by Susie Kuse
First Hawaii. Then the Florida Keys. And now in Global Cosmetic Industry magazine, this headline -
"Could the US Virgin Islands Be Next to Ban Octinoxate and Oxybenzone?"
Yay!! We are in favor of this ban at Indie Beauty Market. We prefer zinc oxide as your sunscreen choice, for two reasons. It’s safer and more effective for you, and it’s safer for the environment.
But we didn’t always think this way. After all, zinc oxide can be thick, pasty, and leave a white cast on the skin. Even the fairest skin types looked washed out when wearing it. So using it was most definitely not a joy.
Enter The Sunscreen Company. We met this innovative, family owned company at Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles in January. On that crowded floor, what we heard, saw, and felt was head turning. It definitely changed our mind about zinc oxide.
We had never before seen a transparent zinc oxide sunscreen. And we had never tried one that felt so aesthetically elegant - as elegant as any of the best cosmetics or skincare we’ve tried. We were blown away!
We had a conversation with the founder, Dr. Denis Dudley, retired high risk OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist. He started the company with his wife, Dr. Sharyn Laughlin, a dermatologist. His daughter Sara now runs the company as CEO. So he has more time to research the effects of sunscreen on the human body and the coral reef.
He explains, “We’ve been told for the last 50 or 60 years, use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. But skin cancer rates have been rising the entire time, as people use more and more sunscreen. Cancer is now the second leading cause of death in women and girls of all ages. And skin cancer accounts for over 60% of all human cancer.”
How can this be, when we use more sunscreen than ever?
The problem is that chemical sunscreens don’t have the UVA protection needed to prevent skin cancer and photoaging. Oxybenzone, octinoxate and other chemical filters don’t stop long-wave UVA rays from getting into our skin. They protect against UVB - the burning rays. But if you don’t have enough UVA protection, you have no protection at all for what sunscreen was actually intended to do. Prevent cancer and aging.
The other little known fact is, UVA is not time of day or latitude or weather dependent. That means that you’ll get as much UVA radiation at 7 am as you will at 2 pm. You’ll get as much if you’re outdoors in Canada or the North Pole as you would on a beach in Jamaica. So it’s not just important to wear sunscreen when you’ll be sitting in the sun. It’s important to wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine.
Dr. Dudley says, “If you just use a high UVA sunscreen every day - winter, summer, fall, I don't care where you live, or whether you're going outdoors or you're just in your car - when you're 70, you will probably only look 40 to 45. That's because of the UVA protection.”
“And - I believe if you use high UVA sunscreens of the type we're making, and I'm hoping the rest of the industry will follow, we will reduce skin cancer, including melanoma by 80% to 90% in four decades.”
So, here are 5 simple things you can do to protect yourself against cancer and look 40 when you're 70.
- Stop wearing sunscreens with chemical filters like oxybenzone.
- Check your labels for any chemical sunscreens. Throw those away!
- Use mineral sunscreens instead. Look for zinc oxide with or without titanium dioxide.
- Tell your friends and family
- And spread the word on social media
We can create an enormous benefit to our health and the health of the planet. It's a win-win.
Such a simple thing to do, with such a positive result. Are you in?