What's Really In a Sunscreen?
Have you ever wondered what ingredients are in your sunscreen that makes it an effective protector against the signs of aging and skin cancer?! That's why I've done my research over recent years to find out what really makes these awesome products tick and there weren't always pleasant things that I discovered. For starters, you might have heard about some of the negative things in regards to sunscreens that are out on the market today.
There are many ingredients in various sun protection products that could be considered harmful to humans and they have been banned in other countries- although not here in the U.S. Luckily though, the FDA recently passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act in 2014 that established an alternative review process to review the safety and effectiveness of additional active ingredients for use in sunscreens. They also set deadlines for the reviewing of ingredients and also taking further actions if needed.
Another issue that perhaps should also be addressed is not just the current sunscreen ingredients being utilized, but also the proposed and newly introduced products on the market for sun protection that offer up 'natural' alternatives. The problem with many of these products is that they are scientifically tested or properly vetted before reaching consumers as they slide in under the traditional FDA rules and instead come on to the market introduced as a cosmetic product.
Cosmetics aren't regulated to the degree of traditional sunscreens and sun protection items as they don't contain ingredients necessary for adherence to the strict scientific guidelines that are normally required for a traditional sunscreens, for example. That's why it's so vital to know which ingredients are effective, safe, and clinically proven to provide sun protection and the prevention of aging & cancer! Be sure to check out my list below, plus- there's a fantastic item featured today from LaRoche-Posay that will help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays!
- Parsol 1789 [Avobenzone]: this oil-soluble ingredient is used in sunscreen products to absorb the full UVA spectrum of rays. Although there's been a lot of negative press about this ingredient, there wasn't anywhere that I could find any true scientific evidence proving it was an unsafe ingredient. In fact, it's one of the few that isn't also banned in Europe and is considered a safe ingredient for use in sun protection ingredients as well.
- Sulisobenzone: approved by the FDA in 5% concentrations or lower and in Canada at a 6% cocentration, this ingredient can filter out both UVB and short-wave UVA ultraviolet light. This one also didn't make my personal 'danger list' as it's been approved and had vast amounts of clinical research proving it was safe to use.
- Octisalate: an organic compound used in sunscreens to absorb UVB rays from the sun with water-resistant properties. It's also an ingredient where there's no scientific evidence or even buzz around this compound as being a dangerous ingredient you'd want to avoid putting on your skin.
- Mexoryl SX [Ecamsule]: also an organic compound and water-soluble, this ingredient can filter out UVA rays. Due to its few side-effects and fairly safe nature, this is a recommended ingredients here in the U.S. and other countries.
- Homosalate: an FDA approved active sunscreen ingredient that mostly provides UVB protection, although it does offer up a narrow range of UVA protection as well. It's also considered non-sensitizing and is often seen in products containing an SPF of 30+
The Beauty Closet Recommends:
Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum w/Sunscreen SPF 50
This product is a win-win and I'm a huge fan! Why? For starters, there's not been a La Roche-Posay product yet that I've tried and didn't love! They create truly effective products that are made with real science and quality ingredients backing their creation. Their attention to ingredients and detail is what amazes me. They don't waste your money or time with messy, over-priced items that don't work or do more harm than good! This awesome serum that's combined with the fabulousness of a sunscreen makes it a one-of-a-kind product that you'll love as well. It's perfect for all skin types as the formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and free from oils packed into the ingredients list as well!
Not only can you visibly improve the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and improve your skin's texture, but you can decrease the risk of future skin aging that's caused by sun exposure and prevent skin cancer! I love how easily and quickly it absorbs into my skin too, without leaving behind a yucky, oily & stinky residue as many similar products I've tried in the past often do! It's even a product that works well under makeup and as it comes in an easy-to-use pump action bottle, there's little mess and easy portability ;) If you've been on the hunt for a great sun protection product for that won't cause breakouts or issues with your sensitive skin and it's a quality item from a brand that you can trust- this is the product for you!