Cleaner Living: Toxin #3- Oxybenzone

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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.

Up Next: Toxin #4- Coal Tar

3 comments on “Cleaner Living: Toxin #3- Oxybenzone”

    1. Thank Kris- Ann! i’m glad it can be helpful… it is sometimes overwhelming to take it all in and you just want to put everyone in a bubble. Hopefully this series makes things a bit clearer and concise for folks to arm themselves with while shopping.

      I have tried the All-Terrain spray, but it only comes in a 3oz bottle, so I would love to hear how the Goddess Garden works! Can you get it only online or in stores? Also, the NoZone sunsuit is awesome for kids, especially if they will be in the hot sun of the Bahamas. It is much like wearing a rash guard shirt, but it feel lighter (my kids are sweaters, and they were perfectly comfy in them) and dries much faster! The big kid ones are 3/4 length sleeves and knee length (baby sizes are full length and a zipper crotch for easy diaper changes), so you still have to screen up a bit, but I find it much easier to reapply just those few spots (and the face of course). Less fighting about it too!

      Have fun in the Bahamas! I LOVE it there!!!!

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