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Summer and sunscreens

Rojo sunbathing.JPG

Let's face it, most of us love basking in the sun.  We are all aware of its dangers, especially if you have red hair and green or blue eyes. We need to protect ourselves.  Slapping a sunscreen seems to be the right thing to do and there's a big choice of them. Very few of us, however, would be bothered to read cosmetic labels, let alone 'digging' into their ingredients. Yet, you are likely to find more 'nasties' in a SPF formulation than in any other cosmetic product, mainly because of the chemical filters used as the active ingredients.

So, I opted for the safe option, that is avoiding chemical filters, PEG compounds and parabens all together. That formula was later tested and produced by a lab in UK.

What's wrong with the chemical filters? 


Well, most of them, like oxybenzone, oxtocrylene, avobenzone (also listed as Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane), had various safety concerns e.g. photosensitivity, absorption into deep tissues, promoting ROS (reactive oxygen species), siting dermatitis and they also mess with your hormones.  These ingredients were also linked to the disappearing coral reefs. As a result, they were excluded from the GRAS listing by both the FDA and the EU regulator and completely banned by some countries. The manufacturers were told to re-formulate. Easily said than done, as this meant huge expense for the industry.


SPF skincare with mineral filters were clearly a safer option.

Then the press picked up on nano-zinc and nano-titanium, the mineral filters used in sunscreens, for their ability to travel deeper into the skin and reflect sunlight from that level, thus allowing UVA damage of the epidermis. The EU Regulations required

manufacturers to display the word NANO on the label, if the product contained any nano particles. So, I made sure that my formula contains micronized zinc oxide, non-NANO. The micronized zinc sits on the surface of the epidermis rather than sinking into the deep tissues. Pricewise, the mineral filters, especially non-NANO, cost considerably more than the chemical filters and you would need a lot of zinc in your formula to reach a certain SPF level, as opposed to using a chemical filter. Still, safety first!

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