SUNSCREEN is a HOT topic.
Were you a sunscreen kid?
Did you get covered in cream to protect you from the sun - especially if your skin was white?
We all know sunscreen is essential for protecting us from the sun's UV rays and for waterproofing our skin. Health risks prove greater if we don't wear sunblock.
SENSIBLE QUESTIONS: Is it safe? Will it burn my skin in the hot sun: damage skin cells: give me skin cancer: cause hormone disruption: add to my toxic load?
What's it doing to my skin and lips? Will I get wrinkles or early ageing skin?
If I use sunblock all day every day will I stop producing vitamin D - essential for protecting against skin cancer?
Is sunscreen wash off safe for our coral reefs and environments?
HOW ABOUT GETTING UP TO SPEED on which sunscreens are safe and which are toxic and learn if chemical-free natural organic is any different to the off-the-shelf sunblock we have been using all our life?
We know the manufacture of conventional and mineral based sunscreen takes place in the lab. US Food and Drug Administration has no stipulation for what defines a sunscreen organic or natural! So, is either one safer than the other and how natural is natural?
THE ROLE of sunscreen is to protect your skin by scattering, reflecting or absorbing harmful UV light.
Conventional sunscreens contain a mix of chemicals and fragrances.
OXYBENZONE - a chemical that has been in sunblock since its invention - it allows other chemicals to be penetrated by the skin. Research - hormone disruptor - catalyst in cell damage?
Synthetic Fragrances - Synthetic preservatives: parabens & phthalates. Research - hormonal interference?
Synthetic Musks - Research - hormone disruption links?
Retinyl Palmitate - Vitamin A palmitate (used in night creams). Research as to hazardous effects on skin when exposed in a sunscreen to the sun?
Petroleum - makes the formula water-resistant
Nanoparticles - readily absorbed by vital organs, tissues and cells, where they may cause harm.
Natural organic sunscreens
2 MINERAL ingredients acquired from natural sources - clay and beach sand deposits.
TITANIUM DIOXIDE - TiO2 and ZINC OXIDE - ZnO
These minerals protect you by forming a stable physical barrier on your skin without clogging or irritating your pores. They sit on your skin and effectively scatter or reflect the light away without getting absorbed.
THINK OF A MIRROR - UV light bounces off the surface.
Pros & Cons
Sunscreen made with these 2 minerals are currently considered safer: they don't break down in the sun and they do provide strong UV protection with few health concerns. It can last up to 8 hours if not rubbed off! Those in the water for hours find that they need to reapply sunblock every 2 hours - it's less water-resistant.
WHEN LOOKING FOR A SAFE SUNSCREEN FORMULAcheck the label for broad spectrum sunscreen - that protects both UVB and UVA light
SPF 15 - for children - contains a smaller % of zinc oxide
SPF 30 - contains a higher % of zinc oxide
SPF 50 - that contains both minerals and gives longer protection - use lightly because together they can leave a white mark on skin: less is best
coconut oil - gentle and mild on your skin - making it a safe option
sunflower oil - plant-based moisturiser rich in vitamins A, D and E
shea butter - thickener and emulsifier in lotions and skin care products
beeswax - a carrier for zinc oxide + makes sunscreen water-resistant
In your FIRST AID KIT
Aloe Vera Gel - a soothing comfort to burnt skin especially facial skin that is paper thin.
Hawaiian 'Ili coffee scrub - consider using this natural organic body scrub after wearing a sunscreen for hours. You will notice the refreshing difference in your skin.
'Ili Hawaiian coffee scrub is an exfoliant that can remove sunscreen gently and with its deep natural penetration, clean your skin and leave it moist and soothed.
Remember - only wear sunscreen when you absolutely need to and choose wisely...
YOU ARE YOUR SKIN'S SOLE PROTECTOR