Chances are, you will be picking up some sunscreen. From being outside, cycling outdoors, to enjoying a cook-out Americans purchased 69% of the 150 million total products of sunscreen in 2018 from late April to mid-August, according to market research firm IRI (https://www.consumerreports.org/sunscreens/best-sunscreens-of-the-year/). Dermatologists say the best sunscreen is one that you will use but how does a person choose the most effective sunscreen?
Some prior knowledge may be necessary to continue further. Research by Consumer Reports tested 80 sunscreens, lotions, sprays, sticks, and lip balms showed that we cannot always rely on the sun protection factor (SPF). Consumer Reports also tested against UVA rays that tans and ages skin but also UVB rays that contribute to skin cancer. The results are in and Consumer Reports found ONLY 10 sunscreens that effectively warded off UVA and UVB rays using harsh chemicals. I know I had fallen victim to using these chemicals as a sunscreen.
The first chemical that should be avoided is oxybenzone. This ingredient is one of the most commonly used sunscreen chemicals. Oxybenzone is linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, contact allergies, and photoallergies. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with hormones at certain doses. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors. Photoallergies means exposure to light is required to generate an allergic response. This ingredient may also be called benzophenone- 3, and is not to be confused with benzophone, another detrimental sunscreen ingredient.
This unnatural substance is also harmful to aquatic life. It lately has taken some well-deserved heat from researchers and media alike for impacts on the coral reefs. This substance is so harmful that Hawaii has taken measures to ban it to protect the reefs. Degrading coral reefs affects biodiversity, as well as humans, were coral reefs are important livelihoods for fishermen and economies dependent on tourism. Coral reefs also protect coastlines from storms and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The next common chemical in sunscreens is called octinoxate. This UV filter that protects from UVB rays but it does not protect against UVA rays. It tends to work well in sunscreen formulas because it dissolves easily in oil. Octinoxate is linked to endocrine disruption as well as affecting sexual reproduction. The chemical is also a concern for people and the planet because it is harmful to coral reefs. The next chemical that is toxic to humans is known as homosalate.
This chemical absorbs UV light that can prevent direct skin exposure, however, this ingredient is linked to hormone disruption and it may even enhance the absorption of pesticides, including bug sprays, into one skin. This ingredient is persistent in the environment, meaning it does not break down readily. A reader might wonder what if I don’t want to use these chemicals on my skin.
The two minerals that create a physical, not chemical, barrier against UVA and UVB rays are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Titanium dioxide reflects the rays, keeping your skin free from harm and because it’s a natural mineral, there is virtually no chance of irritation, making it safe to use on sensitive skin types. Titanium dioxide is not a human made chemical, but a naturally occurring mineral in the Earth’s crust. This UV filter can be safe in mineral sunscreens. However, titanium dioxide is a possible carcinogen when inhaled (https://www.madesafe.org/toxic-chemicals-in-sunscreen-safer-alternatives/). The best way to use titanium dioxide sunscreen, in other words, is to physically apply in an ointment on your body and/or face.
The second most effective mineral to use for sun protection is zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is considered safe since it does not penetrate the skin and offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The only negative in using this type of sunscreen isit goes on white what is the BEST known protection! You might wonder how much zinc oxide I should find in the product.
The ideal number is 20% or higher zinc oxide will give you complete UVA and UVB protection (https://theskincareedit.com/2017/06/02/how-to-choose-best-sunscreen). Hooray! The higher the zinc oxide level, the higher the SPF.
In conclusion, when a dermatologist says the best type of sunscreen is one that you use; you will have a better understanding of what sunscreen to purchase. My hope is that you will refer to my article to not only protect yourself but your loved ones against the treacherous sun. I advise anyone who would like to learn more ask questions about my articles and I would happily find the answer.
1. How did I do with my research? Do you have any other questions? Do you have things I should add?
2. What should I research next?
It brings up the question why do we have companies like Walmart selling products that could potentially give us cancer? Furthermore, after reading my article I want you to ask yourself did you know this information? Connect with me…..
I’d love to hear from you…
https://theskincareedit.com/2017/06/02/how-to-choose-best-sunscreen https://www.madesafe.org/toxic-chemicals-in-sunscreen-safer-alternatives/ https://www.consumerreports.org/sunscreens/best-sunscreens-of-the-year/