Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreen

The Slightly Greener Life | Episode 10

May 25, 2023

Welcome to Part 2 of the Safer Sunscreen Series! In this week’s episode you’ll discover ingredients to avoid in sunscreen.

If you missed Part 1 last week of “How to Find a Safer Sunscreen that Actually Works,” listen to it here (or find it on your favorite podcast player here).

When choosing sunscreens, it’s important to keep an eye out for certain ingredients. There are ingredients to avoid, even in seemingly “safer” sunscreens.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens contain a combination of anywhere between 2-6 of these active ingredients, like Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone, and Homosalate.Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreen

But the FDA wants manufacturers to research these before they can be considered GRASE, or “generally regarded as safe and effective.” All six of these UV filters penetrated through the skin and ultimately got into the blood stream, well above the the FDA’s threshold even after just a single topical application of the sunscreen.

And some of these ingredients even degrade in sunlight, while others are linked to allergic reactions, skin irritation, and hormone disruption.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens, ones that protect with the Active Ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are typically considered to be a safer option.

The Difference Between Active and Inactive Ingredients

The main difference between Active Ingredients and Inactive Ingredients on a product label is that the Active Ingredients are the ones doing the job. In the case of sunscreen, they are the ingredients protecting skin from the sun.

However being listed under “Inactive Ingredients” doesn’t mean that the ingredient is inactive and won’t do any harm . It simply means these are the other ingredients that can work as carriers, preservatives, emulsifiers, or stabilizers, but do not perform a certain job on the skin.  This doesn’t mean that the ingredients are inactive, it simply means they are not the ones doing the job.

Although mineral sunscreens are considered to be a safer option, the Inactive Ingredients should be looked at as well.

Find out more about these ingredients and why they should be avoided in this week’s episode!

And be sure to grab the cheat sheet to keep all of the ingredients to avoid handy when you’re on the hunt for a new sunscreen! Grab it below.

How to find a safe sunscreen

Links mentioned in this episode:

The Slightly Greener Membership

Book – The Slightly Greener Method: Detoxing Your Home is Easier, Faster, and Less Expensive Than You Think

Safer Sunscreen Cheat Sheet