SPF Filters: Things You Should Know

When it comes to sunscreen, not all SPF filters are created equal. Some traditional chemical filters have raised concerns due to their potential health risks and harmful environmental impact, particularly on marine life. This is why our first choice is the MIDI12 Suncare collection.

Here are some of the most controversial and potentially unsafe SPF filters:

1. Oxybenzone

  • Health Concerns: Oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin and has been found in human blood, urine, and breast milk. It's been associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions.
  • Environmental Impact: Oxybenzone is highly toxic to coral reefs and other marine life. It contributes to coral bleaching and has detrimental effects on marine ecosystems.

2. Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate)

  • Health Concerns: Octinoxate is known to penetrate the skin and has been linked to hormone disruption and allergic reactions. It can affect oestrogen levels and interfere with thyroid function.
  • Environmental Impact: Similar to oxybenzone, octinoxate is harmful to coral reefs and marine life, contributing to coral bleaching and other negative environmental effects.

3. Homosalate

  • Health Concerns: Homosalate can penetrate the skin and accumulate in the body. It has been linked to hormone disruption, particularly affecting oestrogen, androgen, and progesterone levels.
  • Environmental Impact: While less studied than oxybenzone and octinoxate, homosalate can still pose risks to marine environments, although more research is needed to fully understand its impact.

4. Octocrylene

  • Health Concerns: Octocrylene can be absorbed by the skin and has been associated with skin allergies and potential hormone disruption. It may also produce benzophenone, a possible carcinogen, as it degrades.
  • Environmental Impact: Octocrylene can be harmful to marine life, particularly coral reefs. It accumulates in aquatic environments and can contribute to coral bleaching.

5. PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid)

  • Health Concerns: PABA is known to cause allergic reactions and has been largely phased out of modern sunscreens. It has been linked to DNA damage and other adverse health effects.
  • Environmental Impact: Though less commonly used today, PABA can still be found in some products and has negative impacts on marine life when it enters aquatic environments.

6. 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor (4-MBC)

  • Health Concerns: 4-MBC can be absorbed through the skin and has been shown to disrupt hormone functions, particularly thyroid hormone activity. It may also affect reproductive health.
  • Environmental Impact: 4-MBC is toxic to marine life and can contribute to environmental degradation, particularly in aquatic ecosystems.


When choosing a sunscreen, it's important to consider not only its effectiveness in protecting your skin but also its potential health and environmental impacts.  Modern sunscreens, like MIDI12 suncare protection from France, prioritise safer, next-generation filters that avoid these harmful chemicals. These advanced formulations offer effective sun protection without compromising your health or the environment. Always read ingredient labels and opt for products that use mineral-based filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, or newer, safer chemical filters that have been proven to be less harmful.