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Sun creams – what to look for and what to avoid

When typing “is sunscreen toxic?” into Google we get nearly half a million answers, leaving anyone anxious enough to look it up. From one side we hear that sun is dangerous for our skin so we need to protect it.  From other side we hear that protection (creams, lotions etc) are dangerous due to high amount of chemical ingedients. So what to believe?

Tom Stansfeld, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, confirms the bad news: studies have shown there does appear to be a link between increased use of sunscreen and a higher risk of skin cancer. However, the study never reported a direct association between the use of sun cream and malignant melanoma, “rather that sun cream offers a false sense of security,” says Stansfeld. “People apply sun cream thinking that they can stay out in the sun for longer, ergo more skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer,” he says. “Putting on cream does not make you invincible.”

John Hamilton, a cosmetology dermatologist and biogerontologist, agrees there is a link. “There’s something going on with all these chemicals in sun cream,” he warns me. “The fact that there are skin cancer cases amongst those who wear more sunscreen is a really worrying trend.”

HOW TO BUY SUNSCREEN

THE SPF: The “sun protection factor” against UVB rays. These rays penetrate the outer layer of the skin, causing burning and damage to your skin’s DNA. The expert advice is to opt for an SPF 15 or higher. NB: It doesn’t follow that double the SPF numbers mean double the protection: the difference between an SPF 15, which blocks out 93 per cent of radiation, and an SPF 30, is only four per cent. SPF 50 will only block out 98 per cent of rays. So there is almost no difference (1%) between SPF 30 and 50. Its just marketing.

WHAT TO AVOID IN INGEDIENTS:

  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
  • Homosalate
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone)
  • Benzophenone-3
  • Benzophenone-4 
  • 4- Methylbenzylidene Camphor
  • Octyl Dimethyl PABA

“SAFE” FILTERS:

  • Octocrylene
  • Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine called also Tinosorb S 
  • Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol called also Tinosorb M
  • Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate called Uvinul A Plus
  • Ethylhexyl Salicylate 
  • Ethylhexyl Triazone
  • Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone called Uvasorb HEB 
  • Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid called Mexoryl SX
  • Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate called Neo Heliopan AP

Based on http://czytamyetykiety.pl list of few recommended products and few to avoid.

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Steps to protect yourself from the sun naturally

The major step to take is to improve our diet. If our diet contains the below-mentioned ingredients our skin will be strong enough to fight UV rays.

  • Lycopene. Found in cooked tomatoes. It is proved to increase body’s tolerance towards UV rays.
  • Astaxanthin. It is found in algae, salmon, shrimp, pink flamingo, fruits and vegetables which are red in color. There are studies which prove it strengthens our body from inside to fight with UV rays
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6. Strike a balance in the ratio of Omega 3(fish oil) and Omega 6 (linoleic acid) in your diet. Foods rich in omega 3 are fish, egg,  walnut and flax seed
  • Saturated fat. An increase in saturated fats helps a body to become protective against UV radiation. No wonder why our elders ate ghee regularly
  • Green tea. It has antioxidants and polyphenols which stop cancerous cells from growing. More reasons for tea lovers to switch to green tea!
  • Proanthocyanidins. It is found in grape seed or red wine. It helps reduce the chances of getting Photocarcinogenesis, a form of skin cancer from sunlight. It also helps against developing squamous cell cancer. Grape seed is widely available in India so make eating them a regular habit (based on http://www.lifewithherbals.com)
  • Natural oils as sunscreen. See below for the list. Also in BE.LOVED offer we have Raspberry Face Serum.

SPF_in-natural_oils

Remember to reapply cream or oil every two hours, and after swimming. Seek shade between 11am and 3pm, or any time that your shadow is shorter than you are. But still remember sun is great source of vitamins, energy and fun!!! And if your skin is very light or you simply dont like sun (yes some people dont like it 🙂 you can always use natural tanning oils and creams (with carrot oil, sea bucktorn, natural micas etc)