May 02, 2018

What’s In Your Sunscreen?

While most of us might remember to put on sunscreen before we go out in the sun, we don’t necessarily think about what we’re putting on our skin. Many of the common sunscreens on the market protect you from getting burned. But, they are loaded with harsh active chemicals that are toxic to the environment and our bodies, and are even more harmful when mixed with chlorine.

Yes, that’s right, the combination of chlorine and active chemical ingredients like Avobenzone and Oxybenzone, which are found in many sunscreens, can cause problems to your health.  Some scary facts: In a recent study published in Chemosphere, this combination of chemicals can potentially result in kidney and liver dysfunction and nervous system disorders. Also: the sunscreen’s capability to protect breaks down, losing its strength within just 30 minutes. For women, these chemicals are alsohormone disruptors that impact how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance.


Not only are they harmful to you and family, these chemical sunscreens are also a large contributor to killing our precious coral reefs which provide oxygen to our planet.

What’s the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens have harsh chemicals like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Octocrylene and Avobenzone. They work by being absorbed into the skin and the bloodstream, absorbing the UV rays, and creating a chemical reaction. In essence they change the UV rays into heat and then release the heat from the skin. These sunscreens also typically run into your eyes and sting while you are in the water or sweating in the hot sun. Ouch!


Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Little if any zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Instead, they sit on top of the skin, acting as a physical blocker that deflects and scatters the UV rays away from the skin. Which is why we put sunscreen on in the first place.

Beware! Many sunscreen manufacturers combine BOTH chemical and mineral ingredients in their products. Read labels carefully.

What do Dermatologists say? Mineral sunscreens are better than chemical sunscreens for 3 reasons:

1: Mineral Sunscreens Just Work Better!

To be effective against preventing cancer and aging  (not just sunburn!)  a sunscreen must be “broad spectrum”, meaning that it blocks both  UVB (=Burning)  ANDUVA  (=Aging) rays.  Chemical Sunscreens don’t do this well.  The only ingredient in chemical sunscreens that blocks all UVA rays is Avobenzone, and Avobenzone is unstable in sunlight, and causes skin allergies. Mineral sunscreens (like TropicSport sunscreen) contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, both of which are stable and block all UVA and UVB rays, without any known side effects.

Also,Oxybenzone loses its effectiveness when exposed to chlorine - not what you want when you and your kids are in the pool this summer! Mineral sunscreen’s effectiveness is not affected by chlorine.

2: Mineral Sunscreens Don’t Have the Side Effects of Chemical Sunscreens

Most chemical sunscreens contain Oxybenzone. Oxybenzone acts like estrogen, alters sperm production and viability, is associated with endometriosis, breast cancer and cell damage, low birth weight in baby girls, and causes a high rate of skin allergies. Oxybenzone is just the most notorious: the other chemical sunscreen ingredients aren’t much better. All either cause hormone disruption, skin allergies, or both.

Don’t be Fooled! Just because a sunscreen says

“Oxybenzone Free”  it doesn’t mean it’s  free of hazardous chemicals!

A full list of chemical sunscreen ingredients and their side effects can be found here

3: Mineral Sunscreens Don’t Harm The Environment

There is a wave of legislation to ban chemical sunscreens containing Oxybenzone. Oxybenzone bleaches and kills the coral reefs and negatively impacts the broader marine ecosystem. Hawaii just passed a bill to ban this dangerous chemical, and other states are working on similar legislation.

Avobenzone and Oxybenzone also react with chlorine and uv rays to create toxic compounds called phenols and acetyl benzenes.

So, what should you do?Choose wisely and be informed.

Mineral sunscreens that provide broad spectrum protection without the use of dangerous chemicals are available! Read labels and don’t believe marketing claims. Unless theonly active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, your sunscreen is causing harm to you and the environment and may lose its effectiveness when in contact with the sun and pool water.

Tropicsport is a broad spectrum, mineral sunscreen that contains NO harmful chemicals. It is made from non nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide; It is long lasting - meeting the U.S. 80 minute water resistance standard and the Australian 240 minute water resistance standard; it is reef friendly; it is easy to apply and smells great and is moisturizing and does not leave a “ghostly glow” typical of most mineral sunscreens; it does not sting or run into your eyes; it is baby and child friendly (safe for use by children over the age of 6 months); and it is eco-friendly using recycled materials in its packaging.

TropicSport sunscreen products


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