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You Asked: Sunscreen Without Oxybenzone

Hi Fit,
My grandmother spent much of Memorial weekend warning me about hidden health dangers, while ironically serving me cookie after cookie. Gram's main rant was against sunscreen containing oxybenzone. She said it was unsafe, but couldn't remember why. Can you tell me why I should avoid it and recommend sweatproof waterproof sunscreen that doesn't contain oxybenzone, and preferably won't clog my pores since I'm still somewhat prone to acne? Of course I would prefer a sunscreen that doesn't break the bank either. Thanks!
— Fair-Skinned Fun in the Sun

I bet your gram makes tasty cookies, and regarding sunscreen, she might be on to something. Learn about oxybenzone when you


First off, oxybenzone is an organic chemical used in sunscreens to filter UV rays and is a penetration enhancer, helping other chemicals penetrate the skin. Last Spring the CDC released a study that 97 percent of Americans had oxybenzone in their blood. This widely used ingredient has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. Aside from sunscreen, this chemical is used in moisturizers, lip balms, and lip sticks.

Since oxybenzone in an ingredients in well over 600 sunscreens, it can be a challenge to find ones that don't contain it. Here are a few options:

  • Natural Sun SPF 25 Sunscreen for Active Lifestyles by Aubrey Organics ($8.50/4 oz.): It is a broad spectrum sunscreen and although the label doesn't say it is water- or sweatproof, it is the brand's sunscreen for water activities.
  • Oat Protein Sunscreen SPF 30 by Kiss My Face ($13/4 oz.): Water-resistant and broad spectrum, this sunscreen uses the mineral titanium dioxide to block the sun's rays.
  • SPF 30 Sunscreen by Vanicream ($15/4 oz): This sunscreen is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't block your pores or cause blackheads. It is a broad spectrum sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

It pays to read sunscreen labels and look for ones that use minerals to block the sun's rays, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It can be difficult to find a sunscreen that is both non-comedogenic and waterproof. It might be well worth your money to invest in a sunscreen for just your face that covers both the requirements, and use a less expensive sunblock for the rest of your body. Double up and wear a protective hat that still allows your head to breath and wicks away the seat when you're outside and active.


Join The Conversation
TinaDenali TinaDenali 8 years
Here's the list I mentioned:
TinaDenali TinaDenali 8 years
This is great information, however even the three Sunscreens listed here that do not contain oxybenzones have some really odd sounding ingredients, too. Here's a great list of natural sunscreens that don't contain things like Titanium and Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate or Ethylhexyl Salicylate - all of which sound like very unnatural things to me. I could be wrong! But I'd rather stick with Zinc, aloe, jojoba oil and coconut oil, beeswax, and chamomile. What do you guys think? Maybe you know more about the Titanium and Ethyls I listed?
notinthemood notinthemood 8 years
I wish I knew more about that, too! I've been trying to use all-natural products more often, even though they cost a lot more than mass-produced things. Although it's usually hard to justify spending so much on soap/lotion, I think more info would help!
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
The two anonymous posters make a good point. Ozybenzone is in tons of things, so a more specific article about the dangers would be great. I remember reading an article about sunscreens containing free radicals that might do more damage than a low SPF will protect you from, but I didn't really put much stock in it.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Great post...I always stay on top of my SPF smarts, but here I learned something I didn't know from Fit, as well as the writer and her grandmother. Thank you all!
michlny michlny 8 years
This is a great and very informative post - THANK YOU! Your grandmother is a very wise woman! (she didn't pay me to say that... :))
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