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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SPF Protection....Any Time

Just because it is the middle of winter doesn't mean you don't need sun protection on days you know you'll be outside for an extended period of time. Creams made with added protection against the sun's glare off the snow also offer protection from wind-whipped skin.

Any of our facial creams can be made with added zinc oxide which acts as a physical block and deflects the sun's rays like a mirror. The micronized particles of this mineral sit on the outermost layer of the skin, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays. These creams have not been tested by the FDA, therefore cannot be called sunscreens, but they can be called sunblocks. The amount of zinc oxide added is said to be enough to offer about a 15-20 SPF rating.

The SPF creams are a bit richer than their original versions. They can be used every day if desired, or they can be used occasionally when there is a need for more protection, depending on the weather and what activity you plan on doing. Certainly ideal this time of year for snow boarding and skiing.

What gives these creams that extra touch against the harsh elements is that they consist of a number of rich oils and butters which not only hydrate but help retain and hold in that moisture. These ingredients are also special in that they have their own natural, though low, SPF factors.

Coconut oil is a 4
Shea butter is a 6
Avocado oil is an 8
Wheat germ oil is a whopping 20
These are in all the creams.

All the creams are a little different to add variety, so these oils are in some but not all:
Hazelnut oil is a 10
Almond oil is a 5

Then all of them have Aloe, Beeswax, Vitamin E and Carrot essential oil.
Aloe Vera gel which is very cooling offers anti-inflammatory relief should the skin be out a little too long.

So what is so wrong with the typical store bought sunscreen?
The average sunscreens are what is called "chemical" sunscreens. They contain ingredients that may be absorbed and have the potential to disrupt the body's hormone systems.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the FDA are in disagreement as to the safety with the use of retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) and oxybenzone. So while the debate continues, perhaps it is best to use what are called "mineral" sunblocks, those with added zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

A very good article to better understand the terminology behind SPF, UVA and UVB was written by Marie Be

Body Lotion Sunblock

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