No matter what the color of your skin may be, sunscreen should be part of your daily regime, regardless of age, race and gender. The harmful UV rays can penetrate the clouds even on the worst of days, and will definitely cause your skin to redden and “burn” on the nicest of sunny, warm days. Tanning or getting a sunburn is no laughing matter. Any UV rays that are able to penetrate the surface of our skin will cause premature aging, and tanning or burning our skin due to UV rays greatly increases our risk of developing skin cancer.
This is where sunscreen is important. Sunscreen, which is also commonly referred to as sun lotion, is a material that is applied to our skin that helps block out the UV rays. Every sunscreen has a sun block factor, better known as “SPF”. This SPF determines just how much coverage you can expect to receive from the sunscreen. The lower the “SPF”, the less protection you have from the sun.
With organic products growing in popularity by the day, you may be asking yourself what the difference is between organic sunscreen and the regular old fashioned sunscreen.
Inorganic Sunscreen vs. Organic Sunscreen
The primary difference between the two is that the traditional inorganic sunscreens have a chemical base. The chemicals are thought to be so toxic to some that it makes them question using sunscreen. As a matter of fact, some people have stopped using sunscreen all together, claiming that the chemicals are more detrimental to our health than the UV rays! Some of these toxic materials include:
Triethanolamie (UV blocking product): This ingredient is combined with nitrites, which then forms into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) nitrosamines.
Benzophenone (used to absorb UVB rays): This ingredient eventually breaks down into free radicals, which are contributors of premature aging and cancer.
PABA: This ingredient is perhaps the most damaging of them all. PABA is both a carcinogen and it is a mutagen. PABA can actually damage our DNA, which in turn causes a number of health problems.
Some other ingredients that are in inorganic sunscreens are also hormone disrupters, they have estrogenic effects on the body, and they break down into free radicals.
True organic sunscreen replaces all of these damaging chemicals with natural alternatives. Organic sunscreen utilizes natural herbs, minerals, and plants to help block out the sun’s UV rays. The most common ingredient in any organic sunscreen is titanium dioxide, a natural mineral that is able to block out the UV rays and it is non-toxic. Zinc oxide is another popular ingredient in organic sunscreens that helps block out the sun.
That being said, make sure that you don’t grab the first organic sunscreen that you see and buy it. A lot of organic products are not “truly” organic and sneak in some of the chemical ingredients mentioned above, such as PABA and benzophenone. Do your research before you head out to the store and pick up some organic sunscreen. The best places to find these products are natural health stores, natural vitamin stores, or you can even try some of the more natural grocery stores in your area.