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What Is The Best Active Ingredient For Sun Creams?

First you may be wondering exactly what an ‘active ingredient‘ is at all? Active ingredients in sunscreens refer to chemicals or minerals that actively protect you against the suns UVA, UVA II and UVB radiation, we will refer to them as UV rays.

For clarity, UVB rays burn your skin (sunburn) and UVA rays penetrate much deeper and damage your underlying cells and DNA. They (UVA & UVA II) are responsible for premature aging, wrinkles, DNA damage and skin cancer. In general you want to block as much UV as possible, but UVA rays are certainly the more serious ones to block.

Now for the kicker, sunscreen SPF ratings only guarantee protection against UVB rays and not UVA. Many chemical ‘active ingredients’ offer no protection against UVA.

The Problem With Chemical Active Ingredients

Active ingredients in sun cream come in 2 main forms, chemical and mineral. Chemicals are synthetic and many are bad for you, bad for your skin and super bad for the Coral Reefs. Minerals are of course all natural and are safe for you, your skin and coral reef’s.

Each active ingredient whether chemical or mineral has different properties in respect to UVA and UVB protection, some only protect you against one type of radiation and some protect slightly against both but don’t cover the full spectrum in any useful manner. This is why on so many sun cream bottles you will find combinations of active chemical ingredients like Oxybenzone, Avobenzone and Octinoxate, some sun creams that use up to five or more chemical based active ingredients.

Why is that a problem?

Zinc oxide

Mineral sun creams create protective layers on top of the skin that help reflect the suns UVA and UVB rays, they act as a barrier and do not absorb into the skin!

This provides a much safer level of protection than chemical sun creams which do absorb into the skin and into your bloodstream, where you really don’t need it, which in turn can cause skin allergies, disrupt hormone balance and get absorbed into a mothers breast milk.

Seriously, chemical based sun creams are bullshit.

You can find out more about the negative effects of chemical sun creams on Coral Reefs and you by following that link. So lets get back to finding the best non chemical active ingredients to protect you and your family from the damaging effects and long lasting damage the sun can do to us.

What Is The Safest Mineral Active Ingredient For Sun Cream?

So far science nature has given us 2 minerals that are effective against the sun, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, both are natural, biodegradable, offer good protection against UVB rays and are harmless to Coral Reefs and your body in general.

But what you should also know it that Zinc Oxide offers much higher protection because it covers (reflects) more of the suns radiation spectrum. This means Zinc Oxide not only protects you against the skin burning UVB rays, but also the skin damaging and cancer causing UVA rays which penetrate deeper. UVA rays that penetrate into the skin and are one of the most well known causes of wrinkles and premature aging and of course skin cancer.

Zinc oxide

Zinc Oxide is a bit of a wonder mineral when it comes to dealing with radiation from the sun and the effects it has on us.

Zinc Oxide also has some interesting healing properties when applied to the skin. Therefore if you do forget your sun cream and wind up getting burned, than sun cream with Zinc Oxide in will help heal and sooth your sun burn at the same time, so re-apply!

Summing All That Up

Both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are good minerals for use in sunscreen, but Zinc Oxide is a better active ingredient due to its broad spectrum protection, simple as that.

If you are looking for quality broad spectrum chemical free Zinc Oxide based sun creams or if you want to help save Coral Reefs and keep synthetic chemicals out of your body…

Reef Safe Sun Cream, 50ml, SPF 30+
  • Type: Sunscreen
  • SPF: 30+
  • Water Resistant: 80 Min
  • UVA:
  • UVA II:
  • UVB:
  • Reef Safe:
  • Moisturising:
  • Recyclable:
  • Baby Safe:
  • Kid Safe:
  • Non Oily:
  • Travel Safe:
  • Organic: 100%

You can also check out Reef Repair’s SPF 30+ sunscreen and sun care products in our reef friendly sun care shop.

Join the sun care revolution and stay safe in the sun with Reef Repair!

Posted in Science on .



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