Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Safer sunscreens for women and children.

As promised, here is the follow up to my article about the chemicals in sunscreen and what they can do to your body.  If you missed it, you can find it here

The alternatives to wearing a commercial oxybenzone based sunscreen are mineral based lotions.

The safest mineral used in these products is Zinc Oxide.
Zinc oxide is a mineral that provides complete UVB/UVA protection, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered a safe sunscreen ingredient. Zinc oxide is the only FDA approved sunscreen for use on children under 6 months of age. However, the regular form of zinc oxide leaves a strong white residue on the skin. To create a clear skin product rather than one that leaves a white residue, zinc oxide is now made in the form of nano-size particles. (taken from an excellent article you should read HERE)
There is still some safety concerns around this new nano-particle, including the fact it can still penetrate through the placenta in pregnancy and is readily absorbed by the skin.  The effects of these nano particles are still being researched, but one to consider if you are trying to be extra careful.  It is however possible to get a micronized type of zinc oxide, that is clear and does not bring with it the same worries.

Check labels, read the ingredients and be sure of what you are applying.  Email the manufacturers if need be, or just don't buy anything that isn't clearly labelled.  Titanium oxide is also used in some products.  There is concern around the safety of this mineral, so I would advise you do some more research on this is you are going to buy anything containing titanium oxide.

Badger Sunscreens have a really useful information page on natural sunscreens.  I would recommend it.. their page on Zinc oxide and nano-particles is very interesting.

Badger also sell a good range of products, all nano-free, biodegradable, UVA and UVB, and water resistant.  The range includes, SPF 16 aloe vera lotion, SPF 30+ scented and unscented lotion and anti bug, SPF 30+ Chamomile baby lotion, SPF35 Sport lotion, a lip balm and face stick.  You can find them all HERE.

Caribbean Blue Suncreen is made in St Lucia.  They are micronized and contain oils of coconut, sweet almond and botanical extracts of ginko.  It comes in SPF factors of 8, 15 and 25, for babies, sensitive skin and sport.  They also sell an exotic oil for those that don't tend to burn in the sun, aftersun and insect repellant.  They are stocked by The Natural Skin Company

Other brands available include Lavera, Loving Naturals, and Jason.  All of which are pretty easy to get in the UK.

If in the USA, I found this excellent little article that gives you 21 brands to choose from.  It's well worth a look!

Other ways to keep your skin safe is to remember to wear sunscreen or protective clothing if out in the sun between 11am and 3pm when the Sun is at it's strongest.  Clothes will not fully protect you from all the rays as they can penetrate through the material.
Staying the shade is always a good move, but don't forget about the rays bouncing off white sands, walls, glass and anything reflective around you.

I would advise you to have a little google and read through other articles.  I would also suggest you give the net a good search for deals or sales on these sunscreens.  Although not extortionately expensive they are still a bit pricer than the high street stuff, and you are unlikely to find them on 2 for 1 deals.  You may find other brands that are easier to get hold of where you live.

If you want to have a go at making your own sunscreen, here's a couple of links to recipes and suggestions:

1 comment:

Jane said...

Another great article and really interesting. Will be having a look into this as any way we can cut chemicals can only be a good thing.

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