WHAT TO AVOID
Oxybenzone is a synthetic estrogen which has been linked to hormone disruption and when exposed to sunlight, creates harmful free radicals that destroy or inhibit the skins natural defences against sunlight. Retinyl palmitate is a type of vitamin A commonly found in sunscreens. A joint report by the US Environmental Protection Authority and the National Toxicology Program concluded that retinyl palmitate led to the early onset and larger amount of skin lesions and squamous (cancerous) cell tumours. Parabens are preservatives commonly found in sunscreen and a range of cosmetics. Some evidence suggests parabens can mimic estrogen and in some cases they’ve been found in breast cancer tumours. Fragranced sunscreens contain a high amount of chemicals that can trigger asthma and, like parabens, some have been shown to mimic estrogen and make breast cancer cells grow in laboratory studies. Expired sunscreens are likely to have lost some of their effectiveness. Use-by dates are determined by how long the sunscreen will retain its efficacy and safety, which is typically anywhere up to three years.