We’ve already talked about how you can’t go past sunscreen to protect the health and appearance of your skin. But what if your SPF is doing more harm than good? So many sunscreens you buy off the shelf are key offenders in causing issues like breakouts, clogged pores, irritation and inflammation.
The secret is, not all sunscreens are the same. There are two types: physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens, both of which use different ingredients. To read more about the difference between the two, check out this blog post which explains it all.
I advise my clients to look for physical sunscreen formulations, because they are gentler on the skin and use zinc oxide instead of chemicals to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Currently using chemical sunscreens?
Very few people realise what’s good and bad when it comes to sunscreen formulations. If you notice any itchiness, redness, soreness or breakouts after applying chemical sunscreen, have a look at your product’s ingredients.
Here are the ingredients that shouldn’t make an appearance in your sunscreen:
- Salicylates: Typically used as a preservative in sunscreens, salicylates are definitely an ingredient to blacklist. Salicylates along with octyl salicylates are known to increase the skin’s photoallergic reaction (delayed hypersensitivity to light).
- Cinnamates: Another commonly used UVB protector, many companies use cinnamate in sunscreens to penetrate the skin. However, it can cause irritation and contact allergies, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Octocrylene: These are chemically related to cinnamates. Octocrylene is absorbed into the epidermal layer, which can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis.
- Oxybenzone: Oxybenzone is a chemical sunscreen agent that gets absorbed by your skin upon application. The issue with this chemical is that the substance penetrates the skin quickly and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Once inside your body, it can mimic the hormone estrogen, which can lead to reproductive issues and thyroid problems over time.