10 Common Sunscreen Ingredients That Can Harm Your Child

10 common sunscreen ingredients that can harm your child

As we have been told by our parents and elders, an excess of anything isn’t good, not even sunshine. While outdoors, you need to protect your little one’s tender skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiations of the sun. However, do check that the sunscreen you are applying doesn’t have potentially toxic chemicals which can cause a range of disorders from skin allergies to even cancer!

Sunscreens broadly fall into 2 categories- mineral and chemical. Mineral sunscreens protect the skin by blocking or reflecting the harmful radiations of the sun. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin to filter and absorb UV rays thereby protecting deeper layers. However, while choosing brands, avoid the following 10 dubious ingredients to reap the benefits of sunscreen and sidestep the potentially harmful side effects.

Dangerous Ingredients In Sunscreen That You Must Avoid

1. Oxybenzone

This common ingredient in chemical sunscreens accumulates faster than our body can get rid of it. Eczema like allergic reactions can be caused when oxybenzone is absorbed by your child’s skin. Experts also suspect that oxybenzone disrupts your child’s hormones and endocrine system.

2. Octinoxate

Another sunscreen culprit is the commonly found chemical octinoxate which produces free radicals that can cause long-term damage to skin and cells. It’s also believed to disrupt your child’s hormonal balance.

3. Cinoxate

This active ingredient in sunscreens can cause skin rashes and other serious allergic reactions like swelling, especially of the face /tongue /throat, severe dizziness and breathing problems.

4. Retinyl Palmitate(Vitamin A Palmitate)

This active ingredient in sunscreens with anti-ageing powers breaks down when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, and produces destructive free toxic radicals. These damage DNA and can even cause skin tumours and cancer.

5. Homosalate

These are UV-absorbing toxic sunscreen ingredients that tend to accumulate in our bodies and turn toxic over time. They can disrupt our hormones when the exposure is for long durations. ||

6. Paraben Preservatives

This common toxic chemical in sunscreens can lead to both acute and chronic side effects. Allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity are a few harmful ingredients in sunscreen you strictly need to avoid.

7. Octocrylene

This chemical which is easily absorbed and retained by the body is particularly harmful when exposed to UV light. It produces oxygen radicals which can not only damage human cells and cause mutations but are also toxic to the environment.

8. Nanoparticles (Zinc Dioxide/Titanium Dioxide)

This can be risky when inhaled through sunscreens in spray forms. Your child’s lungs have difficulty cleaning small particles, which may, therefore, pass from the lungs into the bloodstream. Extensive organ damage can be caused by soluble nanoparticles that penetrate skin or lung tissue.

9. Methylisothiazolinone(MI)

A common chemical preservative used in sunscreens is a potent allergen and can cause acute skin allergies in children. Definitely, one of the most alarming ingredients to avoid in sunscreen!

10. Fragrance

Synthetic fragrances used in some sunscreens contain harmful chemicals which might disrupt your child’s hormonal system. These are bad ingredients in sunscreen that can have long-term side effects.

This sure sounds scary! As concerned moms, try to choose herbal sunscreens that do not have these harmful chemicals. Also, make sure your child wears a hat and a full shirt when in the sun. Opt for a diet high in antioxidants which protect and nurture the skin. Fruits and veggies are your best bet here.