New Study Reveals Sunscreen Enters Your Bloodstream After Just One Day—Choose These Mineral Ones Instead
A recent pilot study by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, an arm of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, confirms what many in the wellness world already suspected: Sunscreens with chemical sun-blocking ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene remain in the body for at least 24 hours after use.
And that’s not all: The study also found that it took just one day of use for these common sunscreen ingredients to enter the bloodstream at levels high enough to trigger a government safety investigation. This is coming after an FDA announcement in February 2019 that proposed new regulations on over-the-counter sunscreens to keep up with the latest scientific research on ingredient safety.
The FDA has asked the sunscreen industry to conduct further testing on the safety of sun blocking ingredients. But, because that will take an undetermined amount of time, and because you should definitely not skip applying sunscreen in the meantime, mineral sunscreens are a great alternative option (in fact, they’re a great long-term option).
Why Choose Mineral Sunscreens Instead
Mineral sunscreens protect with a physical sun shield, which means they sit on top of your skin to reflect rays away immediately. That also means you can venture out right after you apply them—there’s no waiting for them to soak in to be effective.
They’re different than chemical sunscreens (oxybenzone, avobenzone and octinoxate are a few examples), which absorb into skin and then absorb the sun’s rays, converting them to heat and releasing them from the body. That absorption is what’s now in question, as this new research seems to indicate that our bodies aren’t processing them out of our systems at normal rates, which could correlate to issues later. Mineral sun blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide aren’t absorbed into your skin, so they don’t pose the same risk.
5 Mineral Sunscreens to Try Now
Gone are the days when using a mineral sunscreen turned you into a ghost. Today’s formulas have figured out how to skip the whitecast in favor of matte and soft finishes that still contain powerful sun blockers. Here are a few we recommend going after this season.
1. Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
Non-nano zinc oxide provides the skin with a powerful shield against UV rays. It is a natural sunscreen, so it does not have any of the harmful additives associated with chemical sunscreens. It’s also a powerful tool in soothing inflamed and itchy skin.
2. Love Sun Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free
Broad-spectrum sun protection that’s safe for your skin and the planet. This 100 percent natural mineral sunscreen is free of chemicals like oxybenzone, mentioned in the recent sunscreen study as requiring further research. But don’t just save this one for beach days! The easy-to-blend SPF formula deserves a spot in your everyday routine, too.
3. Suntegrity Mineral Sunscreen Unscented SPF 30
Greasy, toxic formulas need not apply: This one uses non-nano zinc for broad spectrum, SPF 30, non-greasy protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. It glides on easily and absorbs quickly, delivering powerful super-antioxidants like green tea and pomegranate and soothing aloe and cucumber deep within the skin.
4. Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28
It’s easy to think of sunscreen as summer specific, but we should actually be wearing it all day, every day. This physical, broad-spectrum facial formula protects against both UVA rays that age skin and UVB rays that burn skin, making it the perfect addition to your skincare routine. But it also nourishes and deeply moisturizes skin to help combat damage from previous sun exposure, making it easy to remember to apply on the daily.
5. Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30
The same regenerating, protecting powers of Josh’s cult-favorite Nutrient Day Cream gets a little extra edge with this tinted version. It evens skin, masks red areas, and leaves skin glowing and protected, all while infusing skin with nutrients it needs to repair and rejuvenate.
Interested in how chemical sunscreens can harm the planet (namely, coral reefs) too? Check out why Hawaii is moving to ban them completely.