It is kind of common knowledge that the purpose of sunscreen is to block away UV rays, both UVA and UVB. While UVB burns at the surface, UVA is much more insidious, since it doesn’t burn on the surface, which makes it impossible to consider, but rather deeper, underneath the surface. It causes melanoma.
Sunscreen: Let’s Not Block out the Facts!
We must also determine the Sun Protection Factor or SPF. For instance, 30 SPF sunscreen blocks away 96% of UVB, while 60 SPF sunscreen blocks away 97% of UVB. In other words, for a 30 SPF difference, we only block away 1% more sun rays.
The calculation is rather interesting: if the skin appears to have become reddish after 10 minutes while we are using 30 SPF sunscreen, we multiply 30 X 10, which would give us a 300-minute sun exposure protection. However, all of that becomes utterly irrelevant when considering that we have to reapply sunscreen, come hell or high water, every two hours.
All that being said, there are two types of sunscreen: filter (chemical) and physical (mineral).
Filter or Falter?
On average, chemical elements make up 25% of a filter sunscreen. To top it all off, it only filters sunrays!
A study released on May 6th, 2019 states that four chemical substances must be submitted for further examination, experiments, and research by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), namely avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. We fear these substances being absorbed by the pores into the blood vessels may be very harmful.
Three of these ingredients actually remained in the system at least 24 hours after sunscreen was last applied.
Although we have yet to determine the extent of that absorption, the alarm has been triggered: what are the risks related to health?
Oxybenzone: A Lack of Chemistry with the System
Still, studies have shown that the amount of oxybenzone that stays in the system is 50 to 100 times greater than that of the three other chemicals. Oxybenzone was also traced to 97% of the samples.
Subsequent studies have also shown a possible link between oxybenzone and a lower testosterone rate in adolescents, hormone changes in men, shortened pregnancies, and disrupted birth weight.
Furthermore, a 10-year study has revealed that 70% of subjects exposed to oxybenzone have experienced contact allergies.
Finally, according to a Swiss-conducted study, oxybenzone or either one of four other chemicals was found in the breast milk of 85% of the subjects.
The Mineral Age Has Come Back
Obviously, all experts agree on the worst-kept secret: we must not stop using sunscreen. For instance, skin cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. Instead, we can definitely count on a mineral sunscreen, made up of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which, quite simply, blocks away sunrays; thus not only filtering them. The problem was that aesthetics prevailed for some years: mineral sunscreen left the subjects with a light white coating, which people did not find very appealing, therefore – and harmfully – choosing chemical filter sunscreen.
Above all, mineral sunscreen is the only one whose efficiency covers the widest spectrum, blocking away UVB as well as UVA. It passes the Critical Wavelength Test – the ultimate test for that matter – with flying colors.
Mineral sunscreen blocks out both the UV rays and the chemicals.