Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen Blockers

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New FDA regulations have required manufacturers to subject their sunscreen products to rigorous testing to prove their UVA protection.  Only when a product passes these tests they then can be labeled “broad spectrum”.  Although UVA protection is vitally important to healthy skin, it is just as important to be concerned about UVB rays.  UVB rays were originally identified as cancer causing and producers of more skin tissue damage than UVA rays.  To date, the most successful protection demonstrated for UVB defense is a combination of zinc oxide (physical blocker) and octinoxate (chemical blocker). Sunscreens containing only zinc oxide or a combination of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide offer less complete protection than those containing both zinc oxide and octinoxate
Studies have shown that chemical sunscreen ingredients do have the potential to breakdown when exposed to UV radiation and produce free radicals. We are trying avoid free radical damage from the sun but we may also have to worry about free radical damage from our sunscreen ingredients!! To alleviate this concern, choose a high quality sunscreen formulated with antioxidants capable of neutralizing free radicals.  We are Suite 103 are big fans of PCA’s sunscreens which are formulated with a variety of antioxidants including milk thistle-derived silybin, a potent antioxidant capable of quenching free radicals, and caffeine, an ingredient proven to force damage cells into aptosis (death).  PCA’s sunscreens also contain high quality ingredients to inhibit the formation of hyperpigmentation (brown spots), including licorice root extract, kojic acid, mulberry root extract and bearberry.

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