Harmful Effects of Chemical Fillers in Sunscreen
Why we do NOT use Chemical Fillers besides Zinc Oxide in Sunscreen
The use of chemical filters in sunscreens has raised concerns due to their potential harmful effects on human health and the environment. According to the NIH study, organic (chemical) filters are absorbed and distributed within the body to a considerable extent, while inorganic (physical) filters seem to penetrate the skin to a lesser degree. This means that the chemical filters can enter the bloodstream and other body tissues, raising questions about their safety and potential health impacts.
Some of the harmful effects associated with chemical filters in sunscreens include:
Endocrine Disruption: Chemical filters like benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) have been identified as endocrine disruptors. They can interfere with hormonal systems in the body and mimic or block the actions of natural hormones, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances and related health issues.
Allergic Reactions: Organic filters, such as octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), have been known to cause skin allergies and irritations in certain individuals. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals may trigger allergic reactions, making the sunscreen unsafe for sensitive skin.
Phototoxicity and Free Radical Generation: Some chemical filters can become photoreactive when exposed to sunlight, leading to the generation of harmful free radicals. These free radicals can cause oxidative stress, damaging skin cells, and potentially increasing the risk of skin aging and cancer.
Environmental Impact: Chemical filters in sunscreen are also known to have adverse effects on marine ecosystems. When people swim in the ocean while wearing sunscreen, the chemicals can wash off into the water and harm marine life, including coral reefs. This has led to concerns about the negative impact of chemical filters on fragile aquatic environments.
Potential Developmental Toxicity: As mentioned in the study, there are concerns about the potential developmental toxicity of UV filters, especially when exposed during pregnancy. The presence of UV filters in human milk samples and their positive correlation with reported usage of sunscreen products raise questions about the safety of these filters for pregnant and nursing individuals and their infants.
To minimize these adverse effects, some sunscreens now use inorganic (physical) filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are considered safer alternatives. These physical filters work by reflecting and scattering UV rays, rather than being absorbed into the skin. Choosing sunscreens with physical filters and avoiding products containing harmful chemical filters can be a better option for individuals concerned about potential health risks.
Therefore, LEMYKA does not use chemical fillers in our sunscreen (besides Zinc Oxide) or in any of our products in order to ensure the safety of our customers and especially those who use on sensitive skin, baby’s skin, or those who are pregnant.