CHEMICAL VS. MINERAL

written by Lorna Pulver – Natural Beauty Expert & Master Facialist at Jennie Fresa

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As the temperatures begin to soar outdoors we are all ready to have our fun in the sun! Every year we learn a little bit more about sun care and sunscreens, so let’s go back to school for a moment and take a short course in sunscreen 101:

 

First, what is the difference between Chemical sunscreen and Mineral sunscreen?

 

Chemical sunscreens do not sit on the surface of the skin.  They must be absorbed into the skin to become effective. Therefore they must be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure in order to provide adequate protection. These chemicals then absorb the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays to protect us from sun damage. So… if you wait until you arrive at that glorious beach or that happening backyard barbeque before applying your chemical SPF, you run the risk of not being protected. Always apply these types of sunscreens well before going out in the sun.

Now here’s something to keep in mind, those chemicals are being absorbed directly into the bloodstream. They scatter all over the body without being detoxified by the liver and can be detected in the blood, urine, and breast milk for up to two days after a single application. This would be fine if all chemical sunscreens were equally safe, but they are not. Studies have found chemicals such as Oxybenzone to be hormone disruptors mimicking estrogen and interfering with thyroid function, they can cause skin mutations, free radical damage and can also become a skin allergen. Some chemical sunscreens can go so far as to actually trigger hyperpigmentation! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detected Oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the American population.  Luckily there are some chemical sunscreen ingredients that are safer than Oxybenzone. The best ingredients to look for are Avobenzone, and Mexoryl SX and XL. They both rate#2 on the EWG safety scale.  

 

On the other hand mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, do not get absorbed into your body. They sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays and they begin to work the moment you apply. Mineral sunscreens do well to protect against both UVA and UVB rays and provide a more stable protection from harmful UV radiation. Ingredients to look for include Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Micronized particles are the newest technology in zinc formulations allowing better consistency and solving the dreaded white cast they were known for in the past.  On a side note, avoid nanotechnology as it is still very controversial and more studies need to be done.

 

Physical sunscreens are the perfect choice for those of us with very sensitive or reactive skin.  People who suffer from rosacea, have sensitive eyes, are pregnant or breast feeding should use mineral sunscreen since they are unlikely to cause any irritation to the skin and will not build up toxicity in the body.  Mineral sunscreens are my choice for everyday routine sun care and to lessen our toxic load to our bodies. My number one choice of products is by Suntegrity. I religiously use our 5 in 1 Suntegrity moisturizing face cream. It is a tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, and anti-aging product all in one.

 

Chemical sunscreens have their place too and may be a better choice for those who exercise in the sun and/or are swimming at the beach. They hold up to water and sweat much better than many mineral sunscreens.  Chemical sunscreens can also be formulated in a much thinner consistency which may be easier for some of us to apply liberally and more evenly. It is recommended that we apply one ounce or one shot glass of sunscreen to our entire body every two hours when in direct sun. Chemical sunscreens can be very unstable in sunlight, so a well formulated product with anti-oxidant protection like Coola’s  Sport 50 Unscented Moisturizer for the body is a great choice for summer.  It is water resistant up to 80 minutes, is fortified with phyto-protection from plankton, soothes with arnica, vitamins and organic avocado and linseed oils. We have a wonderful selection of good for you products to choose from!

 

Some quick sunscreen tips and interesting findings!

  •         Throw away last year’s bottle of sunscreen! It has already expired and will not give you the protection you and your family are looking for.
  •         Avoid Oxybenzone! A hormone disruptor and skin sensitizer. Look for Avobenzone and Mexoryl SX instead.
  •         Avoid vitamin A also known as retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, or retinyl linoleate in your sunscreen. This ingredient may trigger development of cancerous skin lesions or tumors.
  •         Don’t be fooled by high SPF ratings! Higher than 50+ rating gives a false sense of protection and is not proven to provide extra safety against burns and exposure.  Instead reapply often.
  •         Don’t forget your lips! Try Suntegrity lip CPR SPF 30.
  •         Wear a hat and sunglasses for added protection! Harmful radiation can affect your delicate eyes and often tops of ears, tops of feet and scalps go unprotected.
  •         UVA rays are present during all hours of daylight, even on the cloudiest of days. In fact, these rays can penetrate glass windows making it necessary to incorporate SPF into your everyday routine.
  •         New study reveals SPF30 prevents melanoma by 80 percent.
  •         A continuous spray SPF needs 30 – 90 seconds of time, enough to create a glistening sheen to the skin.  Try our selection of Coola sunscreen spray with plant protection and organic ingredients.
  •         Boost your skins ability to ward off damage by eating a diet including lycopene found in many red fruits and vegetables. They contain phytochemicals to improve skin’s ability to recover from UV damage.

 

Shop the COOLA!

Shop the Suntegrity!

XO,

Team JF

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