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5 Ingredients In Sunscreens That You Should Stay Far Away From

5 Ingredients In Sunscreens That You Should Stay Far Away From

It’s pretty much a canon at this point that wearing sunscreen- summer or winter, rain or shine – is the best skincare tip out there. Do you think Alia Bhatt maintains her glowin’ skin just by drinking hot water with lemon every morning? No. Guarantee she’s diligent about sunblock.

Things like dark spots, sun damage, sunburns, and skin cancer are no joke. You want to do as much as you can to protect yourself, whether you’re spending the whole day by the beach or pool or just going about your everyday errands. You might be thinking – yeah, yeah, I know all of those things, and I wear sunscreen ALL THE TIME. Well, first things first, that’s an excellent start and habit. But second, have you thought about what’s in your sunscreen? Not all sunscreens are created equal, and there might be some pretty scary ingredients lurking in your tube of SPF. We did some digging to find the ingredients you should watch out for in your sunscreen, and the ones to look for!

The Ingredients To Avoid In A Sunscreen And The Ones To Look For!



The ingredient was banned in Hawaii because it has been shown to cause harm to coral reefs. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for something to be slathered all over your body. Aside from that, it’s a form of synthetic estrogen and can cause a disruption in your hormones. The Environmental Working Group considers oxybenzone to be the most troubling sunscreen ingredient. 


Like the oxybenzone, octinoxate is also banned in Hawaii as they are the main culprit and potentially harmful to aquatic life. It’s been shown to cause skin allergies, and in animal studies, it had effects, on the reproductive system and thyroid.

Retinyl Palmitate

This is a form of vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant. We’re normally fans of these things in our routine – eating vitamin-A-loaded foods has been shown to work wonders on our skin. But when retinyl palmitate meets your skin meets the sun, that’s when the problem arises. Animal studies have shown that, when exposed to the sun, it is potentially cancerous and forms free radicals, which is quite literally the opposite reason you want antioxidants. 


While this skin ingredient hasn’t been found to cause hormone disruption like the rest of the ingredients, according to the EWG, it causes high rates of irritation. And it’s also considered to be not sun-stable, which means it has to be mixed with other ingredients such as octisalate in order to be used in sunscreens.


As we become savvier about reading the labels on our beauty products, more and more of us are turning to skincare products to check that it’s actually good for the skin. While octinoxate has been bundled into the beauty ingredients blacklist, there’s another harmful additive that might be lurking in your sunscreen tube. The chemical in question is parabens. Parabens can increase the cellular damage caused by UV exposure, which may lead to skin cancer. It can also trigger skin allergies and sensitivity.

Which Sunscreen Ingredients To Look For & Which Ones To Avoid?

Look for sunscreens that have built-in vitamin C, because vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent signs of ageing. Alternatively, applying a vitamin c serum before slathering on your sunscreen will do the trick. There are no particular ingredients that one must look out for but there are newer formulations that have built-in antioxidants like vitamin C. These are much more efficacious because they reduce tanning, pigmentation, and dull skin.

PSA: Sunscreen is essential, guys!

Featured Image: Pexels

19 May 2022

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