Achieving great skin needn’t be complicated. We’ve talked about cleansing, that all important first step, and about preventing damage with the use of antioxidants like vitamins C, E and ferulic acid. Step 3 to great skin is keeping it young and healthy by protecting it. You may not know it, but the sun’s UV rays are responsible for more than 85% of skin aging. For this reason, the most important skin care product you’ll ever need is sunscreen.
Sunscreen filters can be divided into two main types – chemical and physical. Chemical filters interact with the skin’s top layer to absorb and render UV rays harmless. Physical filters sit on top of the skin to deflect UV rays. Sunscreens may contain either one or a combination of the two. Both have their pros and cons.
Our favorite chemical sun filters are Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S. All three provide highly effective broad spectrum protection and actually complement one another, enhancing their ability to provide protection particularly against long UVA rays that penetrate deeper into the skin. These sought-after ingredients are photostable, work synergistically and aren’t associated with skin irritation or hormone disruption like some older sun filters.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide comprise the two physical blocking filters. Zinc oxide covers the full range of the UV spectrum , both the longer UVA (aging) and shorter UVB (burning) rays. Studies have shown zinc oxide to be safe, effective and stable upon sun exposure. While titanium dioxide does a good job in blocking the UVB rays, it doesn’t block all UVA rays and should be used in combination with other sun filters to cover a wider range of the UVA spectrum.
Before you dismiss the need for daily sun protection, consider a recent Australian study which determined that subjects who used sunscreen every day had 24% less skin aging than those who used sunscreen only some of the time. Younger-looking skin with fewer wrinkles may only be the cosmetic results of daily protection. The long-term benefit is a decrease in the risk of skin cancer.
We recognize that finding a sunscreen that you love wearing every day can be a challenge. We’re one step closer with our new Apothekari Shade SPF 30 all natural sunscreen with zinc oxide. Not only does it block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays but does it beautifully without leaving a white finish. Add in UV-absorbing red algae extract and antioxidant ergothioneine and we think it’s a winner.