Did you know your skin is your body’s largest organ? Crazy, right? Yet, unlike other internal organs sheltered by muscle and bone, your skin is left open to the elements like a contestant on an episode of Survivor. So, it’s no wonder why after a few hours in the sun, you start to look like one, too.
To combat the ‘I’m-stranded-on-an-island’ sunburnt look (and all of its health consequences), we humans invented sunscreen: a protective armor that keeps both our epidermis and our dermatologists happy. It’s a win-win! But, what if by lathering up on UV-resistant lotions, sticks, and sprays, we are actually leaving our skin vulnerable to other dangers? After all, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Melanoma rates have tripled over the past three decades. And that’s despite a growing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure…and a multi-billion-dollar sunscreen industry.
No doubt, sunscreen is a great invention. Essential even. But when it comes to your skin, it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying, what chemicals, minerals, vitamins, or other compounds are in it, and how they can affect your skin and overall health. Because as it turns out, most American sunscreens are not made of particularly good ingredients.
To help you make more informed decisions, we’ve broken down the toxic chemicals for you, as well as some safer alternatives.
Click through slideshow to learn more.