The Shady Side of Sunscreen. ~ ShaMecha Simms

Via elephant journal
on Jul 1, 2012
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You thought the hardest decision you had to make about your son’s penis was over circumcision? Add the use of sunscreen to the list.

According to Chicago Healers, the chemicals found in many sunscreens are chemically similar to the hormone estrogen.

While a little less aggression can be good to temper male hormones, unnecessary exposure to estrogen can cause smaller penises and breast development in males. Girls can also experience detrimental effects including: early puberty and uterine fibroid tumors. The active ingredient, oxybenzone, also increases the ability for additional contaminants to cross the epidermis.

The simplest way to minimize ruining your child’s experience of full-on raging hormones is to avoid oxybenzone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control released results from a 2008 study indicating 97 percent of Americans are contaminated with the widely-used ingredient (lip balms, conditioners, lipsticks, cosmetics to name a few). Chemicals that work similar to oxybenzone include:

>>Benzophenones (dixoybenzone)

>>PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)

>>Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate)

>>Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)

>>Digalloyl trioleate

>>Menthyl anthranilate

>>Avobenzone (butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane)

Take heart, your children won’t become cancerous bacon slices under the sun rays, there are plenty of oxybenzone-free options:

>>All Terrain (AquaSport, TerraSport, KidSport)

>>Nature’s Gate Mineral Kid’s block

>>Beyond Coastal Natural Sunscreen for Kids

>>Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen

>>Lavera Sensitive Baby and Children Sunscreen

>>Banana Boat Natural Reflect Kids and Baby Sunscreen Lotion

>>Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen

Now that we’ve side stepped yet another male parts issue in the Simms household, maybe I can get a respite until the demonstration of how to correctly use a condom (cringe).


ShaMecha Simms can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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8 Responses to “The Shady Side of Sunscreen. ~ ShaMecha Simms”

  1. Annie Ory says:

    I suggest starting that conversation before it involves the phrase "your penis" – little kids who aren't interested in sex think condoms are fun and funny and interesting, especially when they are blown up like balloons and unrolled on bananas and cucumbers. It makes the question of whether or not to use condoms rather silly when they have been a part of playful time for years. Teenagers embarking on adult life are less open to input from parents, and then again, it's never too late to talk.

  2. slsimms says:

    Now that's an interesting take on it! My son did find a box and ask me what they were but sadly we never got around to making balloons out of them.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. jon says:

    Fail – "According to Chicago Healers…"

    Try citing a peer reviewed publication next time.

  4. slsimms says:

    Hi Jon!

    I included the CDC website and a link to the original study under "avoid oxybenzone." The study did not discuss the estrogenic effects on children; it only indicated that the majority of us are probably already a walking hazard. Thank you for the reminder though.

  5. Oh my gosh, people really ought to look deeper into this issue before writing cautionary warnings to parents about breasts and small penises. Please dig a little deeper, Elephant, that study has been widely debunked and is considered junk science.

  6. slsimms says:

    Thank you Prajna for the links! Just in my personal opinion, opposite views exists on almost everything. I didn't look at all the links you posted but the ones I did look at were published in 1995 and 2005; the study through NIH was in 2008.

    What parents (etc.) should take away from reading *warnings* is to be aware…be advised. It's very complicated to keep children completely safe from synthetic hormones today because it seems like they get it from everywhere; to merely blame sunscreen would be reckless. Yet, if it's largely avoidable, parents do have a right to make up their own mind.

  7. It seems that many of those links contain outdated information.

    Environmental Working Group does list these chemicals as hazardous and potential hormone disruptors.

    Controversial, yes. Junk science, no.

  8. anon says:

    Our skin is enough of a protector, it is just that nowadays our bodies are not strong enough to support our skin so we are vulnerable to skin cancer.
    I personally dislike sunscreen and lie by saying im allergic to sunscreen/sunblock to avoid people pressuring me to put it on (but they have given me rashes before).