Is your Sun Screen a Poison?

For thousands of years we have protected our skin from the sun using hats, umbrellas and natural pigments from the earth  such as clay, mud and coloured pigments. Suncreens as we know it are only 100 years old and began as thick, pasty creams that no-one could use. It wasn’t until the 1920’s when Coco Chanel made tanning fashionable so in order to make sunscreens more cosmetically acceptable clear chemicals were created that absorbed UV light instead of reflecting them. Today the global sunscreen market is worth approximately $10 billion.


We know that UV light causes ageing and cancer and we also know that Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more common resulting in our bodies becoming more prone to cancer and weak bones to name a few problems. A fine balance is important- enough sunlight every day to boost our mood and vitamin D production but not enough to get burnt- approximately 20 minutes each day (depending on the skin type and strength of the sun) is essential. But if we stay for longer then sunscreen is needed to prevent burning. Too much sun exposure depresses our immune system and causes inflammation.


There are three huge problems though with chemical sunscreens. There are 17 sunscreen approved by the FDA. Thank fully 2 of these are already banned in the EU so we are faced with 15 approved sunscreens. There are three huge problems with the chemical sunscreens. Problem one is that 9 of the approved chemical sunscreens are known endocrine disruptors.  Problem 2  is that most of the chemical sunscreens are small enough to be absorbed into the skin and go directly into the blood stream. Problem 3 is that most chemical sunscreens lose up to 90% of their effectiveness in just an hour and need to be reapplied. So we have loss of effectiveness in an hour, frequent application,  endocrine disruption and absorption into the bloodstream. The body then has to detoxify them via the liver, urine and they even end up in breast milk. As endocrine disruptors they interfere with our very delicate hormone system namely- Oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid systems. In real terms this can mean abnormal development in children and can contribute to development of breast and ovarian cancer in women. Because they react to the sun they can become photo unstable and release free radicals damaging the very cells they are protecting from the sun, that in itself may lead to skin cancer.


The other 2 sunscreens approved (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) act in a completely different way and sit on top of the skin reflecting the rays of the sun. These are classed as mineral sunscreens so in effect we are going back to the original formulas however unlike the original unusable formulas, the new versions are finely ground and disappear into the skin giving safe protection from both the sun and chemical sunscreens.

 The Organic Pharmacy Sun Screen 30 50

Small changes make big differences, whether its summer, autumn, winter or spring get your 20 minutes of sunshine when possible and protect your skin the rest of the time with safe organic sun creams.

Today most women don’t use sunscreen just in sun products but also on their daily moisturiser, foundation, lip gloss/stick/balm.

2 Responses to “Is your Sun Screen a Poison?”

Louise Dowson says:

I would like to switch to an organic spf for myself and the children but would like to make sure if the SPF isn’t too thick and white. Do you have a tester for the 30 and the 50 i can trial?
Many thanks,

Margo Marrone says:

Hi Louise, we don’t send testers but we have all testers in our stores if you get a chance to pop in.

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