Which sunscreen is best and why?

Which sunscreen is best and why?

Jivita Lifestyler

Why do we need sunscreen?

In 1938 a Swiss chemistry student named Franz Geiter suffered awful sunburn whilst climbing Mt Piz Buin on the Swiss-Austrian border. He set about inventing a solution and sunscreen was born.

Sunscreen became more prevalent in the 1960’s, the ingredients often were thick, oily and difficult to rub in. They included an SPF (sun protection factor) for the first time but only very low, 2-4. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that sunscreen became regulated, with a wide range of SPF’s.

Former generations covered up much more when exposed to the sun. In the early 1900s, men bared 23 percent of their skin while swimming; women uncovered just 18 percent to the sun. But by the 1960s, women’s skin exposure rose to 80 percent with the introduction of the bikini. By the end of the 20th century, up to 92 percent of a woman’s body was exposed to the sun in a bathing suit. A quick trip to St Kilda beach might even have that latest statistic somewhat out-dated.

At the same time incidents of Melanoma have increased. According to Cancer Research UK, death from skin cancer has increased 150% since 1970. With 9 out of 10 of all cases of melanoma being linked to sun exposure.

How can I safely stay in the Sun?

Most people inhabiting Australia today do not originate from here. Meaning our skin is most likely not designed for this climate.

Staying covered or altogether out of the sun is going to provide the best protection – from skin cancer.

Unfortunately that is a reductionist way of looking at things. There are lots of benefits from sun exposure. It is the most powerful way to absorb vitamin D.

In comes good old slip, slop and slap. First get a moderate amount of natural sunlight on your skin (depending on the UV index). Then for the rest of the duration of your time in the sun, apply your sunscreen liberally. This would seem an effective protective measure, whilst also allowing you to enjoy being outdoors.

Which sunscreen to use?

Sunscreen products are intended to be applied to the body every day, for a lifetime. The companies that make and sell sunscreen products have a responsibility to test them thoroughly for potential short-term and long-term health effects. These include:

  • Toxicity testing for irritation and skin allergies.
  • Testing for skin absorption resulting in the potential to cause cancer.
  • Disruption to the hormone system, potentially causing harm during reproduction and development.

In 2019, the federal Food and Drug Administration (the agency that governs sunscreen safety in the US) proposed its most recent updates to sunscreen regulations. It found that only two common sunscreen ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, could be classified as safe and effective, based on the currently available information.

In the past year, numerous new studies have raised concerns about endocrine-disrupting effects from three other ingredients: homosalate, avobenzone and oxybenzone.

The European Commission published preliminary opinions on the safety of oxybenzonehomosalate and octocrelene.

It found that the levels of all these ingredients were not safe in concentrations that are often used, and proposed a lower concentration limit.

Remember whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed into your beautiful bod. Sunscreen provides an excellent protective layer.  But ensure that it contains ingredients that your body will love. Luckily for you none of our sunscreens have any of these nasties in them:

Simple as That Children’s Sunscreen 

Simple as That Sunscreen Lotion

People4Ocean SPF 30 Sunscreen

People4Ocean SPF 50 Vegan Sunscreen

People of the Earth Sunbutter

People of the Earth Merface Surf Zinc Bare Natural 

People of the Earth Merface Bronze Surf Zinc Natural 

People of the Earth Merface Gold Surf Zinc Natural 

People of the Earth Merface Silver Surf Zinc Natural 

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