Did you know that our skin is the largest organ we have?
Arguably it is one of the most vital as well. Our skin protects our bodies from pathogens or deadly bacteria and viruses.
Could you picture our bodies without skin? Me either.
In addition to protection, our skin plays a role in our thermoregulation, meaning how we cool and heat our bodies. Did you know we also use our skin to store essential fats and water?
So then I pose this question to you, are you doing everything you can to help protect your vital organ?
I think a lot of us take our skin for granted.
After all, it is just there. It is only when there becomes a problem with our skin do we really tend to pay attention to it.
Without the proper care, however, our skin can breakdown. It is a very resilient barrier, but once the integrity of it gets compromised you are opening yourself up a whole can of worms.
I could go on to list many things that can happen with impaired skin integrity, but the subject of this article is skin cancer. It is the world’s most prevalent type of cancer.
It can range in many levels of severity. Skin cancer is also silent, and can go undetected for many, many years.
The National Institute of Health estimates there will be 91,270 new cases of melanoma in 2018. More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in the U.S. in 2012. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime.
Have I given you enough reason to want to learn how to protect your skin yet? I hope so.
When you expose unprotected skin to UV rays from the sun the DNA damage starts almost immediately. The first line of defense we have is our clothing. But unless you plan on wearing long sleeves, pants, shoes, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses when you go to the beach- we need something more. This is where the importance of sunscreen comes into play.
Recommendations from the Skin Cancer Foundation are to apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher everyday. Yes, this even means if you aren’t planning a trip to the pool or beach.
With so many products on the market, you may need help on where to start. The following is a review of an excellent sunscreen I was given the opportunity to try, created by Block Island Organics.
Many sunscreens on the market today use chemicals that filter the UV radiation.
Chemicals that get absorbed into your skin that you are potentially inhaling when you use spray on sunscreens. And those chemicals that you are potentially ingesting accidentally when it is on yours hands or lips. Toxic chemicals that absorb into your bloodstream and subsequently into breastmilk as well.
Common forms of these chemicals are: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Check the products you have for these names.
You want your sunscreen to be a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide, not a chemical combination sunscreen. There is not enough scientific research done with all of these chemicals to determine their safety, and that is worrisome in itself.
There have been several studies done that have demonstrated hormonal disruption when the person has been exposed to too much oxybenzone. Another study also found shorter term pregnancies with use when pregnant. I would say, due to the lack of research and the FDA only grandfathering in these chemicals (not actually reviewing them), it is best to avoid them.
Having found these chemicals in breastmilk was enough for me to be convinced. I do not want my baby exposed to potentially harmful chemicals, do you?
Looking at the ingredients list of Block Island Organics, Natural Mineral Sunscreen I first see zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide is a non-toxic mineral used in many products today. If you look at your baby’s diaper cream, it is probably zinc oxide. It is safe for your skin, unlike the other chemical ingredients I listed above.
You may have a picture in your head of way back when your mom would put a streak of sunblock on your nose and cheeks. That thick white sunblock is no longer with recent discoveries in formulating zinc oxide. Scientists were able to create this compound so it is still not transparent but leaves a much less visible coating on your skin.
This sunscreen is white, but when you apply it correctly it leaves very little visual residue. Besides, I would much rather have a little white showing on my skin than have skin cancer, but maybe that’s just me.
This sunscreen is safe to use during pregnancy and for children because zinc oxide does not absorb into the bloodstream. The mineral stays on top of the skin and provides UVA and UVB protection.
As you can see most of the ingredients this sunscreen is composed of are things you can comprehend and have heard of. Their website provides details on all of the ingredients, so if their is one you were unsure of you can refer to their website for more information.
I appreciated this full disclosure from the company because many companies today try to hide or mask their ingredients. This shows me credibility of this company and ensures me they stand behind every ingredient they use.
This is a list of the ingredients in the sunscreen
- Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 22%.
Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Gluconolactone, Glycerin*, Lecithin*, Octyl Palmitate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Zemea Propanediol. (*Certified Organic)
- Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 22%.
A little goes a long way with this sunscreen.
You really don’t need as much as you might think because this sunscreen spreads very well. The company instructs you to use small dabs and spread evenly over your skin as opposed to using one large glob. I agree with their instruction!
It is very easy to apply and in my opinion is superior to spray-on sunscreen because you know where you have applied it so you don’t miss any spots.
I also noticed that this sunscreen is light-weight and does not feel greasy. After a few minutes I really forgot I even had it on. I don’t feel like I am wearing sunscreen. It is not sticky. It is not heavy. This sunscreen is something I could definitely use everyday.
I am always nervous when using anything on my face because I have such sensitive skin.
Many products I have used in the past have irritated my skin causing redness, pain and dryness. So using this on my face I was a little nervous, but I am happy to say I had ZERO problems with it!
Being fair skinned it is hard for me to find a product that I can safely use on my face, and I am pleased to now add this to my cabinet for daily application. Knowing how gentle it is on my skin, I have no concern using it on my baby as well.
It is recommended for use in children over 6 months, but that is standard for all sunscreens.
Other highlights of this sunscreen are:
- Free of Parabens, Gluten, PABA, Sulfates, Phthalates, Dyes, or Fragrance
- It’s vegan
- They never test on animals
- The past 4 years the EWG (Environmental Working Group) has named them a best Beach and Sport Sunscreen!
If you are looking for a sunscreen that is safe for you and your family, I would recommend this product to you. It is organic, safe and a high quality sunscreen.
I am very happy I had the opportunity to try this out. If you would like to view their website and learn more about their products you can visit them here:
Let me know what you all think of it too! Stay safe in the sun everyone!