UV Natural ADULT Sunscreen SPF 30+
5.29 oz. 37.80 at uv natural sunscreen store
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30, Sensitive
5 fl oz (148 ml) $10.29 at drugstore.com
What’s the greenest sunscreen?
Despite that it’s the middle of winter, I’ve been worrying about what to do about sunscreens. On one hand I am concerned about protection from skin cancer as I spend a lot of time outdoors here in relentlessly sunny San Diego. On the other hand I also worry about the studies I’ve just read about which says the some of the ingredients for most brands of sunscreen may contain potential hazardous chemicals to your body as well as the environment.
One such chemical, Oxybenzone, is able to be absorbed through the skin and has been shown to be excreted in urine and can accumulate in fatty tissue. Studies have shown Oxybenzone, may be able to disrupt the human hormone system and may have other detrimental health effects. Center for Disease Control scientists gave results from a 2008 national survey of 2,500 Americans showing that oxybenzone readily absorbs into the body and is present in 97% of Americans tested. Another thing that freaks me out about Oxybenzone is that it is potent to the degree that when people’s sunscreen washes off in swimming and urine excreted, enough of it winds up in the ocean to cause viral infection in coral reefs and cause feminization of male fish. This link from the Environmental Working Group has an in depth article about this issue. Also there seems to have been lax oversight by the FDA in regard the safety of some of these chemicals. Here is some excellent info on what you can do about this issue here.
Rather that wait till the FDA gets it act together under the Obama administration I am looking at some greeener and healthier options available right now.
thegreenguide.com has a comprehensive study and article here called Sunscreen 101
which should give you most everything you’ll want to know about the issue and has a list of all the major brands and shows their pros and cons in a comparison table. Plain and cheap – old Zinc Oxide Ointment is also the least toxic and most green as well as offering reasonable protection, is it better than the chemical laden brands in terms of prevention of skin cancer and ability to block all the harmful rays? The jury seems divided on this issue and I personally don’t like the way it seems to take forever before dissolving from its white cream to something more acceptable to walk outside with. But for children and people with sensitive skin this might be your best bet.
The UV Natural Sunscreen is the only officially recommend sunscreen by the greenguide.com, if that influences you at all. It does seem a cut above the others in that you need less of it and that its ingredients offer good protection as well as having all natural ingredients. Its price seems a bit steep but its no surprise that a quality product will tend to cost more.