5 Ingredients to Avoid in your Sunscreen

5 Ingredients to Avoid in your Sunscreen

Even though we may enjoy basking in the summer sun, it’s important to protect our skin from the harmful UV rays each and every time we spend time outdoors! Sunscreen products are intended to be applied to the body every day, for a lifetime.

Have you ever stopped to think about the ingredients in your sunscreen? I mean, SPF (sun protection factor) is meant to protect you, right? Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are made equal. Some are great at protecting you from cancer and sunburn, but have downsides like hormone disruption and aquatic poisoning.

Continue reading to learn more about 5 ingredients to avoid in your SPF products:


Oxybenzone has been linked to allergic reactions, low testosterone levels in male children, high birth weight in male babies, and low birth weight in female babies. Female exposure has also been linked to an increased risk of endometriosis. This ingredient is also linked to aquatic poisoning; specifically, it can be damaging to coral reefs. It is actually banned in Hawaii because of the harm it causes to the environment.


Octinoxate is also banned in Hawaii because of its environmental impact. Surprising fact: This ingredient is absorbed through the skin more effectively than is considered safe. Most people don’t realize octinoxate enters the bloodstream 16 times more than the proposed FDA safety threshold. It also can cause hormone disruption and thyroid problems.


Avobenzone can cause high rates of skin irritation. This common ingredient is also not sun-stable, meaning it breaks down in the sun. In most cases, it has to be stabilized with other harmful ingredients like octisalate.


While there is not enough information on homosalate right now to determine if it is safe or not, there have been studies on the recommended concentrations to include in products. Those studies suggested a maximum concentration of 1.4%, while the FDA currently allows up to 15%.


Octisalate has similar problems to oxybenzone because the skin absorbs it at a higher rate than is considered safe. As a result, it enters the bloodstream at 10 times the recommended rate by the FDA. There have also been studies that linked octisalate to allergic contact dermatitis. Ouch!


What ingredients should I look for? 

Sunscreens made with non-nano Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide are considered safe for topical use in the U.S.

Here at Botanic Affair, we only carry sustainable SPF products that are formulated with non-nano Zinc Oxide, which protects you against both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. By making the ingredients non-nano, the particles are larger making it difficult to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. Why is this important? It is safer for your body!


Discover our best seller sunscreen 

Reef-safe Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36 by Zoca 

This sunscreen can be rubbed into skin easily. The base ingredients soothe and nourish while Non-Nano Zinc Oxide safely blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays. This lotion has a mild natural scent of chamomile, calendula, and lavender.

Active Ingredient: Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, 22.5%.


Comments (1)

  • Ola on Jul 22, 2021

    Love it! Thank you for sharing, this is super useful information!

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