Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunscreen: is still your skin’s best friend.

No matter how old or young we are, we all love the sun and its warm golden rays, that makes us fee good, but most of us already know that sun rays are the worst enemy of our skin and cause irreversible damage in the long run. Overexposure to the sun speeds up aging of the skin and the development of age spots, wrinkles and freckles. You’ve heard this advice a million times, but there is simply just no way around, but to apply sunscreen lotion. There is a wide range of face and body lotions of various degree of protection and various sun shielding ingredients in them. For true sun protection, nothing less than SPF 30 is advisable, because only with a SPF 30 you can expect to get 6-8 hours of sun protection. And for a full day protection you might want to consider something with an SPF count of 50-60. Having said that it is still recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours if you're engaged into sports that make you sweat, as it may cause removal of sunscreen. Most women inclined to think that they have to apply sunscreen only during the summer months, but you must understand that the sun rays remain the same strength all year through, even though they don't feel hot and burning during the cold time. The winter sun is as damaging as the summer sun, so you just can’t afford to skip out on the sunscreen in the winter, just to put to waste all your beauty efforts during summer.
Now speaking of the sunscreen choices. There are many wonderful products on the market. And there are just as many of the ones I would suggest to avoid. This is where I would recommend to do some research and find the one you're comfortable with. Cheap is not necessarily "a great find" as it may contain harmful chemicals, like oxybenzone. 90% of popular sun defense products contain it, unfortunately. There is another issue has been surfacing lately. It's the topic of nano particles, specifically targeting Titanium and Zinc as the leading natural sunscreen ingredients . Some sources claim that Titanium Dioxide is a photoactivator that can react with other sunscreen chemicals and potentiate their free radical production or their cancer forming abilities. Looking deeper into the issue it becomes pretty evident that the various "tidbits" of this information on the internet seem to loop amongst each other, referring to the same body of articles, and then using each other's sites as sources of reference. Back and forth. In essence the same thing is being said without any new information or research, just more people are quoting each other from the same document and causing a lot of hysteria. Research and testing on lab animals (rats) shows that after daily exposure to nano particles of Titanuim Dioxide for 2-4 weeks, it caused photocatalisys within the cell and DNA damage. When Titanium Dioxide particles are uncoated and micronized (nano), particles can penetrate the skin through pores as well as be inhaled (in powder form) may causing the damage. Coarse or fine particles of titanium dioxide (NON-NANO) are safe and effective at deflecting and absorbing UV light, protecting the skin, as they do not penetrate, but consumers should avoid using products with micronized mineral pigments, either in sunscreens or color cosmetics.

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