Ageing skin is a natural phenomenon that everyone must face at some point. But exposure to the sun without protection is one of the biggest causes of early skin ageing and worst, sun cancer. According to the Environment Working Group, active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms: mineral and chemical filters. But both may pose hazards to human health. The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters.
1- Some Current Main Components Used:
- Titanium dioxide: This ingredient is an inert earth mineral that is used for its thickening, lubricating, and sunscreen properties. It is the primary ingredient used in sunscreen as a harmful UV filtering. Titanium dioxide can prevent the occurrence of skin cancer regarding the Skin Cancer Foundation.
- Oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3 or BP-3): Used to absorb, scatter or reflect UV radiation. This ingredient is the most widely used chemical sunscreen, and the Environmental Working Group has rated it an 8 on their own toxicity rating scale. Oxybenzone was said to disrupt hormonal activity of women.
2- Some Current Hazardous Components to Avoid:
- Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA): Some studies suggest that the Padimate O used in sunscreen products may have estrogenic effects and can potentially affect human health. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products, UV filters used in sunscreen products allowed in the European market have no estrogenic effects that could potentially affect human health, up to 8%.
- Oxybenzone (also known as benzophenone-3 or BP-3): Used to absorb, scatter or reflect UV radiations. This ingredient is the most widely used chemical sunscreen, and the Environmental Working Group has rated it an 8 on their own toxicity rating scale. Oxybenzone was said to disrupt hormonal activity of women.
3- Natural Alternatives:
- Dietary changes: A large part of natural sun protection comes by eating anti-inflammatory aliment regularly. Consume foods high in antioxidants will protect the skin with natural sunburn resistance. Vitamin C (contained in many fruits) and Vitamin E (found in nuts and seeds) can also make a good natural barrier. You can add smoothies into your diet to make a more regular and easiest consumption. To finish, vitamin A can also serve as protection, being adequate sunlight for Vitamin D absorption. All of the components cited has an adaptive response to UV exposure and help naturally to prevent skin cancer and ageing related to sun exposure.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil – SPF of 4-8 contains antioxidants that will prevent sunburn damage. It can also make a great base for homemade sunscreens. Consuming it can also help to protect the skin from the inside out. Furthermore, coconut oil makes a great skin moisturizer. Keep in mind that the SPF is very low. It’s better to find another sun protection way.
- Red raspberry seed oil: Red raspberry seed oil – SPF of 28-50 is one of the only natural oils that protect against UVA and UVB rays. In fact, the SPF of Red Raspberry Seed Oil has been found to be equal to that of titanium dioxide, an ingredient commonly used in commercial sunscreens. It is high in antioxidants and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It will help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with sunburn.
- Carrot seed oil: Carrot seed – SPF of 38-40 contains a high amount of Vitamin A and beta carotene. It has antiseptic properties which help prevent and heal the infection. It also works for skin irritation and rejuvenates the skin. Carrot seed has a natural SPF of 38-40.
- And also: When outdoors, stay in the shade whenever possible and in particular when the sun’s rays are most intense (between 12:00-14:00). Wear sun protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses. White clothes can also have a little benefit.