1. They can irritate the skin. Some chemical filters are known to cause contact dermatitis in certain people, resulting in red rashes, itchy skin, blisters and red bumps.
2. They can penetrate your skin and circulate in your body. Studies have shown that many chemical filters can penetrate the skin to some degree. Once they do, they can enter your blood stream. So it's not surprising that chemical sunscreens have been found in human blood, urine and breast milk. A US study detected oxybenzone in over 96 per cent of the more than 2,500 children and adults tested.
3. Some chemical sunscreens are suspected hormone disruptors. Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical sunscreens may mimic human hormones. Hormone disruptors can cause birth defects, abnormal development of growing children and can contribute to the development of cancer. Preliminary studies suggest a link between high concentrations of oxybenzone in the body and an increase risk of endometriosis and lower birth weight in girls.
4. It's bad for the environment. Common chemical sunscreens were shown to kill or bleach coral even at low concentrations.
5. Many chemical sunscreens also contain other unwanted chemicals. Not only may they contain over 20 per cent chemical filters, they may also contain artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives and synthetic polymers. Other common chemicals found in sunscreens that you may want to avoid include acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer, butane, diethylhexyl 2, 6 naphthalate, dimethicone, methylparaben, PEGs, phenoxyethanol and triethanolamine.
“Make sure you do your homework and read the label of any product claiming to be 100 per cent natural.”