Regardless of gender, race or age or the color of your skin, sunscreen should be an integral part of your daily outdoor regime. The harmful UV, or ultra violet, rays of the sun can penetrate through the clouds even on the most overcast days. It can cause your skin to turn differing and alarming shades of red as it ‘burns’ especially on hot and sunny days. Getting sunburn, or even just regularly tanning, is no joke. Any UV rays that can permeate the skin’s surface can cause it to age prematurely. Burning the skin or frequent tanning can also greatly increase the risk of cancer due to the UV rays.
This all factors in as to why sunscreen is so important. Sunscreen is a substance applied to the skin designed to block the harmful UV rays. Each sunscreen is rated with a sun block factor, also and more commonly known as the “SPF”. The sun protection factor determines how much coverage the sunblocking lotion can provide. The higher the SPF, the more protection you have from UV rays.
Organic products are steadily increasing in popularity on a daily basis. This may cause you to wonder if there is a significant difference between organic sunscreen and the regular sunscreen you are used to using year after year.
Inorganic Sunscreen vs. Organic Sunscreen
Ultimately the difference between the two comes down to inorganic sunscreens use of chemicals. Some of the ingredients used in traditional sunscreens are highly toxic and have some people questioning what is more harmful, the sun or the sunscreen. Many people have stopped using sunblock all together, claiming that the toxic ingredients are much more detrimental to their health than the sun.
Some of the ingredients that are considered toxic are:
- a substance used to block UV rays. This substance is mixed with nitrates, which then forms nitrosamines, a cancer-causing, or carcinogenic, product.
- a substance used to absorb harmful UVB rays. This substance breaks down into free radicals which then attack healthy living cells. It contributes to cancer and premature aging.
- this substance is thought to be the most dangerous of them all as it is both a mutagen and a carcinogenic. PABA has the capacity to damage DNA, which can create numerous health problems, which is especially detrimental to children.
There are many other toxic ingredients in inorganic sunscreens that will disrupt hormones, break down into free radicals and has an estrogenic effect in humans.
True organic sunscreen does not use any of the toxic and harmful chemicals listed above, and replaces them with an all natural substitute. Organic sunscreen uses plant derivatives, minerals and herbs to block out UV rays. Many organic sunscreen use titanium dioxide as a main ingredient. Titanium dioxide is a non-toxic mineral that can block out the sun’s harmful rays. Zinc Oxide is another commonly used ingredient found in organic sunscreens.
Now that you know the differences and are better able to make an educated decision about organic sunscreens and inorganic sunscreens, use caution if you decide to go with an organic sunscreen. Many products claim to be organic, or “made from organic ingredients” but are not purely organic and will try to sneak in harmful chemicals like those listed above, like benzophenone or PABA. Read the ingredient list carefully and skip any products that use toxins in their product. It may be hard to find truly organic sunscreens, but it is worth both the time and effort. The best places to find organic sunscreens and other healthy products for all your summer needs are at health stores, or at natural online sites.