With the summer heat on its way, folks will soon be carting themselves down to the beach for sun and sand. If you’re planning on joining the beach going crowd, you’ll want to pack a hefty dose of sunblock to keep from turning into a raisin. So, it would probably interest you to hear that 24 out of 73 of the most popular sunblock products provide approximately half the sun protection advertised on the package.
Consumer Reports released a review of the summer’s top sunscreen products and found nearly half of them sorely lacking. Skin cancer is no laughing matter. The skin affliction affects over four million Americans each year. Each and every year, the sunscreens that claim to be “all natural” or “cruelty-free” are the ones that fall flat when it comes to protecting your skin from the ravages of Ultra Violet light.
The simple reason for this is “natural” and “organic” substances reflect UV light. In order to absorb and protect against UV light, inorganic materials are required. These are the stuff of those bright white smudges you saw a lot of people putting on their noses in the 70s and 80s. That stuff was a gimmick and didn’t work- although the skin right under the white stripe was certainly safe from the sun.
The active ingredient in modern sunblock (sunblock that works) is called avobenzone. But, of course, there’s more to it than that.
In order to work, and actively protect your skin from UV rays, sunblock has to have an active ingredient and a base material. The base is what the active ingredient is suspended in. But the base itself also has to have sun resistant properties for the sunblock to do its job. The reason homemade sunscreens don’t work is they simply mix zinc oxide into a base which is not itself a protector from the sun.
To understand why this doesn’t work, imagine trying to keep the rain off of you by attaching cocktail umbrellas to your sweater. It would not work because the rain would simply run between the tiny umbrellas. In this analogy, the tiny umbrellas are like the zinc oxide in our “natural” sunblock, and the sweater is like the base. In order for our rain sweater to work, the sweater itself would need to be waterproof.
According to Lab Muffin Beauty Science, sunblock is one of the most difficult beauty and skin care products to manufacture. The reason for this is simply the fact that we are trying to block radiation with something you rub onto your skin. If we wanted to simply block the sunlight, we would put on clothing.
To understand why sunblock is so hard to make, you have to look at it as the major contradiction that it is. Trying to block the sunlight with a smear-on substance that’s transparent and doesn’t wash off every time you go in the water is a lot like wishing for a magic shield. It’s like asking for all the transportation benefits of a car without the big metal contraption and all that fussing around with mechanical things.
For sunblock to do all of the contradicting things we ask it to do it has to be made of some pretty harsh chemicals. Mixing some minerals into some plant butter isn’t going to cut it. That’s why “natural” sunblocks don’t work.
Consumer Reports’ sunscreen expert, Trisha Calvo told the Daily Mail, “You can take two different sunscreens with the exact same ingredients and they may test differently and that’s because how they perform really has to do with the formulation and how the ingredients interact.”
The more expensive UV stopping sunblock creams absorb the sun’s radiation, while the mineral only products deflect sunlight. Deflection sounds good, however, mineral sunblock is not a solid surface- like a mirror. When a ray of light hits a particle of reflective mineral in natural sunblock, the chances that it will be deflected away from your skin is only about 50% at best.
Calvo says, “Chemical sunscreens with active ingredients absorb UV rays, rather than attempting to deflect them, which mineral sunscreens do. It’s almost like the UV bounces back onto your skin when you apply mineral-only sunscreens.”
The fact is, to achieve something as unnatural as defending against the sunlight while remaining essentially naked, we need some pretty unnatural stuff. That means taking on the risk of using harsh chemical sunblock.
The “natural” and healthy choice would be to stay in the shade.
~ Health Scams Exposed