90(2): 349-361.

      Lambropoulou DA, Giokas DL, Sakkas VA, Albanis TA, Karayannis MI. 2002. Gas chromatographic determination of 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone and octyldimethyl-p-aminobenzoic acid sunscreen agents in swimming pool and bathing waters by solid-phase microextraction. Journal of chromatography 967(2): 243-253.

      Lau C, Rogers JM. 2004. Embryonic and fetal programming of physiological disorders in adulthood. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 72(4): 300-312.
      Li W, Ma Y, Guo C, Hu W, Liu K, Wang Y, et al. 2007. Occurrence and behavior of four of the most used sunscreen UV filters in a wastewater reclamation plant. Water research 41(15): 3506-3512.

      Ma RS, Cotton B, Lichtensteiger W, Schlumpf M. 2003. UV filters with antagonistic action at androgen receptors in the MDA-kb2 cell transcriptional-activation assay. Toxicological Sciences 74(1): 43-50.

      Nakagawa Y, Suzuki T. 2002. Metabolism of 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone in isolated rat hepatocytes and xenoestrogenic effects of its metabolites on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Chem Biol Interact 139(2): 115-128.

      NAS (National Academy of Sciences). 1993. Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

      Pont AR, Charron AR, Brand RM. 2004. Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers for the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 195(3): 348-354.

      Rodriguez E, Valbuena MC, Rey M, Porras de Quintana L. 2006. Causal agents of photoallergic contact dermatitis diagnosed in the national institute of dermatology of Colombia. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 22(4): 189-192.

      Sarveiya V, Risk S, Benson HAE. 2004. Liquid chromatographic assay for common sunscreen agents: application to in vivo assessment of skin penetration and systemic absorption in human volunteers. Journal of Chromatography B-Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences 803(2): 225-231.

      SCCNFP (Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products). 2001. Opinion on the Evaluation of Potentially Estrogenic Effects of UV-filters adopted by the SCCNFP during the 17th Plenary meeting of 12 June 2001. Opinion: European Commission – The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers.

      SCCP (Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products). 2006. Opinion concerning Benzophenone-3. Opinion: European Commission – The Scientfic Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers.

      Schlumpf M, Cotton B, Conscience M, Haller V, Steinmann B, Lichtensteiger W. 2001. In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environmental health perspectives 109(3): 239-244.

      Schlumpf M, Schmid P, Durrer S, Conscience M, Maerkel K, Henseler M, et al. 2004. Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters–an update. Toxicology 205(1-2): 113-122.

      Serpone N, Salinaro A, Emeline AV, Horikoshi S, Hidaka H, Zhao JC. 2002. An in vitro systematic spectroscopic examination of the photostabilities of a random set of commercial sunscreen lotions and their chemical UVB/UVA active agents. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 1(12): 970-981.

      USPC (United States Pharmacopeial Convention). 1975. United States Pharmacopeia, 19th Ed. U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc., Rockville, MD.

      Van Liempd SM, Kool J, Meerman JH, Irth H, Vermeulen NP. 2007. Metabolic profiling of endocrine-disrupting compounds by on-line cytochrome p450 bioreaction coupled to on-line receptor affinity screening. Chemical research in toxicology 20(12): 1825-1832.

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      • Dr. Axe says:

        Hi Molly,

        I’m sorry but the FDA is wrong about many things. One example would be when they approved the drug Vioxx and it killed 60,000 people.
        The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has does extension research to back my article and you can see the references below.

        “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
        – Arthur Schopenhauer

        References

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      • Molly MacIntyre says:

        Oh no… Dr. Axe, my comment was not in reference to your article, but the comment made by “Dr S”… Maybe I tagged my comment wrong, oops. No I 100% aggree with you, and the articles I posted were further evidence in support of your findings. I was questioning “Dr S” on his apparent faith in the FDA, and his outlandish statements insulting your intelligence. As we can see, your work is well supported. Looks like he now has a lot of articles to go through.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I was just looking for a list like this. Thanks!!

