The Sunscreen Debate

It's hard to believe we're already midsummer and oh man is the heat on! 

ln addition to being a top source of Vitamin D3 needed for balanced hormones, a strong immune system, brain, bones and teeth, sunshine has an energizing and uplifting effect on our soul. 

So how can we reap the benefits of these golden rays without worrying about free radical damage from UV radiation? Do we wear sunscreen or don't we? Sun protection is a subject in hot debate.. some even say sunscreen can do more harm than good! Which camp are you in?

For me, I vote for sunscreen. Especially with Swedish and Irish descent, my skin is very susceptible to sun damage. I grew up in Hawaii where the sun is beaming nearly every day, year-round. My mom was very conscientious of protecting my face so I was always slathered in Zinc Oxide. Looking like a mime was not so great for my social life, but great for preventing premature aging! Now I'm grateful, back then not so much.

The difference in youthfulness between my arms and face is astonishing.  So yes, I can personally attest that sunscreen helps protect against rapid aging.

In my opinion, the question is not whether UV protection is essential, but rather which ingredients are EFFECTIVE AND SAFE to use.  

Topical sunscreens are generally classified as either chemical absorbers or physical blockers. Chemical absorbers do just that, they absorb the UV rays while physical blockers reflect UV rays. While chemical absorbers do not provide full-spectrum protection (both UVA & UVB) they must be paired with a physical blocker in order to be effective.

The problem lies in toxic chemical ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate & Avobenzone which have been linked to hormone disruption, rapid free radical damage and skin cancer! This obviously defeats the purpose of using a sunscreen. But physical sunscreens like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are naturally occurring minerals that provide full-spectrum protection. Zinc Oxide plays an important role in cell production and boosts the immune system while Titanium Dioxide is nonirritating, nonallergenic and noncomedogenic.

I opt for formulations that utilize physical blockers and internal support over the chemical versions. ! My top pics are Osmosis Sun Defense Elixir and HydroPeptide Solar Defense. I don't know about you, I say let the summer shenanigans roll.