Skin Cancer Awareness

Sunscreen Chemical Buildup In Your Body

Have you heard about Sunscreen Buildup In Your Body? Does this cause concern for you as an individual?

sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun


Is sunscreen chemical buildup in your body reason enough to consider wearing sunblocking clothing instead? 

What do you know about the chemical buildup that can happen in your body with continued sunscreen use? You haven’t paid attention?

Me either!  Sure, I did hear the rumors, but I want to know for sure.

With my family and our issues with skin cancer, I have really been serious about using sunscreen products. 

We are using more sunscreen. And doing so with the innocence of youth and an ever-present feeling of the government standards being good enough! 

Is it wise put my personal safety in the hands of the government to protect me? We do put too much faith in what the government can regulate as safe. It is not like a war, where we have little choice but to rely on the government. There is information that sunscreen has some side effects.

Or is the FDA always up to date on product safety?

Yet, it is the best we have. One is about as responsible as the other of these two sources for my thinking about sunscreen products!  We can think for ourselves, and for now take some of the responsibility for our own safety.

The sunscreen business is a two billion dollar a year business!  Who can stand up to that kind of money?  Do you think someone in the control department is going to sound the alarm? 

Call me and let me know?  There are products in sunscreen that build up in your system.  They can cause hormone problems as well as problems conceiving once you are ready to have your family.  There have been birth problems when sunscreen users have new babies.

No, I didn’t get the notice either.

Cancer-causing Chemicals Used In Sunscreens

Ok, there is the problem of cancer-causing chemicals used in sunscreen.  According to (Environmental Working Group), there have been recent studies into the chemical build-up question. Results are available.

Test results found the ingredients used in sunscreen showing up on the test subjects’ skin, as well as in urine and nursing females’ milk samples.  This was after only one use and was often still there 3 weeks later.  Not only affecting you but your child if you are breastfeeding.

When using the sunscreen as recommended, means that usually you apply it before you get out into the sun, again in 2 hours.  Always after getting in the water as no sunscreen will be effective after being in the water, or after you have sweated profusely.  Remember the 2-hour time limit so you will be protected. Sunscreen and FDA

If there is build-up in your body after the 1st use, and it hasn’t disappeared in 3 weeks?  What about after a day of applying and reapplying? A weekend?   

Manufacturers argue that the amounts of chemicals all meet FDA guidelines.  They probably do.  For a one-time application, but who wants cancer-causing chemicals in their body at all?

A Bit More Information About Chemicals

The active ingredients to make sunscreen protect your skin are chemicals or minerals. They each protect your skin from the sun in different ways.  The product makers are just trying to get a product that will work and work well.

They each use a different mechanism when protecting our skin and keeping the ingredients stable so they will work when exposed to sunlight.

Most brands of common sunscreens have chemical filters. Typically they will include a combination of products. 

Usually, there will be anywhere from two to five and sometimes six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate, and avobenzone.

I chose avobenzone, just one of these products, and checked Wikipedia-check here for dangers of this chemical      Read all the way down to where you get the warnings.

It is an interesting fact check of why this product that we never heard of is in the sunscreens.  However, the lack of stability calls for other chemicals. You know the story,  The makers are trying to keep the sunscreen stable.  They are not really concerned about a little leftover exposure that remains when you apply the product.

As so many of the formulas for sunscreens were grandfathered in there has been little control for these products.  However, the companies that make and sell sunscreens know there are guidelines to pay attention to. 

There are just so many of these companies that often following the guideline can get overlooked.  The fact remains, that the formulas may be within the FDA guidelines, but are still not safe for you.

Mineral Sunscreen Formula.

The mineral sunscreens will use either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. A handful of formulas combine these minerals, and zinc oxide with chemical filters.

I know, enough already with all this chemical jargon, but hang on a bit longer.  It is important that we understand so we can read the labels.   We all need help to protect our skin from the sun and prevent developing skin cancer that we can get.

