Malgorzata Sypien, M.D., FAAFP, Integrative Family Practice, Chicago IL

Why Do We Need Sunblock?

Most of us have been told our whole lives to wear sunscreen to not get sunburn, but there are so many more benefits to it than just that. It protects against burns, wrinkles, and most importantly- skin cancer. At Integrative Family Practice we are huge advocates of using sunscreen and we believe that it’s important to protect your skin. Many clients come in with sun-damaged skin seeking help and we offer that to them but it’s also our duty to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Sunscreens are products made up of ingredients that prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. UVA and UVB, two types of ultraviolet radiation, damage the skin, prematurely age it, and increase the risk of skin cancer. The sun’s harmful rays produce early wrinkling and age spots. Both of these factors can make someone look older than they really are. To keep yourself looking young & your skin healthy, simply apply sunscreen in the morning every day.

How to Choose the Right Sunblock

An overwhelming amount of sunscreen options and scientific names on the ingredient list can make choosing the right sunscreen a very difficult situation, but it shouldn’t be! Integrative Family Practice has put together a guide that’ll help you decide which sunscreen has everything you’ll need to keep yourself protected in the sun.

  • Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based mineral sunblocks

  • They do not penetrate the skin and provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays

  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and a maximum of SPF 50

  • Choose non-nano products

  • They do not have small particles that can be absorbed into skin.

  • Choose sunscreens that are unscented or use essential oils as fragrance

  • Pick broad spectrum sunscreens

  • Meaning that they protect against UVA and UVB rays

  • Avoid products containing oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate

  • Potentially toxic chemicals

  • Choose lotions versus spray sunscreens

  • A more even distribution for maximum coverage

Why Consider Ageless by Dr. Sypien Mineral Based Sunblocks?

Dr. Sypien, a board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Anti-aging medicine, recommends mineral based sunscreens because they provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays without penetrating the skin.

Other benefits of Ageless mineral based sunblocks:

  • No disruption in the body’s natural hormones

  • Natural mineral UVA / UVB sun protection

  • Hypo-allergic

  • Can be applied to even the most sensitive skin

  • No clogged pores or skin irritations

  • Packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C & E which neutralize free radicals

  • Fast absorbing

Did You Know Certain Ingredients in Sunscreen Are Destroying Your Health?

Many people aren’t aware that the wrong kind of sunscreen can be very harmful to your body and health. Studies have discovered that the chemicals designed to protect from developing skin cancer are carcinogenic themselves. These ingredients have been found to be powerful free radical generators, which are reactive compounds that damage fats, proteins, and DNA, leading to cancer. These chemicals are also stored in fat within the body, and that allows toxins to accumulate. Lastly, the chemicals have estrogenic activity, which means they mimic the estrogen hormone and alter the hormone’s activity. This is crucial information because breast cancer is related to estrogen hyperactivity. Recent research has found traces of these chemicals in human urine, meaning that although sunscreen is applied to the skin, it still absorbs into the body.

6 Toxic Sunscreen Ingredients To Watch For


A chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin and it undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. It can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction that can spread beyond the exposed area and have long lasting effects. Oxybenzone disrupts hormones by mimicking, blocking, and altering hormone level, which throw off the endocrine system.


Estrogen disruption is the chemical's effect on hormones and can be harmful for humans and wildlife if the product comes in contact with water. Octinoxate may be a factor in premature aging, since it produces free radicals that can damage skin and cells.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)

Its function is to fight against the aging effects of UV exposure. Certain forms of vitamin A-retinyl palmitate, break down and produce destructive free radicals. FDA studies have shown that retinyl palmitate may speed up the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to the skin before sun exposure.


This UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient helps the sunscreen to penetrate your skin. Once the ingredient has been absorbed, homosalate stores in the body faster than it can get rid of it, and it then becomes toxic and disrupts hormone activity.


Once exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is absorbed by the skin and may accumulate within the body. Also, it can be toxic to the environment.

Paraben Preservatives

This chemical can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. It may also contribute to the development of breast cancer.

More chemicals to avoid

Benzophenones, PABA esters, Cinnamates, Salicylates, Digalloyl trioleate, Methyl anthranilate, and Avobenzone