Sunscreen ExposedKristen Ma July 1, 2008
Sunscreen is probably our best-known skin protection. The sun has been cited as the No.1 source of hyper-pigmentation, aging and, of course, skin cancer. While the need for a sunblock is unarguable, we still must make good choices.
Sunscreens are of two types: natural blocks, using zinc and titanium, which create a physical barrier against UV rays, and chemical ones which neutralize and absorb UV rays into the skin’s tissues. While chemical sunblocks are popular because they are easier to formulate into bases and cosmetics, natural sunscreens are generally less toxic, less irritating and cause fewer allergies.
HORMONES, TOXINS, BURNING, AND SAFETY CONCERNS
The highest SPF in most natural sunblocks is SPF 30. While we, in our sun-fearing society, may wish to up that number, chemical sunscreens can actually heighten the likelihood of cancer because they contain proven carcinogens. Two steps forward, one step back.
Many sunscreen agents, like octyl-methoxycinnamate, octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA), benzophenone-3, homosalate (HMS) and 4-Methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC) are also endocrine disruptors, upsetting the body’s hormone balance. In particular, they have been shown to disrupt levels of estrogen, even allowing traces of their chemicals into breast milk. The higher the SPF, the more toxic, which is why there’s movement to outlaw any higher than 30. This is already the case in Australia.
Natural sunscreens sit on the skin’s surface like a shield. This means they don’t need to be reapplied to stay effective. Chemical sunscreens need reapplication every 1-to-2 hours as the sunscreen agents they contain become inactive. Researchers have found that people who are unaware of this get more sun damage because they’re under the illusion they’re protected.
Studies have also found that people who wear sunscreen have a higher incidence of skin cancer because they spend more time in the sun in the belief that reapplication restarts the protecting action; however, once erythema (burning) begins, reapplication does not stop it. You must reapply the block before this happens. And, with each reapplication, more chemicals are absorbed.
OTHER BENEFITS OF NATURAL SUNBLOCK
Natural sunblocks, using zinc and titanium minerals, provide a beauty benefit as well as a health one. Zinc possesses soothing, disinfecting properties. This means it is anti-inflammatory for sensitive skin and anti-bacterial for acne. Many chemical sunscreens clog pores and irritate due to their toxic and petroleum content.
MEASURING SUN PROTECTION: UNDERSTANDING WHAT’S IMPORTANT
The general misconception is that the higher the SPF the more protection, but SPF only describes how long the sunscreen will remain active. It is the amount of time it takes for skin to burn, multiplied by the SPF protection number. Example: if it takes five minutes to burn without sunscreen, with an SPF 15 it will take 75 minutes (15 x 5 minutes).
Many people also assume that the higher SPF provides more protection. Actually, the difference in filtration of UV rays between SPF 15 and SPF 30 is minute – 96 per cent compared to 98 per cent. As mentioned, countries like Australia have banned sunscreens over SPF 30 since the high concentration of chemicals cause dangerous free radicals. This is noteworthy given that Australians are vulnerable to skin cancer because of the hole in the ozone in the atmosphere above them as well as their being of fair-skinned, Celtic decent.
TYPES OF RAYS & THEIR OVER-EXPOSURE EFFECTS:
UVA: the longest UV ray; sun damage to the skin and premature aging; UVA breaks down collagen and elastin
UVB: cause of eurythema (burning)
UVC: mostly responsible for skin cancer
PURE+SIMPLE’S ALL NATURAL SUNSCREEN SPF 30
Protect your skin from the sun Naturally this summer.
Using nourishing and natural ingredients, Pure+simple has developed a line of mineral sunscreens with an SPF 30 for the entire family. Locally produced, the Pure+simple sunscreen line is hypoallergenic and water resistant. In keeping with the company’s natural and holistic values, the sunscreens do not contain any chemical fragrances, chemical preservatives or emulsifiers. Also, unlike other natural sunscreens, this one does not leave behind a distinctive white residue.
In contrast to a chemical sunscreen, a natural sunscreen will not be absorbed into your skin – it will remain on the surface, providing a safe and effective barrier against the sun’s harmful rays.
The natural SPF is provided from two active ingredients – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Natural sunscreens, using zinc and titanium minerals, provide more than just sun protection. Zinc possesses soothing and disinfecting properties. This means that it is anti-inflammatory for sensitive skin and provides anti-bacterial properties for acne. The Titanium Dioxide particles are micronized as opposed to the more controversial nanoparticles. Titanium Dioxide nanoparticles have been included in many recent debates involving the harm upon entering the body’s bloodstream.
Specializing in facial skin care, Pure+simple developed the three skin specific formulations for the face to aid those who have trouble finding sun protection for their specific skin conditions. In addition, Pure+simple is offering a general face+body sunscreen and a sunscreen safe enough to use on the delicate skin of babies. The following explains the differences between the skin specific formulations:
All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 For Face – Sensitive: Soothes and heals easily irritated skin. Calms inflammation, irritation + rashes using the healing properties of German chamomile.
All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 For Face – Oily/Impure: Sage purifies and regulates the skin’s natural oil production, balances the activity of the sebaceous glands and has natural hormone balancing properties for the skin.
All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 For Face – Anti-Aging: This anti-aging formula helps to protect and revitalize the skin. Green tea provides excellent free radical and anti-oxidant protection while geranium and eucalyptus repair and rejuvenate the skin.