In ancient times, people worshipped the sun as though it were a god. Over time, we realized how harmful the sun’s UV rays are to our skin. Not only can it make us susceptible to skin cancer, but the sun can cause wrinkles and premature aging.2 Just as our attitudes toward sunbathing have changed,1 so have the ways in which we protect our skin from the sun.
When talking about sun damage, sunscreen protection factor or SPF is probably the first thing that comes to mind. SPF has been shown to be the most effective sunblock against skin cancer,2 but did you know this is not the only option to protect your skin from sun damage?
When it comes to sun protection, there are not only different SPF levels but many different formulations. Today’s sunscreens contain up to 17 FDA-approved ingredients and can be dispensed in lotion, oil, spray, or mineral powder form.3 While most sunscreens are chemically produced, it is possible to find some that are effective, organic, and safe. It is important to learn about the different types of sun protection as not all are created equally.
What are the different types of sun protection?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a report each year investigating the effectiveness of sunscreens in America. Their research has shown that while many sunscreens do an effective job of filtering UVB rays, 99% of American sunscreens on the market provide inadequate support for filtering longer UVA rays.3
Most SPF-based sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, oroctinoxate, among others. Several experts believe the toxicity of these chemicals can erode the effectiveness of the sun protection being marketed.4
A good organic alternative to SPF that offers stable sun protection from both UVB and UVA rays is zinc oxide. It is EWG’s first-choice since it provides balanced sun protection without any toxic additives,3 and is shown to be effective at reducing skin cancer and age spots.2
Another recommended type of non-toxic sun protection is titanium dioxide, which is lauded for its natural effectiveness at blocking UV rays.4 Consider using both of these minerals in a lotion sunscreen. Despite the rising popularity of powder and spray sunscreens, they are proving to be less effective than their cream-based counterparts.3
Other ingredients such as retinyl palmitate have been shown in animal testing to increase skin tumors when exposed to sunlight. For this reason, it is best to steer clear of sun protection products containing this additive.3
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories aid in sun damage prevention.
The EWG says “sunscreen should be just one tool in your arsenal,3” this is because there are several other ingredients like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that aid in sun damage prevention. These help to boost the preventative properties of active minerals, scattering UV rays and reducing skin irritation.
Powerful antioxidants like astaxanthin, which is a key ingredient of Seaside Medical Technologies’ MatrX B™ Complex, can reduce the effects of sun damaged skin and lead to substantial improvement in the appearance of wrinkles.
The usage of vitamin C and E also offer sun prevention by reducing free radicals caused by UVA rays that can be damaging to the skin. These antioxidants help your skin retain its youthfulness, reducing the appearance of fine line and sun-darkened age spots while offering skin cancer prevention.
How to repair your skin after sun damage:
If your sun protection option wasn’t chosen carefully enough or proved ineffective, you’ll likely be left with red, sunburned skin. Ease the pain and inflammation with organic botanical extracts and healing agents like aloe vera.
Witch hazel is another ingredient that can soothe sunburn and reduce skin irritation. Other botanicals like licorice, chamomile, echinacea, lavender, and rosemary are potent anti-inflammatories that help your skin repair after sun damage.3
Seaside Medical Technologies’ Post-Traumatic Response Gel with MatrX B™ complex incorporates powerful organic ingredients such as astaxanthin, arnica, and witch hazel to allow the skin to heal faster from sun damage. Try out this restorative elixir and let it soothe and repair your skin.