7-worst-ingredients-in-sunscreens to aviod

    Using a certain skincare product you invest your money in can sometimes leave you with opposing consequences, and as a result, the product does not meet your expectations. You see, the setback is not with your product, it’s your lack of proper research before buying the product. You must make sure to read the labels on the packaging just to see if the ingredients meet your skin needs or not.

    Just like that there are certain ingredients that you should steer clear of in sunscreen to pass up any skin issues that could get worse when you are not choosing the right ingredients in your sunscreens. Picking the worst ingredients in sunscreen can leave you with irritated skin. Even so, the issue doesn’t show up in the short run, it can be seen in the long run. 

    With that being said, below we have listed some worst ingredients to go for in your sunscreens but before that let’s understand the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen.


    Chemical sunscreens are an organic-based compound that converts the UV rays into heat by absorbing UVA and UVB rays into the skin and as a result, heat is then released. It is light weighted with thinner consistency which means it can be easily spread on the skin. Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, and Octocrylene are some of its common active ingredients which The Environmental Working Group identified as toxic ingredients, as well as harmful to coral reefs and humans. Additionally, chemical sunscreen requires 20 minutes to work well.

    Whereas, mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreen which acts as a barrier for your skin that prevents the UV rays from entering into your body. Due to having thicker consistency, mineral sunscreen sometimes can be harder to rub evenly on your skin. Unlike chemical sunscreen, it can work immediately following the application. The most common active ingredient found in chemical sunscreen is zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. 



    The number one ingredient on our list to avoid is oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, this ingredient can be found in your broad-spectrum sunscreens. One of the most common reasons to use oxybenzone in sunscreen is that it helps protect against two mainly widespread UV rays; UVA which protects against sunburn and UVB protects us against skin cancer. 

    On the other hand, a study has been conducted by Haereticus Environmental lab, that explained that this ingredient plays a significant role in the destruction of coral reefs. Moreover this ingredient is widely used in sunscreen in the U.S market and it covers 6 percent of the total product.

    It is the major cause of your endocrine disruption as this ingredient imitates estrogen which leads to forming cancerous tumors and birth defects. Researchers have found small traces of it in human blood and breast milk. Additionally, oxybenzone can be hazardous if comes in contact with your eyes.


    Octinoxate is a chemical ingredient that helps filter UVB rays to protect our skin from sunburn and skin aging problems. It is usually labeled on the packaging as OMC, methoxy-cinnamate, or Ethylhexyl methoxy-cinnamate. Although it has been approved in some parts of the U.S states, Europe, Japan, Australia but the FDA has restricted its strength to 7.5 percent of octinoxate concentration. People with sensitive skin are more prone to undergo skin-related allergies such as acne and contact dermatitis. Like oxybenzone, this ingredient is banned from use as it causes environmental harm in coral reefs. Researchers have found some traces of this ingredient in urine, blood, and breast milk besides it can cause developmental and reproductive toxicity such as it decreases the sperms count in males. 


    Avobenzone is frequently used as a substitute for oxybenzone that contains the same amount of risk as oxybenzone. This ingredient takes 30 minutes to destabilize (protecting against UVA rays) in the heat, thereby, it is repeatedly asserted with other harmful chemicals such as octocrylene, homosalate, or octisalate to make it work longer. Furthermore, FDA has constrained its concentration to 3 percent in the U.S. 

    Avobenzone degrades when exposed to the sun causing free radicals which lead to early signs of aging. It can also aggravate existing acne, rosacea, and redness. 


    Retinyl palmitate, also known as vitamin A palmitate is used by skincare manufacturers as a cosmetic ingredient. It contains palmitic acid and retinol (vitamin A). Although retinol has numerous skin benefits however when exposed to UV lights, its compounds break down which causes the formation of free radicals in your skin. People with sensitive skin are on the verge of increased skin sensitivity, itching, burning, and sometimes peeling. 


    Homosalate is an organic compound that befits the class of chemicals known as salicylates (derived from salicylates acid). It can soak up UV rays specifically short-wave UVB rays. Homosalate impacts the way our hormones function in our body which is why it is linked to causing hormone and endocrine disruption. It increases your estrogen level which causes breast cancer cells to develop and reproduce. Homosalate can be found with Homosalate, Homomenthyl salicylate, HMS, HS; 3,3,5-trimethyl-cyclohexyl-salicylate on the packaging. 



    Zinc oxide is an anti-irritant that helps soothe your skin. It provides broad-spectrum protection from ultraviolet rays. As well as preventing your skin from sun damage and dark spots. Due to its non-comedogenic properties, it will not clog your pores and is oil-free. Moreover, it contains antimicrobial properties which heal your wounds. It’s entirely photostable and water-resistant. To put it another way, it won’t break down when exposed to the sun and it’ll hold up through sweat and swimming for longer,” says Dr. Ashley Magovern. It will also protect you from longer UVA rays that cause skin cancer and signs of aging. Zinc oxide is an ultimate ingredient for people with sensitive skin since it is considered non-irritating, non-allergenic, and is less likely to cause acne breakouts.


    Titanium is commonly used in sunscreen and other cosmetic products to whiten and thicken, and as a lubricant, at the same time protecting against the sun. It is ideal for people with darker skin as it will not leave a dense layer. Just Like zinc oxide due to having non-comedogenic properties titanium dioxide is gentle on the sensitive prone skin. On the side back, It does not protect from long UVA rays however it does protect your skin from short UVA and UVB rays by blocking them. 


    According to EWG mineral sunscreens are safer to use than chemical sunscreen as the ingredients used in them are mineral-based. We would recommend you to choose both if your skin is well-matched with both the formulas since It is significant to have that internal and external shield equally. Keep away from the worst ingredients mentioned above if you have sensitive skin as these ingredients will likely to cause further irritation on your skin.


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