The minerals-based sunscreens are the ones that give us the kind of coverage that rubs on and blocks the sun.  The fewer ingredients used to help make the minerals easier to apply to your skin, the better.  Read your labels.

Don’t put all your faith in the government to protect you.

Don’t put any faith at all in the claims that are debunking the danger of chemical buildup in your body from sunscreens. 

Where were the claims about sunscreens really being safe coming from that I found? 

They were claims made by companies who manufacture, market, and sell sunscreens. There was also one on but was not backed up with solid testing information I could find.

I understand that it is ridiculous for us to expect the FDA to clear products and formulas as fast as the manufacturers can create new ones. The motives are different.

Your Choices

Your choices boil down to two kinds of sunscreen: Mineral and Chemical.

Mineral formulas have products that coat your skin.  They may leave a white residue.  This helps reflect the sun’s harmful rays.

Chemical formulas have to use a combination of chemicals to try and reflect the harmful rays. Some chemical formulas will also have minerals as well. To do the job, they must absorb the sunscreen into the inner layers of your skin. That is just the way the product is designed to work.

So, yes it is confusing!

This helps make choosing sunblocking clothing a wise choice.  So a hat is a good starting place for sunblocking clothing. 

A basic sun blocking wardrobe starts with a hat! The sun hits your head first. That is where most of us get our first skin cancers.

Your hat needs to have at least a 3-inch wide brim and be made of very tightly woven fabric. This fabric can be straw, felt, fabric, and combinations of the above. Hold it up to the sun. Do you see light in the pinholes where the fibers are woven together?

If you can see the sun, it will be able to see you. This hat is better than no hat at this point. Wearing on that lets a little sun in is better than being bare-headed. However, search for one that does not allow any light through. Make sure the hat works as well for you as it can.

Sun Blocking Wardrobe Basics

It may be prohibitive to get everything you need to protect your skin in one swoop.  Sharing items within the family may help you get started in protecting your skin.

Besides the sun blocking hat, you will need a good pair of sunglasses. A wrap-around style that fits close to your face, or an oversized lens will give better protection. So your hat is #1, sunglasses is #2.

Next, you should consider a tightly woven loose-fitting long sleeve shirt. This will allow you to protect the trunk of your body from the harsh rays of the sun. It won’t sweat off. But it won’t protect you unless it is on your body! A loose fit allows air in near your body and will be cooler to wear. Let you dry when you sweat.

So a sun blocking shirt is #3. It isn’t that difficult! Now put sunscreen on all parts of your body that are not covered! Your hands, legs, feet.

If you put on sunscreen and have your sunblock clothing, you can protect your skin from so much sun damage during your next little league baseball game, or maybe some time at the beach.

Think about how you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors and stay safe from the sun.  Remember, some of the rays will reach the skin if you are exposed.  Cover up as much as possible.

Learn How To Protect Your Skin when using a tanning nasal mist.
Sami’s Take On Sunscreen Chemical Buildup In Your Body

As more information becomes available, we can make better decisions about what we want to put on our bodies, as well as our children’s bodies. There has been little accountability demanded by us, the users.

Review what you may read with a grain of salt. Check to see where the information is coming from before you discontinue using sunscreen. Some protection is better than none for you and your family.

Besides the basics of a sun blocking wardrobe with sunscreen to protect what the sun can get to, consider:

  • Lifestyle changes that have you outside before 10 AM and after 4 PM
  • Searching for shade: trees, awnings, umbrellas, ect
Disclaimer was one of my resources for this information.  There is so much information online.  I know you don’t want to read all the information that we now have to learn about skin cancers.

I didn’t either, but as member after member of my family has dealt with this result from too many hours in the sun, I decided to take the plunge.  There have been many months of research and study.  We have been visiting with my Dermatologist and other members of our clan, comparing what we have learned.  We have found that each Dermatologist has his or her own ideas about how we can help ourselves.

Hopefully, this information will help you protect yourself.  As I am sharing with my own family what I am finding out, I want the best of the best advice.  Maybe there will be something here you can use to make you and your family safer.

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