Protect Your Skin...from the Sun AND Harmful Chemicals from Sun Protection Products!
There are a few chemicals and compounds that are found in many sunscreens and sun protection products, that aren't necessarily good for your skin- or body. But, it's important to know about the facts and research behind such claims to get to the bottom of the issue. Let's start with Oxybenzone. This is a very commonly utilized ingredient that is used in many sunscreens.
Although there are studies out there that were done on animals that show that there is a possible interference with hormones when this chemical was applied in large quantities. However, this amount would have to be liberally applied to the entire human body....every day...for 30 years- before it would reach a harmful & lethal amount.
The American Academy of Dermatology has also ruled this chemical to be safe and the FDA has approved it to be safe to use on children that are 6 months and older. The Environmental Working Group does cite that over 50% of the sunscreens out there contain this chemical and that it has been shown in some recent research to be absorbed through the skin.
You may have also heard about retinyl palminate- this is a form of Vitamin A; this compound has been found in government studies, to have an increased effect on skin cancer when applied to skin that's been exposed to the Sun. Unfortunately, the final verdict is still out on its effect on humans as the results have only been conclusive on mice.
Nanoparticles are another issue that's been posed as a possible health risk and it's often found in sun protection products too! These particular types of sunscreens often offer up non-irritating formulas for those with sensitive skin. The research and verdict is still out though, on whether or not these nano-sized & colorless particles are getting beneath/into the skin.
You've probably heard of PABA or p-Aminobenzoic acid! The EU has banned this terrible chemical all together, however the US and Australia still allow up to a 15 % concentration in our sun protection products :0 The reason why the EU has banned PABA is because although it was show to have protection benefits in regards exposure in mice, but it was also shown to have an increased effect on DNA defects.
As you can see from the list thus far, I could probably keep going on quite a bit [there are several chemicals that are banned in places like the EU, but allowed here in the U.S.]. You can find a list of the FDA allowable active ingredients >here<. The great thing about this list, is that it also shows you the other names the compound is known by, the max. concentration, which countries permit the chemical, and the results of the safety testing.
After concluding all of my own research, I have to admit that a lot of these chemicals do not show very safe and promising results- especially when it comes to some of the evidence from government studies. This concerns me as a beauty-lover and someone who's concerned for her family's safety & that of her own. Until the verdict is in, I think I'd rather be safer than sorry ;)
There are safe sunscreens and other sun protection products out there that aren't chalked full of harmful ingredients! Luckily, I happen to be continually on the hunt for products such as these and I wanted to share with all of you 2 of my top picks from Sun Bum, below! Get the lowdown on these 2 awesome products- one for getting that perfect golden glow and one for providing safe, broad-spectrum protection from the sun's harmful rays :)
The Beauty Closet Recommends
Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Parasol 1789 or avobenzone, is a water-resistant UV-B filter that's utilized in sunscreen and sun protection formulas and it's highly effective. If you're seeking an all-around great SPF product that is truly water-resistant [for up to 80 minutes] and doesn't contain tons of harmful, unhealthy ingredients- then this is the way to go. Sun Bum's Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is PABA-free and oil-free, so it won't clog pores or harm your skin/body!
The scent is light and pleasant, with floral and coconut scents that make the perfect non-annoying blend :) It absorbs easily and well into the skin too. I love that the bottle is well-designed, with textured sides to allow for a firm grip. If you have sensitive skin, this is an excellent choice as well- I have beyond sensitive skin myself, and this product didn't cause any of those issues.
Not only does this product smell wonderful, it happens to be Vegan, Paraben, & Gluten-free! That makes it a win-win ;) Now keep in mind, that this isn't a product designed for SPF protection as it's actually focused on creating a tan- therefore, I would highly recommend that you utilize an SPF product before you apply this product [like the Sun Bum Original SPF formula recommended above!]. That will ensure that you are protecting your skin from the sun damage and you're also getting a wonderfully brown, golden tan :)
Although this does state on the packaging that it's level is "deep-dark", I didn't have any issues with getting an unusual color when using this product. In fact, it did just what it said it would do and that's actually not a very easy feat for me! I also love the scent- it's light and coconut fragrance are perfect for getting right in the summer or beach/poolside mood!