As a parent the first thing in the forefront of my mind is keeping my children safe and protected from harm. Sometimes, however, I find myself having to choose between the oddest options; chemically laced sunscreens with SPF or….nothing? 😦
Do I really have to make this choice?
An increasing number of studies are proving that chemicals contained in the majority of SPF sunscreens are doing more harm than good. Not only do sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone that have been scientifically proven to cause hormone disruption and cell damage, we also have to worry about the fact that the creams also contain so called “penetration enhancers” whose principle objective is to carry these chemicals deeper into the derma. Following the application of chemical sunscreens, chemicals have been found in both blood, and breast milk.
Now that is something we should not take with a grain of salt. In addition to the fact that certain chemical filters also cause allergies, it is absolutely incredible that health regulation departments have not mobilised to, at the every least, add a warning on the labels!
Let’s not forget, all of the products we use on our bodies contain chemicals that WILL penetrate our skin, and enter our bloodstream. See this post for additional information.
It is up to the consumer to choose products that are free of harsh chemicals.
Sunscreens and Sunblocks are no exception.
A 2008 study from the CDC reported that 97% of Americans were contaminated with oxybenzone. In addition to PABAs, oxybenzone, cinnamtes, sulfates, retinyl palmitate. That is a scary thought indeed.
The confusion with sun-protection: chemical or mineral?
The fact remains, options are numerous and the mainstream companies do not do very much to clarify the situation when it all comes down to their bottom line.
As you would assume. chemical sunscreens are all those creams that contain the above mentioned ingredients. What is the difference between these and mineral based sunblocks, also known as physical sunblocks?
A physical sunblock does not always contain ans SPF number. What truly protects the skin from environmental elements are the natural ingredients contained in most mineral sunblocks, that nourish the derma and help replenish photodamaged skin. A zinc oxide based sunblock is highly recommended in these cases, as it is known to be insoluble in water and oils. It is also considered to be a powerful antioxidant and can be used as a mild astringent and antiseptic to help relive itchy skin conditions.
The Ingenium Naturals Sun Chaperon is a zinc based mineral sunblock with the addition of natural oils, butters, green tea extracts, and is also enriched with vitamin E. The combination of these nature-derived ingredients will deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, all the while naturally protecting it from the harmful effects of UVB and UVA rays. *
*One recommendation when using a zinc based mineral sunblock: although zinc oxide is nearly insoluble in water, it is soluble in most acids, and as no specific testing has been done to verify its solubility in human sweat, we recommend re-applying after sports activities, and throughout the day.
How effective is an SPF number? The SPF advertised by most sunscreen companies is a way to measure the protection of UVB rays, which are typically the ones that cause redness and sunburn. The UVA rays are not considered in the SPF number….and these are actually the ones known to be the most harmful!
To make things a little simpler: a sunscreen with a 30 SPF will give you 30 times the minutes before your skin begins to burn. For instance, if you usually burn in 10 minutes a 30SPF will allow you to stay in the sun 300 minutes before you begin to burn. But what about an SPF of 60? Will it allow you to stay in the sun twice as long before your skin will begin to burn? No. Actually an SPF of 30 blocks 97% of rays and one of 50 only 1% more…98%.
But what about the UVA rays? Well, if you stay in the sun and are only protected against UVB rays, you will suffer more skin damage. Your best bet is to use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that protects from UVB and UVA combined.
An essential fact : the higher the SPF, the higher the concentration of chemical ingredients in the product. So how many chemicals does an SPF 70 lotion contain?
What are our choices?
Simply put, the chemical sunblocks are said to absorb and remove the harmful effects of UV rays. While physical sunscreens on the other hand, will be more efficient in naturally scattering the UV rays to begin with as they are made with naturally sourced minerals. Physical sunscreens will always be a safer bet as they offer an increased broad-spectrum protection, with none of the chemicals found in chemical sunscreens.
Sun-protection is essential
The fact remains, and science continues to prove that excessive sun exposure is harmful and will cause permanent damage to the skin, and skin cancer.
An exert from an article published in www.skincarecancer.org states:
“About 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun’s harmful radiation,1 and sunscreen is one of the key strategies that helps prevent excessive exposure. When used as directed (applying one ounce to the entire body 30 minutes prior to going outside, and reapplying every two hours outdoors or immediately after swimming or sweating heavily), it can reduce the risk of actinic keratosis,2 the most common skin precancer, and squamous cell carcinoma,3 the second most common skin cancer, which affects an estimated 700,000 people in the US annually.4 In 2010, new research showed that sunscreen also helps protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.” (all sources and footnotes can be found in the link above).
So it is clear, we cannot underestimate the need for protection, nor the long term harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
The Ingenium Naturals Sun Chaperon mineral sun block is a 7.5 % zinc oxide based formula made of nature derived ingredients that naturally protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It is also very effective as a hydrating make-up base and daily face moisturizer.
Naturally absorbing UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays, zinc oxide combined with Vitamin E and Japanese green tea extracts, creates a natural barrier leaving your skin moisturized and protected.
We have to protect ourselves and the ones we love, we are constantly researching the best options…let us make the right choices. Sunblocks are necessary ALL YEAR ROUND, but we don’t need the addition of chemicals in our bodies, and that there are safer alternatives to chemically laced creams.
Live well! Live healthy! Enjoy the journey!
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