Spray sunscreen is all the rage now.
But have you heard about spray sunscreen dangers?
We have a community pool in our new neighborhood. I'm no longer a sun bather (I did way too much of that in my younger years), and really don't care for chlorine, but we have been enjoying the pool quite a bit.
And I am constantly seeing all kinds of people spraying sunscreen on themselves. It seems like everyone is using it.
Well, I'm not going to even talk about unsavory ingredients like
– retinyl palmitate
– paraben preservatives, etc.
aside, just the fact that these sunscreens are being sprayed is of concern.
This is the truth. Even if you are using “safer” spray sunscreens, you could be putting your (and your children's) health at risk.
Assuming you are using “safer sunscreens”, the likely active ingredient in them is titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
Now, those ingredients aren't really “on the radar” of skin toxicity guardians.
But here's the deal. If you're spraying sunscreen, you're not just putting those ingredients on your skin–you're likely getting them in your lungs as well.
Check out the toxicity warnings about titanium dioxide and zinc oxide from EWG's Skin Deep:
First – Titanium Dioxide:
– “It appears to have low skin penetration, but inhalation is a concern.”
– Cancer: – 3 agencies cite it as having carcinogenic (causing cancer) properties when inhaled.
– Organ System Toxicity – Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful
And Zinc Oxide:
– 4 citations of respiratory toxicity concerns
– Occupational Hazard citations
– Ecotoxicology – (toxic to the environment)
Cancer. Respiratory Toxicity. Toxic to the Environment. Occupational Hazard.
One day, at our community pool, I was sitting at least 15-20 feet from a young girl who was spraying a popular brand of sunscreen on her body. I felt like I was being gassed. Now, I have always been sensitive to “fragrances”, but this was strong.
So I held my breath and turned away. I for sure didn't want that titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and other toxic stuff going into my lungs.
On the back of the bottles of spray sunscreens, these warnings are very common:
“If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Center right away.”
“Do not spray directly into face.”
“Do not apply in windy conditions.”
“Use in a well-ventilated area.”
“Avoid inhaling or exposing others to spray.”
“Keep away from face to avoid breathing it.”
Doesn't sound too good, does it?
I mean, basically, you need to hold your breath for a long time while putting this on and don't put it on around other people unless they are holding their breath too.
I'll stick with my “not as cool or as much fun” spread on sunscreen and be good with it.
In fact, it was a huge mess trying to get the photos for this post. The sunscreen got caught up in the wind over and over again so we had to hold our breath. Then it went all over my clothes and even the camera.
This stuff flies EVERYWHERE!
Safe Sunscreen Options
Of course, besides the aerosol spray aspect and possible inhalation issues, there are a lot of other things to be concerned about when buying sunscreen. I talked about other Sunscreen Do's and Don'ts in this post, and of course, you want to buy a brand that is safe — not just as far as being “non spray”, but as far as the other ingredients that they use.
I listed the brands I've tried in the Sunscreen Do's and Don'ts post, but I apologize — I really haven't tried tons. Like I said, my sunbathing days are mainly over, but I do like to get some natural vitamin D from the sun when I can. Maybe I can try some more later this summer on my boys, or next year.
I also plan to share a Homemade Sunscreen Recipe with you soon. I've made this once, but it was a little thicker feeling once it was on than I would like.
Following are sunscreens that I have personally used and liked.
Their products are super “clean” and basically you can eat almost anything in their product line since it's food grade organic.
This post on fermented foods and this one on probiotics will give you an idea why. Their products are super safe and this sunscreen rates a low “1” on EWG's Skin Deep (where I turn for a lot of my information on the safety of beauty and personal care products).
You can find it here in my Miessence Store.
I also like Beautycounter's Stick Sunscreen and Lip Sunscreen.
Their lotion performs well too.
I used this one in the past and like it fine — it was the first supposedly non-toxic brand I tried and we liked it just fine.
It has a low rating on EWG's SkinDeep but please take note of the mixed reviews on Amazon.
There are also multiple other products that they offer with SPF protection, including their BB Cream (foundation) which I love, lip balm with SPF, moisturizer, and sunscreen sticks.
I also did try Goddess Garden's SPF 30 Sport.
It's very thin which is nice if you don't like the feel of thick sunscreens. It also is a grayish color.
I don't really mind that but just so you know ahead of time — it's not the typical white sunscreen.
Do you use Spray Sunscreen?
If so, will you keep doing so after reading this?
Share with a friend to keep them healthy too.