Sunscreens are an all year round affair!
Sunscreens are an all year round affair!
When we think of the sun, we often picture summer holidays, BBQ’s, cocktails, the smell of sunscreen and trying to top up our tans. Summer is when we choose to wear sunscreen to protect ourselves from sun damage, but did you know that whenever there is daylight there are UVA and UVB rays present?
When there is daylight there are UV rays that are affecting our skin health. Ultraviolet rays penetrate through glass, never mind our skin, so it is important to protect ourselves at all times and prioritise a good quality sunscreen all year round!
Mineral sunscreens protect our skin from photodamage such as ageing, hyperpigmentation and rosacea. Many of us will spend hundreds of pounds on cleansers, serums and moisturisers in order to perfect that self-care routine but fail to consider the daily damage we are doing to our skin by not including sunscreen. Good quality sunscreen is just as important as your favourite moisturiser and should be an essential part of your skincare routine – it is the most important anti-ageing product in any skincare toolbox.
So, what is the difference between UVA rays and UVB rays and what is the extent of the damage caused?
UVB rays are the rays that cause us to tan or in many cases, burn. They also cause skin mutations that can, unfortunately, lead to skin cancer. These particular rays tend to be at their strongest between Spring and Autumn, more specifically between 10 am and 4 pm. However, they are always present and the risks are still year-round, meaning we are always susceptible to the damage!
UVA rays penetrate deeper into the dermis and can cause skin damage such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, freckles, loss of skin elasticity and DNA mutations that also cause skin cancer. UVA rays pass through clouds and glass and are present every day of the year at equal intensity – during daylight hours they account for 95% of rays that reach the earth.
Exposure to the sun without protection from these rays can often lead to skin cancer, there are three types of skin cancer:
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If recognised early it can be treated, but if left untreated it can be deadly.
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that is the most common and develops in the deeper layers of the epidermis. This cancer almost never metastases, however, it can cause disfiguration if left untreated.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of cancer and can be deadly, whilst also leading to disfiguration if left untreated.
Taking all of this information into account, it is evident that choosing a sunscreen is an extremely important process and that we need a sunscreen to protect us from these potentially harmful UV rays. It is also important that we consider not only the level of protection a sunscreen can offer but the overall quality and ingredients of the sunscreen. Here’s why;
Chemical sunscreens tend to dominate the skincare market as they feel relatively lightweight, doesn’t leave a white residue and can be purchased for cheaper prices and are easily available. However, despite the initial appeal, there have been increasing safety concerns and a rise in the awareness of the detrimental and environmental effects these chemical sunscreens can have. Chemical sunscreens are not doing us, or the environment, any favours!
Whilst chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation and prevent it from penetrating the skin, the chemicals found in these sunscreens like octinoxate and oxybenzone (along with many others) have been known to cause allergic reactions, and significant toxicity can occur during usage. Additionally, many of the chemicals found in such sunscreens only protect us from the UVB rays and not the UVA rays which penetrate deeper into the skin and are the main culprit for carcinogenesis.
The use of chemical sunscreens can protect against burning, yet there is a risk of photodamage occurring in the deeper layers of the skin without us even realising it. Finally, research has revealed that oxybenzone and octinoxate are impacting our oceans and damaging coral reefs, meaning that the damage is not just on an individual level!
Finding an alternative to chemical sunscreens
Chemical sunscreens might seem appealing and easy at first, mineral sunscreen is a superior and more natural alternative. Mineral sunscreens contain natural ingredients such as Zinc oxide and titanium oxide (see our ZnO Block) which are the only natural FDA approved sunblock ingredients! Zinc oxide is also considered the gold standard for ultraviolet protection.
Both of these natural ingredients are less likely to cause any skin irritation, sensitivity or allergic reactions and will protect you from both UVA and UVB damage.
Mineral sunscreens are an everyday essential!
- Wearing sunscreen can easily be incorporated into our daily routines and is just as important as other products!
- We are always at risk of sun damage and harmful UV rays, many of which can lead to skin cancer if we are not careful
- Chemical sunscreen contains many harsh chemicals and is harmful to both us and the wider environment
- Mineral sunscreens contain only natural ingredients and provide ultimate protection with none of the side effects
- Is it important to take protective skincare seriously to look after our skin!
Have you tried our new ZnO Block?
Our ZnO Block will give you ultimate protection, without the nasty side effects of chemical sunscreen. It has been formulated with Lipophilic Vitamin C and Vitamin E to help soothe skin, whilst protecting and healing. Historically, Zinc oxide has been used to treat burns and wounds and will not irritate your skin while providing protection against sun damage.
It does not contain parabens or chemicals and is a great example of a natural UV block that is great in quality and a better alternative to chemical sunscreen. Perfect for those who want to prioritise their health and protect their skin.