There’s a changing tide coming to the sunscreen industry. And it’s sending shockwaves across the industry.
We’re not being dramatic either. Historically, the Food and Drug Administration has been relatively lax when it comes to cosmetics. So lax that the FDA hasn’t regulated ingredients in sunscreen for 40 years.
Let that sink in. At a time when we’re constantly debunking the efficacy of certain ingredients (like coconut oil!), saying that others are actually good for you (like cholesterol!), it’s disturbing that there’s lack of regulations when it comes to something that can effect our entire bodies. Now, the FDA is looking into 12 ingredients in question that are still sold over-the-counter. Among them: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate, ingredients that are commonplace in our sunscreens.
Last year, some states took control into their own hands, like Hawaii. The island state deemed that the chemical, oxybenzone or octinoxate was toxic, banning it because it could cause “major damage to coral reefs.”
If it destroys ocean animals, certainly, it’s not great for humans as well? According to the Environment Working Group, an ingredient and environment watchdog group, chemical sunscreens are just not safe. The group actually went so far to test most of the popular sunscreens sold stateside and found that a third of them were completely toxic, like Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray SPF 85+, which received the worst rating, a 10, on the toxicity scale.
The problem with chemical sunscreens with popular ingredients? They disrupt the endocrine system, says Dr. Y. Claire Chang, of the Union Square Laser Dermatology center in NYC. Meaning, they’ll up testosterone in some people and lower in others and the same with estrogen.