You may have heard all of the buzz about sunscreen lately. Some people say that you need to wear sunscreen every day to prevent skin cancer, while others say that those sunscreens actually cause allergies and other issues, like cancer. Keep reading to learn what sunscreens are safe and which you might want to research more.
Physical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens, and chemical-free sunscreens are all the same thing. They use a physical filter to protect you from UV rays. You’re likely to see Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide or a combination of the two on the back of the bottle. These are generally regarded as the “safest” sunscreens since they are photostable. This means that they have a formula that doesn’t change with it interacts with sunlight. Therefore are less likely to cause irritation on the skin. These are also generally safer for wildlife, especially coral reefs.
These sunscreens might be described as thick, chalky, and often leave a white cast behind. Which is why some people avoid them. Both of these physical ingredients have been shrunk into “nano-sized” particles, to help you have a more sheer application of sunscreen. So far, studies indicate that these smaller particles can’t sink into the skin deep enough to cause harm, but if you’re concerned then stick with some of the original formulas. Do your research and don’t be afraid to reach out to the company to determine the size of the particles they’re using.
Chemical sunscreens are more complicated since there are so many more filters that fall under this term. These can leave less of a trace behind, so if you’re looking for a sheer sunscreen, a chemical formula might be the best fit for you.
Some people shy away from chemical formulas because certain filters (Oxybenzone in particular) have been linked to disruption of hormones. Oxybenzone in particular mimics estrogen, so be careful of what you put on your body and ask questions if you’re concerned about certain ingredients. Many companies have social media accounts to field questions from customers, so don’t be shy.
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If you find that you’re allergic or irritated by your sunscreen, try switching to a physical sunscreen. Looking for more information about skin cancer? Give us a call at (928) 537-6937 to schedule a consultation.