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What Chemicals To Avoid In Sunscreen -Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know!

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Long-term sun damage to the skin, known to dermatologists as ‘photoaging’, accounts for about 90% of the signs of skin ageing.

That’s right! The sun accounts for about 90% of the signs of skin aging.

The effects of sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) light, include damage to skin cells and their DNA.

Damaged cells cannot perform to their full potential which results in reduced cellular output.

When fibroblasts (which make our collagen and elastin) are damaged, production of these proteins is reduced.

This ultimately leads to fine lines, wrinkles, thinned skin, decreased elasticity, larger pores and worsening of acne scaring.

Irregular pigmentation, age spots and visible vessels are also physical presentations of photodamage.

Why Do UV Rays Damage Our Skin?

Despite common misconceptions, this damage does not occur exclusively through tanning and sunburn.

The UV rays that burn us (UVB rays) are blocked by clouds and windows so only pose risk to the skin when you are outside on a sunny day.

The UV rays that tan and age us are UVA rays.

They make up 95% of the UV rays that reach the earth and pass through clouds and windows, saturating the skin and posing a threat to skin health 365 days a year.

Hence the huge percentage of aging accounted for by unprotected sun exposure.

Can You Tell Someones Age By How Much Sun Damage They Have?

If 90% of the signs of skin aging is caused by daily sunlight, simple mathematics suggests that an aged person who has never worn sunscreen would (at any time of life) look 1/10th as old if they had used a sunscreen every day.

Despite this staggering fact, it is commonly reported during aesthetic consultations that patients reserve sunscreen application for situations in which they might get sunburnt, specifically the beach.

This flawed approach to sunscreen is arguably the sole reason behind the skin characteristics that help us guess a person’s age by decade.

In general, you can identify people in their 40’s by a common percentage of the signs of aging mentioned above, this is the same with 60-year olds and 80-year olds.

What if everyone started wearing an effective sunscreen that blocked UVA and UVB rays from today onwards?

Would today’s tweens look like today’s 50 something’s on their 50th birthdays? Or could we change the landscape of aging as we know it?

What would 50-year-olds look like as a collective in 40 years time if we were able to prevent 90% of the signs of skin ageing between now and then?

Why You Wouldn’t Want To Wear A Daily Sunscreen

Common objections to daily sunscreens include “it’s greasy” and “it makes me break out”. These concerns relate to chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and octinoxate .

Chemical sunscreens are linked in an ever-growing body of scientific evidence to limited efficacy in sun protection.

In the main, chemical sunscreen filters only protect you against UVB rays and breakdown within about two hours, reducing your protection further.

They have also been linked to toxic loading in the human body and damage to our coral reefs.

What Are The Benefits Of Zinc Oxide In Sunscreen?

Zinc oxide offers broad-spectrum protection. This means it protects your skin against UVB and UVA all year round.

It has exceptional photostability which means it doesn’t break down in the presence of UV radiation and offers protection throughout the day.

Furthermore, zinc oxide poses no risk to coral reefs or human health when applied topically and it allows the skin to breathe, so it doesn’t cause breakouts.

The efficacy and safety profile of zinc oxide is unparalleled and it is, therefore, the dermatologists’ go-to ingredient for sun protection.

There has been much ado about mineral sunscreens and all that buzz needs to be heeded. Why? Simply because the chemicals that are found in chemical sunscreens seep into our bloodstream.

Yes, you read that right.

Why Are Chemical Sunscreens Bad For Your Body?

A recent study by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirmed this fact.

According to the FDA, if a sunscreen chemical exceeds a blood concentration of 0.5ng/mL, this indicates potential concerns with that ingredient.

Therefore, it should undergo further “nonclinical toxicology assessment including systemic carcinogenicity and additional developmental and reproductive studies.”

The FDA study included 24 healthy participants with a medium age of 35 years. They were divided into four subgroups with each group trying a specific form of chemical sunscreen: two sprays, one lotion, and one cream.

Researchers applied sunscreen on the participants four times a day for four days and collected 30 blood samples over a seven-day period.

The results were astounding.

Blood concentrations greater than 0.5ng/mL were found for all chemical sunscreen ingredients that were tested, including avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene.

And this was just after the first day of application.

Why should we care? For starters, because the thought of having chemicals seep into your bloodstream is unnerving.

Especially when it concerns a product that should be used daily to protect your skin from the harmful UVB and UVA rays.

Is there a safer alternative To Chemical Sunscreens?

The simple answer is yes!

Go for sunscreens containing zinc oxide and or titanium oxide, these physical filters reflect the suns rays acting as a shield’

These are mineral based and completely free from any of these chemical which means nothing is absorbed in to the bloodstream.

A much safer alternative to be using everyday to prevent premature aging.

 

Final Thoughts

Every time you do your morning skincare routine, you have one choice: use an effective, broad-spectrum, mineral sunscreen to defend against skin damage by the sun, or don’t and allow the damage to happen.

Do your 10-year-into-the-future self a favour; prevent up to 90% of the signs of skin aging between now and then by using an physical sunscreen every day.