May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s talk SUNSCREENS!
There are two types of sunscreens – physical and chemical
Physical sunscreens block the sun’s rays and contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide. On the positive side, physical sunscreens provide a physical barrier for the skin, outperform chemical blocks, last longer on the skin and are considered less toxic. On the negative side, they can be pore clogging, feel thick, and look white on the skin.
Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays. A few of the popular chemical sunblock agents include Paba, Avobenzone, and/or Oxybenzone. Chemical sunscreens can be lightweight and less “greasy” than other traditional zinc blocks. On the negative side, chemical sunscreens are less effective than physical blocks, protect skin a shorter amount of time, have many safety concerns, contain a lot of skin irritating chemicals, pore clogging and potentially toxic ingredients.
The Case Against Daily Sunscreen (if you’re inside most of the day)
The trouble with ingredients in sunscreens is they can act as penetration enhancers that are absorbed into the body and can be found in blood, milk and urine samples. Scary.
An article written by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) stated, “The Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed evidence of potential hazards of sunscreen filters – instead it grandfathered in ingredients used in the late 1970s when it began to consider sunscreen safety. The Danish EPA recently reviewed the safety of active ingredients in sunscreen and concluded that most ingredients lacked information to ensure their safety (Danish EPA 2015). Sixteen of the 19 ingredients studied had no information about their potential to cause cancer” and, “Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones, and physicians report sunscreen-related skin allergies, which raises important questions about unintended human health consequences from frequent sunscreen application.”
Since 2009, The European Union (EU) has banned 1328 chemicals from cosmetics. As of 2018, the United States had only banned 30. This is a huge contrast and needs to be considered when buying cosmetics, personal care items and ESPECIALLY SUNSCREEN.
I only carry one sunscreen, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50. I am not saying all its ingredients are 100% perfect but it’s the best non-chemical based sunscreen I can find out there that doesn’t feel disgusting or cause breakouts. PS: You can get SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 FREE this month on our product special below.
NOTE: Keep in mind, there is no SPF past 50. Anything claiming to be greater than 50 SPF is creative marketing. If you spend any extended length of time outside in direct sunlight there is no sunblock out there that will protect you 100%. You will need a wide brimmed hat (a baseball hat isn’t enough), and appropriate coverage with clothing for maximum protection.
Vitamin C for the skin both topically and internally helps protect the skin from aging and neutralize free radicals in the skin.
Does Sunscreen Cause Acne?
I am probably going to be persecuted for saying this, but if you predominantly work indoors, daily sunblock isn’t necessary. That’s right, I said it.
Sunblocks are notorious for causing acne breakouts and skin irritation. Even sunblocks that claim they are specially formulated for oily or acne prone skin often causes breakouts. Many sunblock ingredients are potentially toxic and can cause all kinds of allergic reactions as well.
If you are going hiking, doing yard work, or are at the beach – then yes to the sunscreen. If you sit behind a computer all day in an office, you can safely skip the sunscreen. If you’ll be outside briefly (walking to the car, etc.), just pop a hat on to protect the delicate skin on your face and neck.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Sunscreen
Sunlight on your skin daily in small doses is good for your skin and health. Most Americans are Vitamin D deficient and daily sunblock use is one reason why. I am not condoning baking for hours in the sun, or ever visiting tanning beds, but 15 – 20 minutes of good old-fashioned sunshine (without sunblock) is central for good health.