On May 1, Hawaii banned oxybenzone and octinoxate, two common chemicals found in most sunscreen products. Studies have shown these two chemicals are the common causes for the extensive damage on Hawaii’s famed marine environment, causing coral bleaching and coral death. While coral can recover from bleaching, being constantly bombarded with bleaching makes it harder to bounce back. Research has shown that these two chemicals cause genetic damage to coral and disrupt their ability to reproduce.
Besides corals, the chemicals can cause allergic reactions to our skin. There have been several campaigns for companies to make sunscreens safer with less side effects.
Sunscreens protect against ultraviolet rays, this includes UVB rays that causes sunburn and UVA rays which penetrate deeper into the skin, causing signs of aging and increasing the risk of cancer.
What are the Differences between Chemical and Mineral Sun Protection?
The active ingredients found in sun protection formulas come in one of two forms, chemical and mineral filters. Chemical sunscreens usually include a combination of two to six of the following FDA-approved active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.
Mineral sunblocks use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients to absorb ultraviolet rays. These ingredients are more stable in sunlight than their chemical alternatives and provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays, also known as broad-spectrum protection. Not all chemical sunscreens block both types of rays.
How Do I Protect Myself from the Sun?
When choosing a sunscreen, stay away from products with SPF values higher than 50+. High SPF values do not necessarily mean increased UVA protection and may fool you into thinking you’re safe from sun damage. Avoid sunscreen sprays, these do not provide a thick and uniform coating of protection on your skin and may pose a risk of you accidentally inhaling the sunscreen into your system.
If not, purchase our award-winning Dr HAACH Elixir 360° Solar Defender. The water-based sunblock offers UV protection against harmful UV rays and brightens skin too. The right sunscreen is just one of the many items in your sun-safety box of protection. Cover yourself up with clothing, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays and if possible, avoid intense sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.