One of the most common questions I get asked concerns SPFs – especially why we don't have any!
The reason is that it is very difficult to make an organic and sensitive skin-friendly SPF cream without the use of synthetic chemicals or irritating natural preservatives and stabilizers.
Why mainstream sunscreens are a no-no for sensitive skin
Many of the chemical UVA / B filters used in conventional sun creams are not only extremely irritating to the skin, but it is also believed that some such as isotridecyl salicylate and octyl salicylate are imitators of oestreas.
Many also contain methylparaben, a widely used preservative. The controversy surrounding parabens is well documented, but a recent study in Japan has also shown that methylparaben ages the skin prematurely when exposed to UVA / B sunlight.
In addition to these worrying ingredients, the usual sun creams are also filled with an irritating fragrance (perfume), because who doesn't want to smell like a coconut on the beach ?!
I've lost the number of times I've been with friends who complain of "heat rash" or "prickly heat" when what they're really experiencing is a reaction to their sunscreen.
And what about natural sunscreens?
Natural offerings are usually referred to as sun blocks because they consist of minerals such as titanium or zinc oxides. They work differently than synthetic sunscreens, which absorb UVA / B light and instead act as a barrier.
This means that they are not brilliantly absorbed by the skin and often leave a white shimmer on the skin.
While these mineral block sunscreens are more skin-friendly, more and more manufacturers are grinding the minerals into nanoparticles in order to eliminate the whiteness problem.
Although this appears to be a good thing, very little is known about how far nanoparticles can penetrate the body. A 2010 study found that plastic nanoparticles can cross the human placenta, which raises serious concerns about the safety of nanoparticles.
So what should you do to protect your skin this summer?
Not surprisingly, I don't recommend reaching for synthetic and perfumed sunscreens or sunscreens formulated with nanoparticles.
If you know that you are out in the bright sun, I would use mineral sun protection.
Otherwise, a wide-brimmed hat is a really chic and sensible option! As far as Pai sun protection is concerned, I only have to watch this room …