The ozone layer surrounding the earth used to provide a comprehensive filter that blocked out many of the sun’s deadly ultraviolet rays. Without it, almost all living things on earth would suffer radiation burns. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that we have been experiencing a depletion of the ozone layer most likely caused by industrialization and the proliferation of toxic destructive substances on the planet. This has led to the formation of large ozone holes in the upper atmosphere and because of this gap we are no longer fully protected. Therefore it has become very important to shield our skin from the strong rays of the sun. One way of accomplishing this is to use a chemical sunscreen.
Applying sunscreen lowers the chance of getting a harmful sunburn and developing skin cancer. As the CEO of La Ishá I chose not to add sunscreen to our formulations for several reasons:
1. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the subject of ingredient content in sunscreen. The sunscreen industry is going through some major evolutionary changes because of new ingredient regulation that addresses potential toxicity in sunscreens.
2. Many sunscreen manufacturers use nanotechnology in their formulations. The original purpose of nanotechnology in cosmetics was to increase the absorption of emollients into the skin. In the case of sunscreens, it was intended to get rid of the unsightly white residue left on the surface of the skin after applying it. If you have ever used zinc oxide then you know exactly what this looks like. However, there is a lot of compelling research suggesting that nanotechnology is not safe because the smaller sized molecules can penetrate certain physiological barriers that should not be crossed, and eventually find their way into the blood stream (and organs), creating the potential for all kinds of health problems down the line.
3. There is also great controversy over the use of vitamin A, an ingredient found in many sunscreens. Current research suggests that Vitamin A when deliberately exposed to direct sunlight, can accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions. Add to this an assortment of studies showing that sunscreen increases the formation of free radicals, mutagenic contaminants and DNA strand-breaks relative to untreated skin and you have a virtual minefield that we, as skin care formulators and manufacturers, do not want to cross. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens that contain vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and andretinoic acid. I think that the use of sunscreen in general, and whatever type you decide to use in particular, is a personal choice best left to you, the consumer.
Knowing all of these risk factors, does it make any sense to include sunscreen in your nighttime beauty routine, when you will be resting in a dark, sunless room for eight or more hours? In my humble opinion, you are better off applying your choice of sunscreen as you need it, and minimize unnecessary UVA and UVB exposure by wearing broad rimmed hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
By the way, research shows that pomegranate seed oil can naturally enhance the body’s own SPF, and that is just one of many reasons we include it in many of our skin care products. Did you know that the average woman absorbs approximately 5 lbs. of toxic chemicals every year from the cosmetic lotions and potions she applies to her skin? That’s why our company policy has always been not to use any ingredients in our
products that we would be afraid to put in our mouth. Sunscreen is definitely one of those products.
For many of us, taking precautions against excessive exposure to the sun’s radiation adds one more step to what already seems like a very time-consuming beauty routine. If you still need proof of the importance of not skipping this step, check out this picture: