The Truth About Sunscreen?

Recently, I read a health article in the February issue of Allure (hahah can you tell I’m a bit beauty obsessed at the moment?) about a study on the most common active ingredients in sunscreen. While it is small and tested on faux human skin, it has a lot to say. Actives such as oxybenzone and/or zinc oxide could be causing us the same harm as the sun. Free radicals are building up in our skin and causing damgage, making us age a lot faster than anyone would like. The way I see it, it’s like chemo therapy for a cancer patient: it kills the bad cells but at the same time it’s killing the living tissue along with it. It’s a give and take. And at the moment sunscreen is the best protection we have against harmful UVA/UVB rays, skin cancer, burning, and free radicals. Many dermatologists and professionals are dismissing it as too small of a study for its implications. However, the same is said about parabens. And I, for one, do not want to take that chance. I want to be here for as long as possible and be as healthy as possible.

The solution? Antioxidant moisterizers/creams and sunscreen wtih antioxidants in them. Antioxidants are like little miracle workers. They prevent the forming of free radicals, make your skin uber radiant, and boost your overall health. And who doesn’t want all that? In a world, where there is rampant “agism” (Hadley Freeman’s term for the bias towards youth), they come as a blessing. Moreover, they can stay in your skin for 4 DAYS after the first application. That means that they can protect you for up that long. Getting a sunscreen with antioxidants act as another block in your sunblock. It blocks the maleffects of the chemicals in sunscreen. And there is no question about whether to wear sunscreen or not. I am asian, tan, and young. And I still wear sunscreen, meaning that I can get the healthiest natural tan possible (other than fake tanning). So join the bandwagon already and get with the program, sunscreen can ensure that you grow old gracefully.

Let’s face it. Supple skin is the first thing to go. Take care of it when you’re young. And that also means applying all your facial cream/products to your neck as well. Haven’t you heard that the first sign of aging is in your neck and hands? Save yourself the expense and trouble of botox in later life by taking care of your skin now. You’ll be better off without the toxin your body anyway.

Some recommendations:

  • Banana Boat’s Ultra Defense broad spectrum sunblock $10. The goodies in it: Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate), Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate)–both of whom are antioxidents, Aloe Vera. Better yet, it has no parabens and protects against both UVA and UVB. Other antioxidants to look for are white tea, green tea, pomagranate, acai berry, etc.
  • Coppertone’s Nutrashield Dual Defense $10. Goodies: Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Panthenol (ProVitamin B5). HOWEVER, it does contain minimal parabens. It should be fine though
  • Murad Oil Free Sunscreen $26. Goodies: Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Rice Amino Acids, Titanium Dioxide (5.5%), