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My Review on Sunscreens

This has got to be the most time I have spent on a single topic, but I have a feeling this won’t be my only or last time either. I do apologize if you are getting sick of me dragging this along, but I assure you that everything is with good intent and purpose because the more informed you are with the facts, the better decisions you can make.

So first off, we know that there are three main concerns from being in the sun, I call it the ABC‘s of sun skin concerns: skin aging, skin burning and skin cancer. UV rays causes sun burn and sun damage by damaging cellular DNA. UVA (long-wave) causes the aging, hyperpigmentation and UVB (short-wave) causes the burning and freckles.

I call it the ABC‘s of sun skin concerns: skin aging, skin burning and skin cancer.

And both the US Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have identified UV as a proven human (Class 1) carcinogen from sunlight (1992) and tanning equipments (2009), not mention Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. Let that sink in for a moment. Therefore, there is no such thing as a ‘safe tan’. A tan is a sign of DNA damage. It is the result of a chemical reaction in your body as it tries (and fails) to protect itself from the UV. Brands selling sunscreens that use the term ‘safe tanning’ are at best misleading and at worst, clueless. But I’d say the former since they know what’s up in the industry.

+FDA.GOV: “Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays”>Cancer Risk
+WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): “Artificial tanning devices – World Health Organization”>Foreward (Pg7)
+National Toxicology Program U.S. Deparment of Health and Human Services: NTP.NIEHS.NIH.GOV: “14th Report on Carcinogens”
+U.S. Environmental Proctection Agency: EPA.GOV: “Health Effects of UV Radiation”

+CANADA.CA Health Canada: “A Guideline published in collaboration with the Federal Provincial Territorial Radiation Protection Committee”>FPTRPC Position Statement on Ultraviolet Radiation>Preface

So when I started this restart to my skincare journey, which basically means I was rebuilding and restoring my skin to a healthier condition, about 3 years ago, my Dermatologist explained to me that the majority of sun damage is done in the first 20 years of your life. So the age spots, sun spots, pigmentation appearing when you’re older are the fault of those from your earlier years.

Some of you reading my previous post DM’ed me asking me what other myths are out there about sunscreens that they should be aware of, so here are some other common myths:

  • Darker skintones, while not as vulnerable to UV rays as lighter skintones, you still need to protect your skin from UV damage and use sunscreen. Although darker skintones may stay out longer in the sun without burning as quickly as lighter skintones, you might not see the damage right away, but you still need to protect your skin. If it’s the white cast that bothers you, opt for a gel-based or fluid-like texture they are often absorbed more effortlessly. (Watch this video as you will see which one’s do and don’t leave the white cast!)
  • Pre-cancerous moles are not at thing. They are either cancerous or not. When in doubt, cut it out. A mole is a benign lesion. Any changes, ANY – it needs to be checked by an expert and removed.
  • To my acne sufferers: I know the sun can have a drying effect to your acne; and a lot of products with sunscreens are comedogenic. Try opting for an oil-free sunscreen if possible. Avoid mineral oil in sunscreens (and your normal skincare).
  • SPF does not accumulate. If you wear a moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation you will only have the highest SPF that you are using, unfortunately you cannot just ‘add them up’.
  • ‘SPF 60 is twice as effective as SPF30’. Nope, not true. There is actually only a 1% difference between SPF30 and SPF50. SPF30 is probably the most recommended level for that reason. You’re covered, and you have no false sense of security.
  • There is no such thing as a “waterproof” sunscreen (also a word banned by the FDA in 2013 alongside “sunblock”). They can only be listed as ‘water resistant’ with specific time of duration, therefore you need to be re-applying accordingly.
  • Sunscreens should be repurchased fresh every year – it degrades.
  • Do not waste by splurging on a luxurious anti-aging moisturiser with SPF. Sunscreens and it’s ingredients is an all-encompassing product that will overtake any active/expensive ingredients in your skincare. Use your luxurious skincare and apply a separate sunscreen on top.

And without further ado, here is the second part to My Review on Sunscreens video!

