All sunscreens are made with either mineral or chemical ingredients and protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays that could cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
Naturally occurring mineral sunscreens such as zinc oxide are recognized for being safe and hypoallergenic. Zinc oxide is a source of zinc and is also used as a healthy ingredient in food products and baby diaper rash products.
On the other hand, using popular chemical sunscreens could be a serious health risk. Recent evidence has shown the widely used chemical, oxybenzone, which is found in most sunscreen products is a known potential hormone disrupter and penetrates the skin in large amounts. When oxybenzone is exposed to other hormone disrupters such as bisphenol A (BPA) research has shown this leads to reproductive and developmental toxicity, behavioral disorders and an increased susceptibility to cancer and other diseases. Some experts have cautioned parents to avoid using chemical sunscreens on their children because of the penetration and toxicity concerns. There is also evidence that chemical sunscreens made with the chemicals, octocrylene and benzophenone-3, can trigger the production of free radicals which may cause skin damage.
Choosing a broad spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from both UV rays – UVA and UVB. In the past, UVA was considered less harmful than UVB. It’s now known UVA can also contribute to skin cancer. Mineral sunscreens like zinc oxide, offer broad, effective UV protection by reflecting both UVA and UVB rays.
SPF or Sun Protection Factor measures the amount of UVB protection and is used to calculate the length of time that sunscreen-protected skin can be exposed to the sun before getting a sunburn compared to the length of time it takes to burn without protection.If you have the type of skin that burns after 10 minutes in the sun without protection, using a sunscreen with SPF 30 would allow you to spend up to 300 minutes (30 times longer) in the sun without burning while an SPF 60 would allow you to spend up to 600 minutes (60 times longer) without burning. Although an SPF 60 can allow you to stay out in the sun twice as long as an SPF 30, it does not provide twice the protection. An SPF 30 provides about 97% protection against UVB rays, where as an SPF 60 provides about 98.5% protection – a minimal increase of 1 ½%. The difference in UVB ray protection in SPF numbers becomes minimal as the SPF number increases. The difference between SPF 60 and SPF 100 is about 0.5%.
SPF only measures the percentage of UVB blocked and not the amount of UVA blocked. Chemical sunscreens are known to be weak UVA absorbers while mineral sunscreens are known to reflect both UVB and UVA rays. Basically, mineral sunscreens act as a physical barrier.
The Green Beaver line of sunscreens are mineral based and contain the UVA and UVB protectant mineral, zinc oxide. They’re certified organic, all-natural and chemical-free. Another key ingredient is raspberry seed oil which is rich in vitamin E and helps neutralize free radicals caused by harmful UV rays. Raspberry seed oil is also a great skin moisturizer leaving the skin smooth and soft. Green Beaver offers SPF 30 lotion, a Kids SPF 30 and SPF 15 lip balm. The sunscreens are non-whitening, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and waterproof.
Article provided by: Alain Menard, Co-Founder, The Green Beaver Company