If you want to see me, Colleen Shimamoto, get fired up about something, just mention “chemical sunscreens” and you won’t hear the end of it until you are running home to toss every chemical sunscreen you have stored-up from last summer.
In my opinion, there is only one type of sunscreen you should be wearing and that is a physical / mineral sunscreen. The other kind – chemical sunscreens which is usually what they put in store-bought moisturizers and liquid foundations – is, in many experts opinion, actually bad for your skin and for you!
The chemicals in chemical sunscreens (avobenzone or a benzophenone such as dioxybenzone, oxybenzone or sulisobenzone) create a chemical reaction on surface of your face that acts like a sponge and absorbs the UVA / UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the higher percentage of chemicals used. But either way the chemical reaction is the same and breaks down in less than two hours, which leaves you totally unprotected.
Not only that but chemical sunscreens are oily, they can irritate your skin and they can make your eyes sting because they are filled with, you guessed it – chemicals! Studies are now underway to see if these chemicals actually create the free-radical damage that leads to premature aging. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, some companies are scrambling to add antioxidants to chemical sunscreens in order to neutralize the potential free-radical damage caused by the chemicals.
Many of the chemicals used in sunscreens are considered “hormone disruptors” which with enough exposure, according to Breast Cancer dot org, may actually cause cancer in people.” What?!
In 2016, the Endocrine Society published a study that found eight of 13 chemicals the US allows in sunscreen “could reduce male fertility.” Another, what?!
And this is only the beginning of why I hate chemical sunscreens…..I want to take chemical sunscreens down!
Physical or mineral sunscreen have minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the main ingredient, and work by deflecting damaging UV rays away from your face. Minerals are rocks and don’t break down, so mineral sunscreens give you much better protection (although you still have to reapply throughout the day to stay protected.)
In my opinion, the best 100% physical sunscreen on the market right now is EltaMD UV Elements SPF 40 and for those who don’t want a tint, I also like Pure by Elta MD SPF 46. For patients with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin, I recommend SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50.
Do yourself and your skin a favor, by checking the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) database of cosmetic products and toss the ones that could cause breakouts or even worse, cancer?!?!
What’s your favorite sunscreen? Leave me a note in the comments below!