We don't really need to elaborate on the harmful effects of UV rays on your skin. It is never a good idea to head outside without wearing sunscreen. There are so many benefits of sunscreen that should give you enough reasons to realize their importance. Sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancer, protects you from sunburn and heat exhaustion, and prevents aging signs. It is also vital for maintaining an even skin tone.
But are all the sunscreens the same? No! It is crucial to pay heed to the ingredients in sunscreen and ensure that it doesn't contain something that does more harm than good. What are the sunscreen ingredients to avoid?
The sunscreen you use shouldn't contain hormone disruptors. Sunscreens with retinoids or chemicals should be avoided as well. Anything that increases the risk of developing acne shouldn't be present in your sunscreen. It is also best to stay away from sprays.
Why are these sunscreen ingredients bad for you? What harm can they cause? It's human nature that unless we know the full extent of damage that something can cause, we don't actively take measures to avoid it. So let's find out more about the sunscreen ingredients to avoid and their reasons.
All The Sunscreen Ingredients Bad For You Explained
First things first, before you buy any sunscreen, make sure that you know your skin type. Every skin type has its own requirements. The best sunscreen for men's oily skin wouldn't work for those with dry skin and vice versa. So ensure that you buy a sunscreen that's suited to your skin type. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the sunscreen ingredients to avoid altogether.
Isn't it ironic that sunscreens which are formulated for your benefit can also be toxic? But such is the case with some of the options out there.
What Are Hormone Disruptors?
Ingredients like octinoxate, oxybenzone, and avobenzone should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, they are commonly used in sunscreens despite their toxicity concerns. The issue with these ingredients is that they absorb into the bloodstream via the skin. And the amount is high enough to pose problems.
These chemicals cause hormonal imbalance and lead to altered sperm function in men. Therefore, make sure that you read the label carefully and get yourself a sunscreen that contains minerals and is completely devoid of such chemicals.
It isn't uncommon for retinoids to be used in skincare products. After all, this form of Vitamin A is known for its ability to slow the signs of aging. However, studies state that retinoid, when exposed to the sun, can become carcinogenic and increase the risk of skin tumors and lesions. Sounds like a heavy price to pay for staying young.
So here's what you need to do. Ensure that your sunscreen doesn't contain retinoids. It will thin your skin, thereby increasing sun penetration and doing quite a bit of damage.
Interestingly, FDA hasn't approved spray sunscreens, and for a good reason. Spraying sunscreen on your face increases the risk of inhaling it. Furthermore, the spray-ons are flammable, putting you even more at risk. Yes, they seem convenient, but you have to ensure that you rub them in your hands properly after application to minimize the danger.
Sunscreen Ingredients That Cause Acne
We have now discussed the sunscreen ingredients to avoid for all. However, let's narrow it down and discuss a bit about the sunscreen ingredients that cause acne. If you already suffer from breakout issues, you will naturally want to avoid these ingredients.
The more important thing to avoid if you want to evade breakouts is anything that clogs up your skin pores. Acne occurs as a result of accumulation of dead skin cells and sebum in the pores that give rise to bacteria growth. So anything that aggravates this congestion should be avoided completely.
Silicones And Mineral Oils
Mineral oils and silicone are commonly used in quite a lot of mainstream sunscreens. However, you need to understand that these ingredients wrap up your skin. Sweat can't escape through the pores and is trapped on the surface of your skin. The result? Irritation, inflammation, and of course, acne!
Beeswax And Plant Wax
These sunscreen ingredients aren’t exactly bad for you if you don't struggle with acne. However, it is best not to apply facial sunscreen with these ingredients as they will make your clogged pores more vulnerable.
Heavy Comedogenic Oils And Butter
Yes, these ingredients aren't toxic. But they can be problematic for acne-prone skin as they clog pores, leading to breakouts. So if you want sunscreen suited to your skin, look for something light and non-greasy.
Also Read: Daily Skin Care Routine At Home
Sunscreen Ingredients To Avoid For Sensitive Skin
Selecting skincare products for sensitive skin can be quite a challenge, and sunscreens are no exception. If you have sensitive skin, you should get all the information about the sunscreen ingredients that are bad for you. After all, you wouldn't want to make matters worse for your skin, would you?
This goes without saying, one of the most pivotal sunscreen ingredients for you to avoid are the chemicals. Most brands specify if the formula is non-chemical. Two chemical filters that you should steer clear of include oxybenzone and octinoxate. Apart from these, it's a good idea to go for a sunscreen that doesn't contain any of the following ingredients.
- PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) that can be listed glyceryl aminobenzoate, Amino benzoic acid, Amyl dimethyl PABA and Ethyl-4-bis amino benzoate on the label
- Salicylates wherein you have to look for listings of Octyl salicylate, Homosalate, and Triethanolamine salicylate
It is best to keep things as natural as possible if you have sensitive skin. So you must avoid sunscreens that contain perfume as your skin wouldn't be able to bear the brunt.
Sunscreens with perfume increase the chances of attack by the UV rays, which of course, isn't something you would want.
The problem with mineral oils is that they block your skin pores. Therefore, they are quite detrimental to people who already have skin-related issues like eczema and psoriasis.
This is a well-known skin irritant that can cause reactions and aggravate your skin conditions significantly. If you have sensitive skin prone to reactions, do a little patch test before applying the sunscreen to ensure that the ingredient doesn’t harm your skin. Or you can simply avoid it altogether and minimize the risk.
Sunscreen Ingredient To Avoid For Oily Skin
Oily skin needs special care. Want to know what's the best sunscreen for men’s oily skin? It's one that does not contain Homosalate. That's right. If you have oily skin, this is one sunscreen ingredient to avoid. There is a good enough reason for this. Homosalate is a weak UV filter. It is often used at high concentrations and is thick and oily in itself. So naturally, when you apply it on oily skin, the results are disastrous.
How To Select The Best Sunscreen?
Now you know quite a lot about the sunscreen ingredients to avoid. But what is it that you should look for? How do you determine which sunscreen will work best for you? Here are some of the factors that can help.
Pay Heed To SPF
SPF or the sun protection factor gives you an idea about the amount of UV light the sunscreen can filter out. It is advisable to use sunscreen with at least 15 SPF for adequate protection. A lot of dermatologists state that an SPF of at least 30 is desirable.
It will work in your favor if you go for sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage. This will increase the level of protection for the skin and also prevent harmful radiations from endangering you.
However, avoid anything with over 50 SPF as they are expensive and don't really offer much extra protection.
Read The Label Carefully
Make sure that you read all about the sunscreen before applying it to your face. A lot of times, sunscreens specify which skin type they are suited to. Pay exquisite attention to the active ingredients to ensure that you don't end up buying something that would harm your skin.
People don't realize that their sunscreen is being washed away by sweat. There's a reason that it's advised to apply sunscreen every two hours. Sunscreens with a water resistance feature give you a bit more coverage and will keep your skin protected for longer.
Stepping outside without sunscreen is never a good choice. However, applying the wrong one is equally harmful. Therefore, make sure that you know the sunscreen ingredients bad for you. After all, this is your skin at stake, and you wouldn't want to take any chances. It might seem like a lot of work, but the results will be worth it. Selecting the right sunscreen can do wonders for your skin health. So make sure that you take it seriously and never forget about the sunscreen ingredients to avoid.