Get To Know Your Sunscreen
Sun protection doesn't need to be confusing; getting to know the facts can be beneficial to both your health and the environment
Can sunscreen that is regulated in Australia contain any harmful chemicals?
Yes. Many sunscreens that are deemed ‘safe’ by Australian regulatory body the TGA have been approved based on their SPF rating and UVA/UVB claims, but chemical ingredients are not banned in Australia from being included
Can synthetic sunscreen absorbers, such as Oxybenzone, enter your blood stream through the skin?
Yes, a recent study demonstrated that common synthetic ingredients found in sunscreen, such as Oxybenzone and Octocrylene, were found to absorb into the blood stream after just one day of use, and levels increased with each additional day of use. This is incredibly concerning because there is a lack of evidence of the impact of these toxins on the body, with some studies linking their impact on our bodies as significant.
Do you need to check your sunscreen ingredients before purchasing?
Yes, it is important to get to know your sunscreen like you would any product you use on your skin. Unfortunately, not all sunscreens are made the same, and you can’t rely on the SPF and UV protection alone to ensure you are making the right choice for yourself and the environment
What is the most harmful ingredient for your health and the environment that is commonly found in Sunscreen?
All of the above
Oxybenzone – Yes this is correct. Oxybenzone is found in almost 65% of all non-mineral sunscreens and has a toxicity level of 8, which is the highest rating out of any chemical ingredients found in sunscreen. Studies have shown exposure to Oxybenzone has been linked to hormone and reproductive disruption, DNA mutation and even increasing the production of cancer cells, as well as increasing our coral reefs susceptibility to bleaching
Octinoxate and Homosalate. No, unfortunately this is incorrect; while still a chemical ingredient that should be avoided, it has a lower toxicity rating than Oxybenzone and fewer studies that show the negative health impacts on our bodies and environment. Oxybenzone is found in almost 65% of all non-mineral sunscreens and has a toxicity level of 8, which is the highest rating our of any chemical ingredients found in sunscreen. Studies have shown exposure to Oxybenzone has been linked to hormone and reproductive disruption, DNA mutation and even increasing the production of cancer cells, as well as increasing our coral reefs susceptibility to bleaching
Zinc Oxide – No this is incorrect. Zinc Oxide has been used more recently in sun protection as an incredibly effective broad-spectrum reflective sun filter; it protects against UVA, UVB and even UVC rays. Unlike chemical sun blocking ingredients, Zinc oxide won’t release harmful free-radicals when it absorbs the UV rays. Instead it absorbs UV and releases comparably harmless infrared, which dissipates as heat
What are some of the health concerns Oxybenzone has been linked to?
Liked to low birth weight of infants through mother’s application when pregnant
All of the above
All of the above. Oxybenzone is a known skin allergen with a high rate of allergic reactions, and studies have also shown it may mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and promote the growth of cancer cells, it has also been found in mother’s breast milk and is associated with altered birth weights from women exposed to the chemical while pregnant
How can your sunscreen be harmful to the environment?
Increases coral’s susceptibility to bleaching
Increases global warming
All of the above
Increases coral’s susceptibility to bleaching. Oxybenzone is known to increase coral’s susceptibility to bleaching, with up to 14, 000 tons of sunscreen reportedly ending up in coral reefs around the world every year
Where in the world has banned the use of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate in sunscreen on their beaches?
Hawaii has implemented the world’s first ban on sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, and it goes into effect on 1 January 2021. The legislation, which passed Hawaii’s state House and Senate in May, prohibits the sale and distribution of such products in Hawaii to protect the pristine ecosystem due to the reported damage these synthetics are having on coral reefs.
Does all sunscreen protect from UVA/UVB?
No. Only sunscreens that specify they are Broad Spectrum will protect from both UVA/UVB
What causes sunburn?
UVB is the main cause of skin reddening and burn and tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and intensity varies based on location, season and time of day. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice
Is sun damage and wrinkles, premature ageing most caused by UVA or UVB?
UVA rays penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and has long been known to play a major role in skin ageing and wrinkling. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching Earth’s surface and are present with equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year and can penetrate clouds and glass.
What does the SPF rating refer to?
How long you can stay in the sun
How well the sunscreen protects against sunburn and damage
How long you can go without reapplying
All of the above
How well the sunscreen protects against sunburn and damage. SPF rating is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from burning the skin. It indicates how much longer it will take for skin to start to redden with the sunscreen applied, as opposed to how long it will take without it. To get the SPF number, a simple formula in a laboratory is used. The number of seconds it takes a patch of skin to slightly redden when covered in sunscreen is divided by the number of seconds it takes to slightly redden when there is no sunscreen applied. If it took 300 seconds for skin to burn with sunscreen, and 10 seconds to burn without it. 300 is divided by 10, which is 30. The SPF is 30.
Do you need to wear SPF in winter?
Yes, all the time
No, the sun isn’t strong in winter and can’t cause damage
Only if the sun is out
Yes. Just because you can’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean it isn’t causing harm. UVA rays have equal intensity during daylight hours in all climates throughout the year and can penetrate glass and clouds. UVB rays can be less damaging in the cooler months due to the sun having less intensity. However, it can still burn and damage all year round even if it isn’t warm, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice
90% naturally derived ingredients; including ZInc Oxide; this smooth, non greasy application offers UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection and 2 hours water resistance. Includes Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to soothe and nourish skin. Contains no Oxybenzone