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Facts About Sunscreen Chemical Vs. Mineral

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a known cause of skin cancer. We have been told for many years that regular use of sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of common skin cancers, as well as the more serious form, melanoma. But what about the ingredients contained in mass market chemical sunscreen products? Can they be harmful? What about mineral sunscreens are they better? Consider the following: 

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens use a combination of 2 to 6 of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. They absorb rays in a chemical reaction that deflects the heat back off the skin. major brand products have those ingredients. They provide UV protection but at the expense of being exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals.

Fact: The Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed evidence of potential hazards of sunscreen chemical filters ( oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate) – instead it grandfathered in ingredients used in the late 1970s when it began to consider sunscreen safety. The Danish EPA reviewed the safety of active ingredients in sunscreen and concluded that most ingredients lacked information to ensure their safety (Danish EPA 2015). And while the published studies suggest that several chemical filters interact with human sex or thyroid hormones, none of the ingredients had sufficient information to determine the potential risks to humans from hormone disruption.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens use active mineral ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide . They reflect the sun’s rays like a mirror to protect exposed skin.. When buying sunscreen, protection from UV rays should be your top consideration because of this mineral options are likely a better choice. Zinc oxide delivers the best UVA and UVB protection (also known as broad-spectrum coverage). Mineral active ingredients don’t break down as readily in the sun, offering greater protection for longer. The better mineral sunscreens turn white when rubbed on the skin. Generally speaking, naturally derived ingredients used in mineral sunscreens are gentler than chemicals. However try to avoid titanium dioxide in powder or spray form as they have been known to unsafe when inhaled as well as products that contain nanoparticles as they the skin can absorb them. 

Sunscreens can protect us from sunburn, but we don’t know the extent to which they can protect us from skin cancer. Some studies show that, yes, sunscreen reduces the risk of a certain type of skin cancer called squamous cell carincoma (SCC), but research hasn’t confirmed the relationship between sunscreen and other types of cancers, such as melanoma. 

Wearing a mineral sunscreen daily is a good idea along with wearing sun-protective hats and clothing, and limiting your exposure to all UV rays. Remember some of the ingredients found in Edye’s Naturals can help heal your skin before and after sun exposure. Use Edye’s Naturals Face & Body Butter which contains shea butter, beeswax and carrot seed oil all of which help to heal and protect your skin against long term damage.

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