Last year, Natural Grocers made the decision to stop carrying sunscreen products that use chemical sunscreens. That’s why you’ll no longer see any products on our shelves with ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. This decision was prompted largely by the fact that many chemical-based sunscreens are known estrogen mimickers and endocrine disruptors and are absorbed through the skin and into the body.1 2 3 According to the National Institutes of Health, endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.4While the human health implications of chemical sunscreens are quite concerning, the problems don’t end there. Unfortunately, these chemicals end up in the rivers, lakes and oceans we play in. Animals and aquatic wildlife exposed to endocrine disruptors are also susceptible to ill effects similar to those faced by humans.5 What’s more, chemical-based sunscreens have been linked to the “bleaching” of coral reefs, which ultimately leads to coral death.6 7
There is a better choice. Mineral-based sunblock utilizes titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients that block both UVB and UVA rays. They are not chemicals, they do not mimic hormones and they are not endocrine disrupters. While mineral-based sunscreens are certainly not perfect,* they are the best sunscreen options currently available.8 At Natural Grocers we make it easy for you to just say “NO!” to avoid chemical-based, endocrine disrupting sunscreens, while still getting the sun protection you’re looking for. We sell ONLY mineral-based sunscreen because we think that what you put on your skin is just as important to your health as what you eat and should support the health of the planet.
To be less dependent on sunscreens in general, we can protect ourselves by wearing hats and protective clothing and avoiding the most intense mid-day sun. And don’t forget to protect yourself from the inside out by eating a skin-protective diet and by taking antioxidant supplements that protect against sunburn, such as vitamin E, Pycnogenol®, beta-carotene, lycopene, astaxanthin and lutein. For more detailed information check out our free Protect Your Skin from the Inside Out and Radiant Skin Begins Within classes at your local Natural Grocers store.
Have you taken one of our free skin health classes? Do you have a favorite mineral-based sunscreen you buy at Natural Grocers? Share your experiences and favorites here.
*The smallest of the nano-forms in particular have drawn attention lately. 8