Choosing a mineral-based sunscreen--one that provides a physical block against the sun's rays--will allow you to avoid the problematic ingredients found in non-mineral based formulations. Many of the chemicals used in non-mineral based sunscreens are potential hormone disruptors. For example, about 52% of sunscreens on the market contain oxybenzone, a potential hormone disruptor that penetrates the skin in significant amounts. If fact, it has been found to contaminate the bodies of 96% of Americans. Because of toxicity and skin penetration concerns, a number of experts caution against using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children.
Mineral sunblocks do not penetrate the skin as chemical sunscreens do. However, the EWG advises consumers to avoid any sunscreen that comes in aerosol spray or powder form. These products pose risks of inhalation and lung damage.