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It’s finally summertime. The sun is shining bright, temperatures are getting toasty, and more people are spending their time outdoors. For those who don’t want to walk around burnt and peeling after an afternoon in the sun, the only answer is taking precautions and applying the right amount of sunscreen.

Yet what’s available on store shelves or what appears first in online shopping search results might bring unpleasant side effects. Studies are showing that many common sunscreen ingredients can cause several adverse reactions. Here’s what that research says and how choosing natural alternatives to replace UV-blocking chemicals in sunblock products can protect skin without harming people in the process.

Do Skin Cells Absorb Sunscreen Materials?

Our skin is our first line of defense when keeping out harmful materials, but that doesn’t mean it’s impenetrable. One study shows that six of the active chemicals found within common sunscreens can enter blood plasma by passing through the skin. In some cases, this is completely harmless, but in others, there can be some health risk.

So, when you apply synthetic sunscreen to your skin, what side effects are you risking? The answer depends on the ingredients used. Researchers across two continents evaluated 2,279 studies, verifying the safety of the ingredients of physical and chemical sunscreen approved by the FDA. Here’s what their findings indicated: 

  • Avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and octocrylene all cause rashes and irritation.
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate (OMC) can cause immune system dysfunction, DNA damage, hormonal disruption, and hinder effective sweating.
  • Titanium dioxide can decrease vitamin D levels.

Though there’s more research that needs to be done to confirm their findings, the indication of potential harmful results shows that sunscreen formulators need to re-evaluate their options. 

Why You Should Consider Seaweed as a Substitute

Though going with natural ingredients is good in theory, sunscreen companies need to find raw materials capable of blocking UV rays. Research has determined that palythine, an amino acid found in various seaweed species, can counteract the harmful effects of the sun. In small amounts, this organic compound can absorb solar rays and prevent damage from UV radiation.

When sun damage has already occurred, another organic compound found in seaweed can help with recovery: tocopherol. This type of Vitamin E can repair the harm caused by free radicals as well as minimizing the risk of future free-radical-related damage.

Companies should certainly explore all their options, but these two organic compounds found in seaweed can fortify sunscreen formulas with the protective properties consumers expect. That way, consumers can grab products knowing their skin and other cells will be protected now without any long-term risks down the road.

Are you looking to create sunscreen consumers trust to keep them safe from the sun and healthy? See the ways the right seaweed can help enhance your products.


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