Is Sunscreen Safe? Shocking Research Revealed!

July 12, 2012
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Skin cancer, obesity and autism rates are skyrocketing – could SPF be to blame?

Several months ago, I brought your attention to the groundbreaking research of Dr. Elizabeth Plourde, the author of Sunscreens Biohazard – Treat as Hazardous Waste. A hormone specialist with 25 years of extensive medical research and writing to her credit, Dr. Plourde has recently focused her attention on the hormonally-disruptive chemicals utilized in sunscreens. After a huge response from my blog article The 10 Most Shocking Things About Sunscreen, I asked Dr. Plourde to join me on video to share her groundbreaking research with all of you directly.

According to Dr. Plourde, sunscreens are a biohazard – not only do they not reduce the risk of skin cancers and melanoma, but they cause photo-aging and harm the oceans of the world.

Watch my interview with Dr. Plourde here:

Sunscreens provide a false sense of security – blocking only the .4% of the solar spectrum (UVB) that causes sunburn, the body’s warning signal that you’ve had too much sun. Dr. Plourde likens sunscreen use to cutting the wire on the red warning light on your car’s dashboard. When we slather on sunscreen, we are making it possible to stay outside 10-20-30x longer, exposing us to huge amounts of near-infrared (IRA) radiation (which accounts for up to 47% of the solar spectrum).  IRA has been found to reach deeper into the skin than UV rays, causing damage to collagen and releasing free radicals.

Dr. Plourde’s book includes some 800 references – mostly long-term studies that have only been completed in the last several years. These studies show that the toxic chemicals in sunscreen act as endocrine-disruptors, and are estrogenetic and anti-testosterone.  Mineral-based sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are not a safe alternative as they are made from nano-sized particles so tiny that they are able to breach cell membranes, nuclear membranes and the blood/brain barrier. Even the newer “micronized” sunscreens have been detected in bone marrow cells.

I know this information is more than a little disturbing, but there are practical suggestions that will help you to transition into a skin-protective program from the outside in and the inside out. In my blog article, Practicing Safe Sun, I discuss the important of antioxidants and their role as Mother Nature’s protective sunscreens.

The carotenoids lycopene and astaxanthin are the antioxidants of choice which seem to hold special promise as natural sunscreens. In addition to consuming lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, I would consider a supplement that contains at least 6 mg of lycopene daily. Highly touted as being 500 times more powerful in antioxidant activity than Vitamin E and ten times more powerful than Vitamin A, astaxanthin does double duty as a natural anti-inflammatory. Although foods like salmon are extremely high in astaxanthin, one would need to consume up to three pounds every day to enhance your skin’s natural protection. Since this is neither practical nor recommended due to heavy metal contamination of fish in this day and age, a daily supplement of about 4-5 mg would be ideal.

Complete your daily skin-protection package with an all-around antioxidant supplement like Oxi-Key and an antioxidant-rich body lotion like BeauCle Ultra Hydrating Moisture.

You can watch the rest of my 3-part interview with Dr. Plourde here:
Sunscreen: Shocking Research Exposed Part 2
Sunscreen: Shocking Research Exposed Part 3

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Carol R.

    I was shocked to learn how bad sunscreens are,both for us and the environment, even the “pure” ones made of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. I am in my mid 60’s and went through a terrible menopause in my early 50’s which shocked me as I have been careful about my diet and supplements/ exercise since my 30’s. I have been struggling with health issues for 20 years, including thyroid meds. for underactive thyroid,fatigue, brain fog, sluggish adrenals, poor resistance to colds, as well as a diagnosis 5 years ago of a precancerous condition known as MGUS. I have abnormal IGA antibodies and get screened every year to rule out multiple myloma. I have been using sunscreen probably since my mid 20’s (starting in the 1970’s) and think there is a link between my health problems and the sunscreens I’ve used. To think I have been putting poisons into my body all these years and also, using sunscreens on my children when they were little! I am grateful to learn about the danger of sunscreens and am emailing Dr. Ann Louise’s info to everyone I know!!!! It’s scary to find out what was considered the safe and preventive thing to do, using sunscreens has turned out to be so harmful.

  2. Lisa

    Wow-lots think about! I have already been aware of the dangers of sunscreen and do not use it. But, I have 2 questions….Are you saying that my Bare Minerals make up is dangerous to me? Is it nano sized? And, we have an infared sauna. I think that it is only far infared (will find out), but what if it is full spectrum (near, mid & far). Are we radiating ourselves?

  3. betti

    I just checked The Bare Minerals website and you may be using micronized zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Also among the minerals used are forms of aluminum. It’s not good. Micronized, as you heard in the video can include nano particles.

    I had the same question about using infared saunas. My thought is that you are only using the sauna for short amounts of time. Also, as long as our body is supplied with good levels of antioxidants our skin is protected to a great degree.

  4. Sheri

    Thank you so much for presenting this. I have shared it on my facebook page & will continue to help get this information out! Would love to see Dr. Plourde on Dr. Oz!


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