There’s no question about it—UV protection is absolutely essential. UV rays are responsible for a large majority of photoaging and are the leading cause of cancer—skin cancer—in the United States; however, with changes in sunscreen regulations constantly coming down the pipeline, it’s important to educate clients on proper skin protection.1, 2
There is a lot of misinformation circulating about various sunscreen ingredients—mineral vs. chemical—and what constitutes adequate protection. How do you know that what your clients are using will protect them from harmful UV damage and at the same time keep their skin healthy? Is it possible that some chemicals used to protect skin from damage may indeed contribute to other skin issues? Some reports have stated that certain chemical additives in sun care products actually proliferate the development of malignant cells due to their free radical-generating properties.3
Consumers need to know about the dangers of chemical-blockers, as well as the natural sunscreen alternatives that are available, such as zinc oxide. A sunscreen that contains unhealthy doses and combinations of chemicals may fundamentally limit its function—protecting the skin. What are these synthetic ingredients and why are they used? What are the alternatives, and why should skin care professionals educate clients about this?