  27. Laura Maddux says:

    The approved sunscreens are only SPF 30. I need a higher SPF. Are there any natural sunscreens with an SPF of 45 or 50?

    • Stella says:

      Laura ur being lied to and mislead, the sun is good for you, i would suggest u wear a loose light shirt and a hat , check out this video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjMHLmEf8Tk

      • Laura Maddux says:

        Stella, Didn’t mean to mislead. I know the sun is good for you and I enjoy being in the sun. What I meant is for the time I am in the sun, for example at the beach, there are occasions when a shirt and hat are not possible. Riding the waves make is difficult to wear a hat and 30 SPF does not protect my face enough. Also, I need sunscreen on my feet and, again, 30 is not enough. What is a good sunscreen with a highe SPF?

  28. Lauren says:

    I’m trying to mix my own homemade sunscreen for myself, and I’m really on the fence about adding zinc oxid or titanium dioxide. I burn very easily and I’m wondering if there is a more natural alternative. Will the natural spf in oils like coconut, olive, or sesame seed etc..work on their own

  29. Mackenzie Kolling says:

    Hello Dr. Axe,

    I’m an Associate Producer on The Doctors TV show, and we are going to be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of sunscreen in our upcoming show on August 7th. We are interested in speaking with you for the show. Can you please give me a call at 323-956-8653 to discuss the possibilities?

    Thank you,
    Mackenzie

  30. Mind Riot says:

    I disagree completely. Every sunscreen out there is perfectly healthy, depending on how you apply it.

    I always stick it up my axx, and I have never had a problem as long as I drink tons of apple juice.

  31. Patricia Weigand says:

    I checked the two moisturizers I use on a regular basis and one has the ingredient Oxybenzone which I intend to throw away and the other moisturizer contains two sunscreen ingredients. One is Zinc Oxide (good) and the other is Octinoxate which I don’t see on the list of bad sunscreens. Is this a bad or a good sunscreen?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I’m not a huge fun of it. Octinoxate can potentially produce free radicals which can lead to increased skin damage and premature aging. It can disrupt hormones and studies have also shown that it has been present in breast milk, blood and urine when applied topically which means it one is systemically exposed to the ingredient when it is used.

  32. Lynn says:

    I live on the SW Gulf Coast of Florida where the intensity of the sun is serious business. I am 100% English in descent and am very fair – a recipe for skin disaster. All we’ve heard for years is that we need to get that sunscreen on. A “shot glass full” supposedly being the right amount for all-over skin “safety”. Common sense kicked in and I questioned if putting that glop thickly all over my body every day – often more than once a day – might be a bad idea. I came here during my research. My suspicions are confirmed.

    As far as the FDA is concerned: follow the money! The FDA is in bed with the pharmaceutical companies and most everyone knows it. MD’s are often the last people to find out things. We need our MD’s but not for everything. We MUST be responsible for our own health, period. Do not rely on anyone (except yourself) or any entity to protect you and your family. “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see”. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.

    I will not stay in Florida. For me it’s a full time job not to become burned. I use wide-brimmed hats and an umbrella (parasol!) to help protect myself. Now I will need to reassess when and which sunscreen I will use.

    Btw, since I have begun taking substantial vitamin C supplements I no longer get the miserable burns I used to. Vitamin C is another (important) antioxidant nutrient and free radical scavenger. It is cheap and has been a huge help in protecting my skin. It must be taken in the same fashion as one takes an antibiotic in order to keep serum levels at theraputic levels.

  33. Matt says:

    Do you realize that the “kiss my face” sunscreen contains Octyl salicyclate… on the label it lists Octisalate, which is a different name for the same chemical.

  34. ESC says:

    Dr. Axe, after reading this article and one of your others on sunscreen products, I went on line and ordered 3 Kiss My Face products. For the face, the stick and the spray. When they arrived, I looked at the ingredients and it had 5 of the 14 toxic ingredients on your list. I wasted a lot of money and am very disappointed. I trusted your advice.

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