Sunscreen: is it Safe?
The Sunscreen Marketplace
I was surprised to learn that the sunscreen market is as big as it is. About 4 billion dollars a year are spent on sunscreens. However, In America people are not adequately protecting themselves. Sixty percent of Americans actively seek a tan, less than 30 percent use sunscreen while on vacation, and less than 20 percent use sunscreen year round. But times are changing. Americans are becoming more aware of the dangers of exposure to the sun and its links to Cancer and premature aging. But are most people getting protection from the sun with their sunscreen products, and are they safe? Research shows that more than 84 percent of sunscreen lotions with high SPF levels actually failed to protect sunbathers against all harmful rays, they quickly lose their effectiveness, or their chemical ingredients do more harm than good.
The Aging Process and what it has to do with Sun Care Products
I had no idea that the sun contributes so much to aging. It accounts for ninety percent of the visual signs of aging. There are three forms of identifiable rays. They are UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are prevented from reaching earth by the ozone layer. That is one reason why the ozone layer is so important. UVB rays are medium rays. They penetrate the ozone layer and bounce off the surface of the skin. They burn the skin and cause skin cancer. UVA rays are the longest rays. They also penetrate the ozone layer. Then they penetrate the surface of the skin and destroy collagen and elastin underneath the skin's surface. These are the rays that cause wrinkles, sagging and aging.
It is important when looking for sunscreen products, to choose those that provide protection against UVA and UVB rays. You need to protect the surface of the skin and underneath the skin. Keeping the collagen and elastin intact will keep the surface of the skin safe from burning rays and Cancer causing rays.
The dangers involved in using most brands of Sun Care Products and the dangers of exposure to the sun
A big problem with the sun care industry is that in their attempt to provide higher SPF levels, they have had to increase the chemical compounds in sunscreen to allow prolonged safe exposure to the sun's rays. A team has found that sunscreen can do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin, where it actually promotes the harmful compounds it is meant to protect against. The research team found that three commonly ultraviolet (UV) filters -- octyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone 3 and octocrylene eventually soak into the deeper layers of the skin after their application leaving the top skin layers vulnerable to sun damage. UV rays absorbed by the skin can generate harmful compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can cause Skin Cancer and premature aging. The researchers found that once the filters in sunscreen soaked into the lower layer of the skin, the filters reacted with UV light to create more damaging ROS. Many of the top name brands fall into this category.
In America there are a total of seven ingredients banned from skin care products because they are considered unsafe. In Europe over one thousand ingredients are banned. So I decided the best place to find healthy skin care would be in Europe. I began to look for Pure, Safe sunscreen products with no chemicals, find out what kind of ingredients they use, and what the function of those ingredients are. This is what I discovered:
-They contain safe ingredients for UVA and UVB protection.
-Anti-aging elements to protect the top of the skin as well as the collagen and elastin underneath the skin
-Vitamin C and Magnesium which promotes healthy development of collagen and elastin
-Peptides which are protein strands that enhance the skin's own ability to build collagen and elastin.