Oxybenzone is another sunscreen culprit. According to Wikipedia oxybenzone is an organic compound that has been shown to penetrate into the skin where it acts as a photosensitizer. This results in an increased production of free radicals under illumination, possibly making this substance a photocarcinogen. It is a derivative of benzophenone, which can attack DNA when illuminated. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has found moderate evidence of it being an endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics human hormones, specifically in this case estrogen, which has been known to promote cancer. Oxybenzone is found in nearly 950 products on the EWG Skin Deep Database, and in the urine of 95 per cent of six-to-eight-year-old girls tested (in 2007), as well as in waterways, soil and air.
What to do:
- Wear sunscreen, but find one without Oxybenzone or Toxin #2, retinyl palmitate.
- Look for products whose active ingredients are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They’re stable in the sun and provide good UVA and UVB protection.
- Another good tip for you and your kids is to wear sun protective clothing at the beach or when you will be exposed to lots of sun. I have personally used this sunsuit by NoZone for my kids and find it to be perfect for the beach.