And more importantly, do you know?
The regular sunscreen I’m using, Keys Solar Rx SPF30+, contains nano zinc oxide. I’ve been using it with a clear knowledge that there are some controversy regarding their safety level and despite having written that skincare containing such ingredients should be avoided. I know I am shooting myself in the foot but well, I can’t make up my mind especially since nothing conclusive has been reached about their safety. But at the least, I know what it contains because apparently, some sunscreens makers haven’t been as truthful.
Is your sunscreen on the list?
Nanoparticles in mineral-based sunscreens are more widespread than it appears to be according to this report sunscreen particles prove to be big issue. According to the report, Consumer Reports commissioned tests of five brands of sunscreen that company representatives stated did not contain nano-size particles of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Four of them, all labeled natural or organic, actually did contain nanoparticles and these are:
– Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 25 Green Tea Protective Sunscreen
– Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen
– Kiss My Face SPF 30+ Sun Screen with oat protein complex
– Mexitan SPF 30 Sunscreen
So if any of you are using these sunscreens and are not aware of the nano-ingredients, now you know. Actually I’m kind of surprised that Badger SPF30 Sunscreen is on the list because I remember the product does leave a bit of white residue upon application. If it contains nanoparticles of zinc oxide, then it should be entirely clear when rubbed on the skin.
What’s wrong with nanoparticles in sunscreen?
While the advantage is that they are great cosmetically, lab studies indicated that nano-ingredients in sunscreen create free radicals that damage the DNA of cells, and even low exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide can damage the lungs of animals if inhaled. However, for them to pose direct health risks to humans, they have to penetrate the protective outer layers of dead skin and studies suggest they don’t reach live tissue under normal circumstances.
But if you’re someone with sensitive skin or acne-proned skin, then you want to be careful because the same article quoted Kristen Kulinowski, director of the International Council on Nanotechnology as saying that “It’s not known whether skin damaged by acne, eczema, sunburn, or nicks from shaving is more vulnerable to penetration.”
So to use sunscreens with nanoparticles or not, you have to decide for yourself. However, it isn’t fair if you do not even know what it really contains in the first place.