Sunscreens are used to protect our skin against the harmful UV rays of sun. These UV rays may damage the skin by causing pigmentation, premature ageing, skin burns, rashes, redness and so on. These harmful effects can be prevented by using sunscreen; sunscreens usually work either by chemical a physical film on the skin’s surface or by creating a chemical barrier both of which ultimately block the UV rays from coming in contact with the skin. However, in recent times many question shave been raised against the harmful effects of chemical sunscreens; so is it our saviour does it protect our skin or is it a hidden devil? Let us figure it out.
We Have Listed Down 8 Hidden Dangers Of Using Chemical Sunscreens:
Some of the ingredients of chemical sunscreen such as titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, octinoxate etc. are known to be potential carcinogens. This means that these agents might cause cancer. The sunscreen ingredients do come in contact with our body; they can either be absorbed in the skin tissues or get swallowed when the sunscreen is applied on the lips; they can also be inhaled. This contact could lead to cancer of the nasal path or skin cancer and even leads to breast cancer etc.
2. Hormonal Disruption:
Some of the chemicals present in sunscreens come in contact with our body by getting inhaled; this is when you smell the sunscreen or apply it close to your nostrils. Inhalation of these chemicals can be very harmful and might cause hormonal imbalance. the key hormones like testosterone, oestrogen etc. may be affected.
3. Affects Reproductive System And Thyroid System:
The chemical components of sunscreens such as titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, octinoxatemay cause hormonal imbalance. These imbalances affect the body systems such as reproductive system and thyroid system which could result in a number of health conditions such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, conception issues, infertility, breast cancer, etc. Thus it is important to always check the components for any harmful chemicals on label before using any sunscreen or instead go for natural products.
4. Skin Allergies:
The chemicals present in sunscreens may be toxic and harmful for the skin and the skin might react to them in various ways. The chemicals might result in redness, skin rashes, frequent breakouts, and pus and cysts formation in severe cases. However, the skin allergies due to chemical present in sunscreen vary from person to person and skin type. Not every skin type will react; those with a sensitive skin should especially stay careful against chemical sunscreens and do a patch test before using it all over.
The sunscreens usually have chemical ingredients which make a thick film on our skin; this film helps to then reflect away sun’s rays thus preventing damage. The chemicals forming this film tend to block and clog the skin pores which causes build of bacteria ultimately causing acne. Acne can also occur since the sunscreens usually have an oily base; this excessive oil is a growing field for acne.
6. Lung Damage And Other Respiratory Problems:
The chemicals present in sunscreens can be inhaled via breathing or they may even get swallowed accidently. The sunscreens also contain nanoparticles which are very tiny particles and very tiny in size as the name suggests; these when inhaled block the airways and lungs causing breathing problems.When this happens on a daily basis the regular and frequent exposure of chemicals might damage your lungs and airways causing respiratory problems. Some of the respiratory problems which may be caused to overuse of sunscreens are bronchitis, asthma, breathing problems etc.
7. Low Levels Of Vitamin D:
The main objective of using sunscreen is to block the sun’s rays from reaching our skin. The chemicals present in sunscreen also prevent production of vitamin D in our body due to less exposure to sun rays. This indirectly blocks vitamin D production as well since vitamin D is produced in our body under the action and stimulation of sun’s rays. Low levels of Vitamin D levels might damage our bones, body’s immunity and a number of other process get hampered. Regular use of sunscreens for many years might even cause serious problems like osteoporosis due to deficiency of vitamin D.
8. Environmental Damage:
The chemicals present in sunscreen contain nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are so tiny that they are not dissolved; they stay in the ecosystem and when their levels increase, it causes serious ecological imbalance. The aquatic flora and ecosystem may get damaged creating lot of imbalance.
The other mentioned damages caused by sunscreen can be dangerous for the skin if not taken care on time. Consult your doctor immediately if any of the sign occurs.