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November 25, 2019
Zinc sunscreen is a physical UV blocker that gives broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB, which are associated with skin ageing and skin burning respectively. The key component of the sunblock is zinc oxide, a mineral (inorganic compound) that occurs naturally in the environment. Therefore, it is not a chemical. It works by spreading across the skin and acting like a mirror - reflecting harmful radiation.
In addition to its protective properties, zinc is also used to treat minor skin irritations and forms a soothing and mildly antiseptic layer over the skin’s surface.
Before we go on about SunButter SPF50, our mineral sunblock, let us address (if you’re not already aware) why chemicals are bad.
It’s a well-known fact that chemicals can affect your health. Whilst many of them are essential in our everyday lives, it’s good to be aware of the ones you should avoid. Unfortunately, there are lots of these harmful chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products, including sunscreen!
One example of these are endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), which can interfere with the endocrine system. This system within your body is incredibly important in regulating all sorts of health-related functions, such as development, metabolism, reproduction, immunity, etc.
Chemical sunblocks get absorbed into the skin, bloodstream and even amniotic fluid and placental tissue. Once inside your body, they can manipulate hormone production, block hormone transport and sometimes mimic hormones. For example, some chemicals found in sunscreen can imitate oestrogen and promote accelerated division of breast epithelial cells and ultimately leading to an increased risk of breast cancer.
EDCs from chemical-based sunscreens can lead to many other diseases, which can even be passed on to descendants. Fortunately, there is an alternative: zinc oxide UV blocker does not penetrate the skin at all, making it the best option for your health.
Not only are EDCs detrimental for your health, they also have an adverse effect on wildlife. Often used as a preservative in skincare products and sunscreens, these chemicals persist in the environment because they degrade slowly. Consequently, they are found in high concentrations and lead to numerous environmental problems, such as reduced biodiversity, increased susceptibility to infection and reproductive disorders. Not to mention the damage they cause to coral reefs! Zinc oxide, on the other hand, has been proven to be much safer for the environment.
As we mentioned in our previous article, mineral sunscreen really is the best option to protect your skin. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, we’ll summarise below.
Firstly, it doesn’t get absorbed into the body and thus has no known effect on your endocrine system. There are no nasty chemicals that interfere with your hormones and you will be at lower risk of developing EDC-related diseases. Additionally, zinc oxide is far less likely to cause skin irritation and skin allergies. In fact, it’s often used to treat those problems!
Secondly, unlike chemical sunblockers, zinc oxide provides the best kind of protection - broad-spectrum against UVA and UVB. Finally, mineral sunscreen is safer for the environment, especially non-nano particle zinc oxide (because it is not small enough to be ingested by coral).
Not all mineral-based UV protectors are created equal. There may be brands that claim to be more environmentally- or health-friendly, but watch out for the other ingredients! For example, some products contain synthetic fragrances, which often find their way into the oceans and cause harm to marine environments.
Fortunately, our SunButter SPF50 is a mineral-based UV protector that only contains natural ingredients! Our other ingredients include different derivatives of coconut oil, Vitamin E, candelilla (plant-based) wax, castor (plant-based) oil and isostearic acid (plant-based binder). Therefore, you can rest assured that our zinc sunscreen is free of nasties and can help you on your way to a chemical-free summer 2020!
Of course, sunscreen is not the only source of chemicals and there are many other ways to reduce your usage. We would love to hear about other ways you are protecting your body and the environment, so please feel free to comment below.
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