Shop Sunscreens that were reviewed below:

  1. EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad Spectrum, SPF50, Water Resistant 80 Minutes 👎🏿 👍🏻
  2. MDSolar Sciences Mineral Crème, Broad Spectrum, SPF50, Water Resistant 80 Minutes 👎🏿 👎🏻
  3. VERSED Guards Up Daily Mineral, Broad Spectrum, SPF35 👍🏿 👍🏻
  4. BIOSSANCE Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF30, PA+++ 👍🏿 👎🏻
  5. Purito Comfy Water Sun Block Mineral Korean Sunscreen, SPF50+, PA++++ 👍🏿 👍🏻
  6. Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Chemical Korean Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF50+, PA++++ 👍🏿 👍🏻
  7. Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence Korean Sunscreen, SPF50+, PA+++ 👍🏿 👍🏻
  8. Krave Beauty The Beet Shield, Korean Sunscreen, SPF50+, PA++++ 👍🏿 👎🏻
  9. Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield in Glow, Mineral, Broad Spectrum, SPF50+, PA+++ 👎🏿 👍🏻
  10. UNSUN Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen in Light/Medium, Broad Spectrum, SPF30, Water Resistant 40 Minutes 👍🏿 👍🏻
  11. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid, Universal Tint, Broad Spectrum, SPF50 👎🏿 👍🏻
  12. Supergoop! Glowscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF40, PA+++ 👍🏿 👍🏻
  13. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF40, Water Resistant 40 Minutes 👍🏿 👍🏻

Shop Sunscreens for Children: (*6 Months Plus)

  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Gentle Sunscreen Lotion, Broad Spectrum, SPF60+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes *this is a synthetic chemical sunscreen
  2. Think Baby Safe Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF50+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes
  3. Baby Bum Sunscreen Lotion, Mineral, Broad Spectrum SPF50+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes
  4. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion With Broad Spectrum SPF50+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes
  5. Aveeno Kids Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Children, Broad Spectrum, SPF50+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes
  6. Blue Lizard Kids Mineral Sunscreen Stick, Broad Spectrum, SPF50+, Water Resistant 80 Minutes
  7. Blue Lizard Kids Mineral-Based Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum, SPF30, Water Resistant 80 Minutes

Application: You’re probably thinking no brainer! right? But read on, aside from when you are wearing makeup, sunscreens should ALWAYS be the last product to be applied to your skin. Some other great reminders:
– Apply your Sunscreens 15-20 minutes before you go in the sun.
– Sunscreens need to applied 2mg per Square CM which equates approximately to one teaspoon for your face and neck. (Which is quite abit!) I realistically use 1/2 a teaspoon for my face and neck and even that is plenty!
– Don’t forget the back of your neck, above the eyebrows and ears!
– Reapply every 90 minutes to 2 hours or more often if you will be going into water (check the minutes on the water-resistant claims).

Most logical and practical way of layering your skincare products:
1. skincare products (wait about 2-3 minutes)
2. sunscreen (wait about 8-10 minutes)
3. makeup

To my beautiful Mamas: please do not underestimate sun protection for your children (ages 6 months and up*), and where possible cover them up and try to keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. And IF they are going to be playing outside, make sure to be re-applying sunscreens every 90 minutes, and more frequently if they are getting wet.
If you have boys with short hair – or putting a ponytail for your girls, remember the back of their necks and their ears.
*There have been several doctors who have stated that they: “would probably put a chemical sunscreen on my child. I would not feel comfortable using nano-technology on my child.” Just some food for thought, because nano-technology and it’s studies are not deemed GRASE for babies and kids because it’s never been tested to this age group. But if you are adamant on physical mineral sunscreens, opt for non-nano particles of Zinc Oxide.

And in 2017, there were several reasons, specifically to do with the brand BananaBoat but it was also around the time when Natural/Clean beauty really got hyped up, and the news on synthetic chemical ingredients penetrating the bloodstream spread, and the general consensus by the public was that Health Canada re-test the GRASE of synthetic chemical suncreens that were available in Canadian market for children, so Health Canada in fact conducted testings by obtaining 27 (including the brand BananaBoat) but additionally included different sunscreens authorized with DINs (Drug Identification Numbers) from various companies with a focus on products used in children and tested each of them in Health Canada laboratories.

