Natural Blockers Provide Healthier Sun Protection than Most Chemical Formulas

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Certain chemical ingredients used in many consumer sunscreens shown to be harmful

“When a formula contains unhealthy doses and combinations of chemicals it fundamentally limits what it purports to do, which is to protect the skin,” Allison said. “Consumer awareness to the dangerous effects of these chemicals is important."

Many of the mainstream sunscreen formulas on the market today are laden with chemicals that may not be promoting proper skin health. With summer approaching, Rhonda Allison, founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals, a pioneer in professional skin rejuvenation, recommends consumers seek out formulas with natural blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

The most common chemical ingredients in non-mineral sunscreens include octinoxate, oxybenzone (a form of benzophenone), octisalate, and avobenzone. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), each of these is found in 40 to 60 percent of all sunscreens on the market. Research has shown these chemicals actually have the potential to proliferate the development of malignant cells, expose the skin to free radicals and cause hormone imbalance.

“When a formula contains unhealthy doses and combinations of chemicals it fundamentally limits what it purports to do, which is to protect the skin,” Allison said. “Consumer awareness to the dangerous effects of these chemicals is important, and also knowing there are other options out there with natural blockers. It’s up to us as skin care professionals to educate them on healthy skin.”

Of the chemicals most commonly found in sunscreen formulas, octinoxate (or octyl methoxycinnamate), an estrogenic chemical, has been linked to hormonal imbalance and increased rates of cancer. Oxybenzone (a derivative of benzophenone), found in 60 percent of U.S. formulas, has been shown to disrupt hormones and attack DNA when UV light is absorbed. Avobenzone is known as a powerful free-radical generator. It absorbs UV radiation energy, which it converts to chemical energy that is then released as free radicals in the body in most cases.

Research has also shown many of these unstable chemicals have the ability to permeate the skin and enter the bloodstream. In fact, oxybenzone, octinoxate and avobenzone work as penetration enhancers – meaning they are easily absorbed by the skin, and the longer they sit the more threat they pose.

“Topical sunscreens are often broadly classified into two groups – chemical absorbers and physical blockers,” Allison said. “Chemical absorbers work by absorbing UV rays while physical blockers reflect UV rays. Many chemical absorbers don’t provide adequate UV protection on their own and must be combined with other chemicals to do so.”

Some studies have also reported that many of these ingredients do not protect against UVA rays, the highly dangerous rays that can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. This has not only been linked to increased melanoma rates, but also the proliferation of photo-aging by degrading collagen and elastin.

Physical blockers, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are typically more effective in protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. These naturally occurring ingredients have also been shown to be safer and protect against the full UV spectrum.

“One of the major push-backs against sunscreen formulas using natural blockers is the chalky cosmetic appearance and texture that is often associated with these,” Allison said. “Keep in mind however, that sacrificing healthy skin for an ideal feel or color will lead to greater damage down the road and is often a surefire way to experience premature photo-aging as well as allow harmful chemicals into the body.”

“Healthy protection doesn’t begin and end with sunscreen ingredients,” she said. “The base of a formula is just as important. It will dictate how ingredients work with your skin and how your skin responds. Having a clean natural ingredient deck with added antioxidant support brings out the best of physical blocks to make for an ideal partnership.”

Rhonda Allison’s– Daytime Defense an SPF30, eZinc Protection Cream and RAW EnviroProtect for men – are mineral-based, using zinc, which acts as a natural reflective shield, blocking the sun’s damaging rays without injecting the body with harmful chemicals.

About Rhonda Allison
Rhonda Allison, founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals, is a highly regarded speaker, author and educator with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry. Based on extensive research, she has developed synergistic formulas that combine the best of active natural ingredients with scientifically developed compounds. For more information, visit http://www.RhondaAllison.com.

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Beth Cochran
Wired PR
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