It’s no secret that a moderate amount of sun exposure is good for your health. Once sunlight makes contact with your skin, it sets off an increased production of Vitamin D, which plays an important part in your health.
A short list of Vitamin D’s positive effects on the body include:
- Better bone health
- Improved muscle strength
- A lowered risk of rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions
- Increased production of serotonin, which helps with your mood
However, there can be too much of a good thing, and some the effects of sun overexposure are:
- Skin damage
- Early development of wrinkles
- Skin cancer
With the school holiday seasonin full swing and the summer holidays just around the corner, many of you are looking to purchase the best sunscreens for you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, not all sunscreens prioritise your skin’s health.
In fact, a recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 67% of the sunscreens that they tested do not work, and that many of them contained harmful UV-filters.
Unlike other skin care products, sunscreen is unique because you coat it thickly onto your skin and often do so multiple times a day. That’s why it’s important for you to educate yourself about the health effects of sunscreen and some of the chemicals found within them. This knowledge will help you choose products that aren’t hazardous to the long-term health of your skin.
To aid you, we’ve broken down some of the potential negative side effects caused by some commonly found UV-filters.
They interfere with your endocrine system
Because UV-filters in sunscreens are rapidly absorbed through your skin, they are also absorbed into the bloodstream rather quickly. They influence your hormone production, and this can have far-reaching effects on your reproductive and immune systems.
One of the UV-filters, benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone), has been found in 96% of urine samples in the US. Several UV-filters have also been found in 85% of Swiss breast milk samples (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010).
They can activate skin allergies
Some ingredients can cause irritation and activate your skin allergies. Octocrylene, benzophenone-3 and avobenzone are often responsible for contact dermatitis and should be avoided. It’s also worth noting that some countries, like Japan and Sweden, have banned the use of benzophenone-3.
They can cause chronic skin inflammation
UV-filters must be able to withstand powerful UV radiation without losing their effectiveness or forming potentially harmful by-products. Some of these by-products can cause long term skin inflammation that can trigger excess melanin production, adding extra risk toward your skin suffering from pigmentation.
There are safer sunscreens available
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid products that include:
- Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
- Octyl Methoxycinnamate
- Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Avobenzone)
- 4- Methylbenzylidene Camphor
- Octyl Dimethyl PABA
Fortunately, not all sunscreens contain these harmful UV-filters. At the Holistic Anti-Ageing Project, we carry certified organic skincare products that contain no harmful UV-filters, most notably bSoul’s Sunday Morning range of sunscreens.
Instead, bSoul uses safe UV filters including Uvinul® A Plus, Tinosorb® S and non-micronised Titanium Dioxide.
They are suitable for the face and body and are available in 3 sun protective levels:
- “ Cocco e vanilla” - high protection (SPF 50), 150ml
- “ Vaniglia” - medium protection (SPF 30), 150ml
- " Orientale” - low protection (SPF 15), 150ml
Sunday Morning sunscreens effectively protect your skin from getting nasty sunburns, while also allowing you to obtain a healthy skin tone. Like all sunscreens, they should be reapplied whenever necessary, especially when you are under the sun. For facial use, we suggest pairing Sunday Morning with bSoul Hydra Lotion for added sun defence.