Of the products tested, a large number (18 of them) were marketed for use in children, kids or babies. In addition, nine sunscreens for use in adults were tested. Health Canada’s findings from the testing did not identify any serious concerns with product quality. Health Canada’s safety review of sunscreen ingredients and the risk of skin reactions is ongoing (alongside FDA). Its focus is on suspected cases of skin reactions, including those cases reported by consumers as burns, rashes and/or other skin reactions. Factors that may contribute to the reactions reported in 2017 could include a person’s health conditions or other health products they are using at the same time, the way in which the product was used, or previous exposure to similar products or ingredients.

Of the sunscreens tested:
– The pH range of all products was found to be close to the skin’s natural pH level.
– All contained the amount of active ingredient listed on the product label.
– None of the products had the preservatives methylisothiazolinone or methylchloroisothiazolinone.
– None of the products contained microbial contaminants above the allowable levels.

And Health Canada encourages the public to continue the use of sunscreens to protect against harmful UV radiation. So please, the fear mongering on synthetic chemical sunscreens really needs to stop. Use what works best for your skin. As I mentioned before, sunscreens are heavily regulated and have the best research of it’s kind (however no information to how it reacts to other skincare products). And in Europe and Asia (where they are far more advanced when it comes to the technology and science in the beauty sector) it’s quite the opposite where Natural/Clean beauty products are still an officially undefined sector of the tightly regulated EU and Asia standards, too much anecdotal references and not enough evidence to support the claims they wish to make.

*sun protection references for babies and kids;
+FDA.GOV: “Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually”
+MDEdge Pediatrics: “Sunscreens safe in babies, children”
+CANADA.CA Health Canada: “2018 report on compliance monitoring: Sunscreen testing”
+CANADA.CA Health Canada: “Sun safety tips for parents”
+European Commission EC.EUROPA.EU: “Sunscreen products: What matters?”>Item6

‘Cruelty-free’ If you ever want to get really drunk, you could literally play the game “Never Have I Ever” with Natural/Clean beauty claims, but never were more ingredients tested on animals in the beauty industry than sunscreen products. This does not mean the final product is tested on animals, meaning that brands that state they are against animal testing are not technically lying, it means the raw ingredients were, at some point, absolutely tested on animals in a lab to ensure ‘efficacy’, especially in the US, where they are classified as over-the-counter medication. This is true of the entire beauty and health industry, and I say this not to put a guilt trip on you nor to make you feel bad, but purely to counterbalance the nonsense of ‘vegan, animal-friendly, non-toxic SPF 50’ claims that are in all honesty, pure nonsense.

PETA can say there are a number of cruelty-free brands, but the truth of the matter is that the ingredients were tested on animals at some point. The end result to the product itself may be cruelty-free, but the ingredients have probably been tested on animals historically. Not trying to bash Natural/Clean beauty but trying to provide a healthy balance and truth behind how they get away with some of these creative marketing claims. I just want you to understand it from a hollistic point of view and how some of these claims even got started and can technically get away with it.

It took awhile to put this video together for so many reasons, for one, I wanted to make it relatable and inclusive; informative without dumbing it down or getting too technical; so it was the great battle of what to keep and omit. Not to mention – personally I am feeling completely burnt out and my puffy eyes are probably quite telling of it (lol).

I really cannot stress this enough, but please make sure to treat sunscreens as a stand alone product. As I mention in my video, in early 2019 the FDA have stated those 2-in-1 insect repellant and sunscreen combinations to be ineffective and unsafe.

Here is a link to the most updated (*last updated February 2019) quick cheat sheet that the FDA has provided for guidance on sunscreens via FDA.GOV: “FDA Proposes Sunscreen Regulation Changes“.

I sincerely hope that you do start incorporating sunscreens into your skincare routine. It is so important for your skin’s health, and believe it or not, our skin’s health also impacts us mentally which triggers our insecurities, unlike our internal health (which we cannot see unless we get a physical done – thankgoodness!), and because our skin’s health is not only visible to thy self but to others which is why we get so self-conscious when we break out, etc., So please protect your beautiful skin at all times, and remember to own your glow inside & out.

Make sure to subscribe that way you’re always in the glow! And thank you again for watching & visiting!

The views expressed on this site are that of my own and are provided for informational purposes only. I make no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than myself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.