Summer Fun & Safer Sunscreen
by Gisele Bridges
Knowledge is power and the majority of the sunscreen products on the market offer less than what they promise, or worse, can hamper your own health.
First let's talk about UVB & UVA. UVB rays cause our skin to burn, thus what sunscreens are made to block. Remember this with U-V-Burn, or U-V-Block. However, UVB rays are responsible for vitamin D production. It's a double-edged sword.
UVA rays, which most sunscreens don't actually block, are the ones that are responsible for the deadly melanoma type of skin cancer.
Second, let's look at some of the ingredients in sunscreens that you'll find on the market, their risks, and alternatives.
- Octin-oxate is a photo sensitizer and possible estrogen mimic which can interfere with our own naturally occurring estrogen.
- Octi-salate is a penetration enhancer, meaning it can increase the amount of absorption of it as well as other chemicals present in the lotion.
- Oxybensone is used to absorb both UVA & UVB rays and is often labeled a “broad spectrum” sunscreen. It is readily absorbed into the body through the skin and testing by the Centers of Disease Control has found this chemical in 97% of people tested. It is a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical and is also suspected of being a photosensitizer and photocarcinogen which means that it can release damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun.
- Padimate-O (commonly known as Paba) has been shown to cause DNA damage when exposed to the sun and is also a suspected endocrine disruptor and photocarcinogenic.
- Retinyl Palmitate, a type of Vitamin A, has been shown to sensitize the skin and actually make it more prone to damage and burning.
Now is a great time to rotate out those products with ingredients that you don't really need. Summer is here, let's safely enjoy the outdoors!