Getting out in the sun is good for us as natural sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in our bodies. But over-exposure to the sun rays can lead to premature ageing, skin damage and even skin cancer.
In fact Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Worryingly, the malignant form (malignant melanoma) is disproportionately high in younger people.
Extensive campaigns encourage us to protect our skin from the sun… and they seem to be working: in 2006 alone we spent a hefty £200 million on sun creams. But not all products are the same! Ingredients matter. Does your sunscreen contain compounds that may disrupt your hormones? Does it leave you overexposed to damaging UVA rays?
From speaking to Panacea customers, friends, family and even colleagues, I found that most people are seriously confused.
Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin to protect it from UV rays from within. But such chemicals (include Oxybenzone, methyl cinnamates, and PABA) can act as Xenoestrogens, i.e. they can mimic oestrogen in the body (but much more potent) and may contribute to hormonal imbalances.
However, Natural sunscreens are physical sunscreens that work by reflecting UV radiation off the skin like a mirror – They are not absorbed and do not disrupt hormonal balance.
Because chemical sunscreens need to penetrate the skin to work, people should apply them 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Natural sunscreens are effective as soon as applied.
It’s just as important that your sun screen protects you from both UV A and UV B rays. UVB cause sunburn and can lead to skin cancer and melanoma. UVA rays are behind the ageing effect on skin. UVB rays are worse in summer months, but UVA is around all year round and can penetrate glass, making sun protection necessary all year round – indoors as well as out!
But beware! Not all chemical sunscreens protect against UVA rays – always check the label. All natural sunscreens tend to protect against both UV A and B rays. I’m a huge fan of Green People and Lavera sun creams for the body in particular. While for the face, I highly recommend Mychelle Sun Shield SPF28 – it’s a great texture and acts as a great make up base.
Finally, beyond just protecting your skin from the harmful sun rays, Natural Sun Creams also include plant ingredients that help soothe, heal and improve skin texture. Some creams are also rich in anti-oxidants which help to fight the damaging effects of sun rays and further fight the signs of ageing…
So get some natural, full spectrum, mineral sun cream. Apply it every day, all year round. Reapply regularly if swimming or sweating!
Visit or Contact your nearest Panacea store to find out what we stock.