Holiday time. Out comes the sunscreen. But which to choose from?
We like to buy the best. But is it necessary? Is an SPF rating of 65 necessary?
Look at the graph.
SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays;
SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays; and
SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays.
The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only a 1% filtering improvement
SPF is a rating of protection against UVB rays!
Yes, UVB is the one that causes skin cancers etc. But UVA causes deep damage (aging, spots etc)
What one MUST look out for is the words BROAD SPECTRUM protection. This protest from both UVA and UVB.
So, an SPF rating of 30 is really, quite good, for a broad spectrum sun block.
Types of Sunscreen
There are 2 ways of protecting from the sun. Use a mechanical mechanism like reflecting the UV rays away, or chemically, where the chemicals absorb the UV rays and convert them to heat energy. Skip the chemical version, go for the ones that use the reflective mechanism.
Here again, we have to look out for the use of nano-particles. We do not want nano -particles.
Nano particles can penetrate the skin and get into the body.
TiO2 (titanium dioxide) penetration is considerably more problematic than ZnO (Zinc Oxide) because ZnO breaks down into zinc and oxygen, which the body can handle. We do not have the same ability to break down titanium dioxide. One disturbing study linking titanium dioxide nano-particles with brain damage in fish is perhaps the first of more to come that will shed new light on the various toxic effects of titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is toxic.
So, we have actively prevent harm when evidence indicates that something may be harmful. It would be wise to assume that non-nano zinc oxide is safer than nano zinc oxide, and that any form of zinc oxide is safer than titanium dioxide.
Until more studies fill in the information gaps, it is safest to conclude that sunscreens made with non-nano zinc oxide are the best alternative. There are still many manufacturers out there who will say that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that the above ingredients are toxic. I agree with them! I am simply not willing to jeopardize my health or the health of my family with exposure to ingredients that are toxic or even potentially toxic — especially when better alternatives exist.
In Summary – for a good sun screen
SPF 30 to 35 is good enough
Zinc Oxide based
No titanium dioxide
No unnecessary chemicals.
Link to : Sunscreens