What Is Avobenzone?
Avobenzone is a chemical sunscreen ingredient that absorbs ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the UVA spectrum (320-400 nm). It is considered to be one of the most effective UVA filters available in chemical sunscreens. Avobenzone is often used in combination with other sunscreen ingredients, such as octocrylene and oxybenzone, to provide broad-spectrum protection against UV radiation. However, it can be unstable when exposed to sunlight, so it is often combined with other ingredients to improve its stability.
Is Avobenzone Safe?
Officially, avobenzone is considered safe for use in sunscreen products by the FDA when used as directed. However, some studies have shown that avobenzone can break down when exposed to sunlight, which reduces its effectiveness as a sunscreen.
It is possible for some people to experience skin irritation or burning sensations when using products containing avobenzone. This is more likely to occur in individuals with sensitive skin or those who are allergic to the ingredient.
If you experience burning or other skin irritation after using a product containing avobenzone, you should discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional. They will be able to determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction or another condition, and provide appropriate treatment. It's always a good idea to do a patch test before using a product on your entire face or body. This way you can determine your sensitivity,if any, to the product before exposing the large area of your skin.
All Petrochemical Sunscreens are Unsafe
Big skincare lobbyists prefer to argue such petrochemicals ARE safe and that they make sunscreens more affordable to a mass market, but they also tend to ignore the hidden long term costs, not only to the environment, but to their customers, as over the last 45 years (since avobenzone was first approved), skin cancer rates have grown an average of 4% per year, more or less the same rate as inflation-adjusted, per capita spending on sunscreens. And though in that same time, Americans 65 and older have increased by 1.5% per year, this leaves a significant amount of skin cancer growth that is reasonably accounted for by the proliferation of petrochemical sunscreens that do a decent job at the skin's surface, but that mask deeper damage that shows up in the dermatologist office years later.
Zinc Oxide - A Far Better Sunscreen Ingredient
Zinc oxide is a mineral sunscreen ingredient that provides broad-spectrum protection against UV radiation, including UVA and UVB rays. It works by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting, scattering, and absorbing UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. It's relatively stable in sunlight and not easily absorbed by the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe irritated skin. It is considered to be one of the safest and most effective sunscreen ingredients and is often used in natural and sensitive skin-specific sunscreens. It can be found in two forms, the physical and the micronized form. Physical zinc oxide is the original form of zinc oxide, it can be visible on the skin.
We'll end our avobenzone review with a simple fact. One typical dose of common petrochemical sunscreen delivers to the bloodstream an amount of toxins that counteracts ONE ENTIRE YEAR's worth of clean, organic eating. And although avobenzone is approved for use in sunscreens, it IS a longterm contaminant to human (and marine) biosystems. Not convinced? Just email us, and we'll be glad to send you the calculations.
Know Your Sunscreen. Trust Your Sunscreen.
Read your sunscreen ingredients, including the “inactive” ones. Research and know each ingredient, then either decide for yourself if it’s reef safe, or better yet, ask us and we’ll give you straightforward guidance, whether it’s for our sunscreen or not. If a sunscreen’s good (or bad) for you and our marine biosystems, we’ll tell you so.
1. Know your ingredients — Flip over your sunscreen and read the ingredients. We want everyone to know what good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Your health is worth it.
2. Buy safe sunscreen — Waxhead is dedicated to using only the healthiest, safest, most effective ingredients in our sunscreens. Shop Safe Sunscreen here.
3. Teach a friend — If you know someone who might still be buying sunscreen with questionable ingredients, please share this post with him/her.