SUNSCREEN BENEFITS AND RISKS: Advantages, alternatives and some really good advice

Global pandemic made us stay home for so long! Most of us couldn’t go for vacation last year. We spent long months in lockdown. Finally it’s time to move on and go on holiday this summer! Beach here we come! Yet, we all know that we will need sunscreen. Sunscreens are often debated, particularly sunscreen benefits and risks associated with them. Are they safe? Should we use them?

In this article we’ll discuss the most relevant questions regarding sunscreen usage. Skin protection during summer is very important. In case you spend your vacation at a lake, seaside or in your own backyard, you’ll need to consider sunscreen use. 

Suncreen – the most common ingredients

Sunscreens contain multiple active ingredients to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays – UVA and UVB. These are physical blockers and chemical absorbers. The most commonly used physical blockers are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They create a physical barrier between the skin and UV rays. Chemical absorbers are the following: oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate and octinoxate. These absorb UV rays and protect our skin. Sunscreens contain many additional inactive ingredients like: antioxidants, vitamins, preservatives, fragrances and emollients. 

Common questions about sunscreen benefits and risks

Benzene in sunscreen – a significant sunscreen risk?

On 11th of June 2021, an online pharmacy and lab announced that its testing had found benzene, which is a well-known carcinogen, in 78 widely available sunscreen and after-sun products! Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen, so the findings are a result of contamination in the manufacturing process. 

Since benzene amounts can add up to a significant chronic exposure over a lifetime, benzene is extremely dangerous – it is both a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor. 

However, there is a risk of having ambivalence regarding sunscreen! Ultraviolet radiation is a well-established carcinogen. We should not avoid sunscreen over benzene concerns because this could prove more harmful than the actual exposure to this chemical compound. 

Can you tan under sunscreen?

Sunscreen prevents tanning to a certain degree. We know that dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen to prevent the sun’s rays from causing photoaging and skin cancer, but of course we’ll still want to get some good tan!  

It is still possible to get a slight tan and be safe in the sun! You can get a bronze glow but it’ll  take more time to build it. The suncreen acts as a barrier so that means only a certain amount of UV gets to your skin. 

Our pigments also protect the skin from getting burned. People with more melanin typically do not burn as quickly. People with fair or light skin produce less melanin – the skin is not protected from UVB rays. 

How often should you apply sunscreen?

Young beautiful woman applying sunscreen at a beach for maximum benefits

Briefly, your first layer of sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. After this, you should reapply at least every 2 hours. 

Please, watch out, you should reapply your sunscreen more often if you are taking part in water activities or sweating heavily!

Which SPF to use for best sunscreen benefits?

Many sunscreens don’t work that well as it says on the label. Be careful when choosing a very low SPF! The highest protection is SPF 50. Yet, there’s a possibility that a bottle says 50 but it is literally less SPF! Always go with the 50 for your safety. 

For not too much exposure to the sun, your makeup and face cream should have a base of SPF 15. 

It is also important to note that there is no sunscreen which is truly waterproof – not even those with water-resistant labels!

Natural sunscreen – coconut oil for similar benefits?

Exotic travel composition with shells, leaves, and spray with sunscreen

Sadly, coconut oil blocks only 20 percent of the sun’s damaging rays! 

However, manufacturers may mix coconut oil with other ingredients and that can give broad UVA/UVB protection!

Natural tanning oils may actually intensify the sun on your skin, so they are not the best choice for protection against sun rays.

+ Bonus tip: How to apply sunscreen alone for maximum benefits

How to put sunscreen on your back?

For all those solo travelers – you can put sunscreen on your back with this top tip! You’ll just need a simple hack – a plastic wrap!

Apply sunscreen in the center of a long cut of plastic wrap and place along your middle back as if you were drying them off with a towel! Hold the wrap open wide and it’ll cover as much surface area as possible. 

Additional risks and benefits

While it is important to know about sunscreen benefits and risks, other things come into play, too. Did you know that you can protect your skin and keep your beautiful tan if you consume healthy food, avoid alcohol and smoking, and fuel up with good vitamins?

During summer, when temperature is high, you can keep your glow by eating food rich in vitamin C or taking a supplement. Our team created a Summer Bundle which contains the following supplements: Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc. This is a superb combination of nutrients to combine with sunscreen! Make sure to get yours today!


Your skin will be much grateful and grant you healthy ageless skin – if you apply sunscreen religiously, and inform yourself of risks and benefits associated with sunscreens! 

Make sure to get the best possible sunscreen with a high SPF. But don’t forget your vitamins and minerals this summer! They’ll give you the glow you need!

Follow our blog, share it with your friends and family, and don’t forget to come back next week!



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