According to investigators quoted by the EWG, “the primary toxicity concern of nanoparticles is free radical generation. This can provoke intense oxidative stress, inflammation and damage proteins, lipids and DNA.” A little warning: many manufacturers are calling products with zinc oxide particles greater than or equal to 100 nanometers “non nano”. We feel very strongly that until such small particles are proven safe (particles the size of 250 nm have been shown to penetrate the placental barrier), it is important for you know what size particles are in your products. What’s left? Eliminating chemicals and nanos from the list narrows the search to two inorganic ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Emerging studies suggest that sunscreens containing nano-sized particles of organic and/or inorganic compounds may not be safe. We do know that nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while probably safer than their organic (chemical) counterparts, generate free radicals upon exposure to UV and water. Read more
Separating fact from fiction--sharing the good, the bad and the ugly truths about sunscreen safety, natural sunscreen ingredients and what you need to know to keep your family covered and protected. Q: When do you use sunscreen/why do you use sunscreen? A: Wearing sunscreen daily protects you against premature aging and skin cancer. Q: As long as your skin is not burning, does that mean that your sunscreen is working? A: NO, in order to be sure that your sunscreen is adequately protecting you, you need to make sure that it is providing broad spectrum protection = protection from UVA + UVB rays. Q: What’s the difference between uva and uvb? A: UVB are short wave length rays that burn the skin and cause skin cancer. They are present from 10AM-4PM (UVB= burning). UVA are longer wavelength rays that are present from sunrise to sunset and they and penetrate glass and clouds. They do not burn your skin BUT they cause deeper damage including skin cancer & premature aging. They are called the aging rays (UVA=aging). Read more
Of the ingredient choices available to formulate a physical sunscreen two are most commonly used: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. We at MVO use only non-nano zinc oxide because it provides longer-range, more stable and safer UV protection than its mineral counterpart titanium dioxide. Below are just some of the research findings that support this decision.There is increasing evidence that long wave ultraviolet (UV) radiation (UVA; 320–400 nm) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of various skin disorders, from polymorphous light eruption to photoaging. UVA radiation induces mitochondrial DNA mutations leading to photoaging as well as other more serious consequences. Studies indicate that zinc oxide provides better protection in the above mentioned 340 to 380 nm range than titanium dioxide. In addition to damaging DNA, UVA radiation generates free radicals, which, within human skin also cause allergic reactions and photoaging. Read more
Mineral sunscreens are capturing an increasing segment of the sunscreen market due to their many advantages over chemical sunscreens. The one drawback to using them has been the white cast the sunscreen leaves on the skin, so it is no surprise that consumer demand for more appealing products led to advances in controlling particle size, shape and distribution. Thanks to nanotechnology companies are now able to offer products that the public doesn’t mind wearing. On the downside, nanoparticles in sunscreen has given rise to a host of questions vis a vis safety issues, given that we know so little about the behavior of nano-sized versions of materials like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that have been used for years in bulk form. For some time now, companies have argued that this concern is overstated, since tests show that nanoparticles are not absorbed past the epidermis. Read more
Penetration in conjunction with, or separate from, generation of free radicals compounds the potential hazards of nanoparticles. The photocatalytic properties of nanoparticles was pointed out in a January 2008 paper published in Progress in Organic Coatings that discussed the rapid eterioration of roof coatings in areas where roofers had transferred their sunscreen to roof surfaces. Sunscreens containing nanoparticles of TiO2 were found to generate hydroxyl radicals upon exposure to UV and water. Sunscreens containing nanoparticles of TiO2 were found to generate hydroxyl radicals upon exposure to UV and water. A recent in vivo study in mice showed that “subcutaneous placement of coated TiO2 nano particles can convert clones of regressive mouse fibrosarcoma cells with no metastatic potential, into aggressive tumour cells with metastatic ability. Read more
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