After a lot of consideration, a discussion the fan page, and mulling it over with a close friend, I've decided NOT to make natural sunscreen, at least not for sale. I'll be making it for myself and my fiance, but I decided not to offer it for sale mostly because of the regulations AND my fear that with a natural sunscreen in hand some people will throw everything they know about being "sun safe" out the window. That scares me more than anything!
So if you can't get a natural sunscreen from Batty's Bath, what should you look for? Well, I'm going to answer that question by informing you on what to look for in a natural sunscreen and what to watch for (i.e. run away from)! There's a few ingredients in "chemical" sunscreen, and sunscreens claiming to be "pure" or "natural" that you need to learn so you can steer clear of them! Let's get started...
First up, the good guys...
When looking for a natural sunscreen look for ingredients that protect you from the sun by physically blocking & deflecting the sun's UVA and UBA rays. These include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. One thing to note though when looking for sunscreen with either of these two natural ingredients is making sure that they are not used in nano form. What does nano form mean? Well Nanoparticles are very controversial right now. It refers to the size of the actual minerals and at the smallest size, they can penetrate the skin easily. Because of this, some experts are concerned about particles entering the body and accumulating in body tissue or getting into place they shouldn't be (for example, your cells). So what do you need to now to avoid purchasing a product that could have nanoparticles? First you need to know that you want the particles to be larger than 100 nanoparticles. If the packaging or description doesn't say, ask!
Next up, the bad guys.....
This is not one of those times when going after the "bad boy" isn't as exciting as it was when you were teenager! In fact, playing around with these "bad boys" can have much more serious effects than a good cry over a tub of ice cream! This group of ingredients are found in chemical sunscreens and protect you from the sun by absorbing UV rays before they have a chance to damage your skin. When looking for this list of bad boys, check out any products with "SPF" on the label, especially if they don't mention that it is a mineral or physical blocker that's protecting you. So who are the bad boys? Without further ado, here's how you'll find them on an ingredients list: padimate-O (PABA), benzophenone (oxybenzone), homosalate, and octylmethoxycinnamate (octinoxate).
So what makes these ingredients so bad?
First, padimate-O (PABA) is a physical blocker (not a bad thing) but it is also a suspected carcinogen. Second, Oxybenzone (benzophenone) has shown endocrine disruption in animals, although the relevancy of this finding is debated as some experts claim that it doesn't enter the human bloodstream in any meaningful way. Third, the remaining ingredients are suspected of messing with hormones. Yikes!
So why care about the effects of the sun in the first place?
According the Canadian Cancer Society, "Natural sunlight is important for good health. But too much exposure to the sun’s rays can cause skin cancer and eye problems. Being safe in the sun can go a long way in protecting yourself and your family. There is no safe way to get a tan. Tanning beds and sun lamps are not a safe alternative. The more you use tanning beds and sun lamps, the greater your risk of getting skin cancer." - Canadian Cancer Society Website.
So we're not talking about the difference between being pretty in pale, and being tremendously tanned, ... we're talking about keeping you safe from too much sun exposure that causes skin cancer! If you haven't taken this seriously in the past, this is the year to start!
Hoping to see all you lovelies the same shade this summer as you were this winter ;)