Is Sunscreen Bad For You?


Everyone knows if you want to stay looking young, you have to use sunscreen. But you may have also heard that sunscreen may not be safe.

From microwaves, to cellphones, to baby powder, we just can’t be sure anymore.

So this article is here to settle it once and for all. Is sunscreen bad for you?

Dermatologists Say: No

The answer may just be simple. Like so many fads and crazes, the notion that sunscreen is toxic is unfounded. At the very least the American Academy of Dermatology seems to think so. No studies so far seem to indicate that sunscreen is toxic.

But what about the chemicals? Should I switch to an organic sunscreen? Well, the word organic here might be misleading. What does it mean for a sunscreen to be organic or not?

By FDA standards, if the molecules contain carbon, it can be organic. But there aren’t many good organic UVA absorbers.

Many important molecules used in sunscreen – such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – are synthetic, and therefore inorganic.

And what about physical sunscreens vs chemical sunscreens? If it contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, it’s physical because it deflects the sun’s rays. If it’s chemical, it contains oxybenzone or avobenzone, and absorbs the sun’s rays.

Another myth is that physical sunscreens are better than chemical ones. It’s not a one size fits all situation. At the worst, chemical sunscreens may irritate sensitive skin- but they’re not any less healthy.

But the Most Important Thing Is…

All this aside, it’s a moot point if your sunscreen isn’t protecting you against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays.

Ultimately, all the fuss and kvetching seems to not have panned out: the worries about toxicity, carcinogens, and messing with hormones are another parent scare to check off the list.

But while all this is true, any product should be scrutinized according to your own body. Safe as the ingredients in sunscreen might be, you may be allergic to some of its contents.

If you have any trouble with sunscreen usage, contact Cosmetic Dermatology Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nicole Hayre.