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Sunscreen should be an important part of your daily face regimen, no matter what the season. That's why when you're in the market for sunscreen, it's important to choose a safe one. Here are some ways to do just that.


Oxybenzone effectively protects against UV rays and UVB radiation by absorbing the energy and then dispersing it as heat. Although it is effective in protecting your skin, here some things to think about before grabbing a sunscreen with this synthetic ingredient. Not only has oxybenzone been known to cause eczema-like reactions that can last for extended time periods, but a study from the CDC also states that the chemical absorbs deeper into the skin, causing it to stay in your system for an unknown period. Though there are no studies showing negative health concerns, it certainly doesn't sit well when a chemical is being absorbed into your system without knowing the effects. There has also been some evidence that oxybenzone can affect hormones in animal cells. This does not always mean it to be true for humans because the concentration is much higher in lab studies, but playing it safe is never a bad idea. 

Octinoxate has been known to cause hormone disruption. The chemical's effects on estrogen can be harmful for humans and wildlife. Especially when they come in contact with the chemical in water. 

Retinal palmitate, a combination of retinol (vitamin A) and palmitic acid, can actually be very harmful when exposed to UV rays. In the sun, retinol compounds break down and make damaging free radicals that are toxic to cells, harm DNA, and can lead to cancer. FDA studies have also shown that retinyl palmitate may accelerate the formation of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure. No sunscreen should contain any retinol product of any kind.

So How Do You Choose a Safer Sunscreen?

• Use a physical sunscreen that uses non-nanoparticle sized zinc and titanium-based mineral ingredients. These block the sun's rays instead of absorbing the energy and changing chemical structure. They are also less likely to absorb into your skin. When applying physical sunscreens, it's best to use a well formulated, high quality SPF sunblock that does not leave a white sheen or residue that can clog pores. 

Avoid spray sunscreens. Although they are popular because of their convenience, when sprayed, toxic particles are released into the air, making them easily accessible for one to breathe in with unknown health risks. Spray-on sunscreens could also contain flammable ingredients causing serious burns from coming too close to an open flame.

• Make sure your sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that SPF is a term that only applies to how well a sunscreen protects against UVB rays, which relates to sunburn and skin cancer. UVA leads to skin darkening and aging because it absorbs deeper into the skin and compromises collagen. This is why you always want to make sure any sunscreen you buy protects against UVA as well as UVB.

At Marko & Lane, we can do the work for you and recommend the right sunscreen for your skin! Go to and try our FREE virtual consultation today!

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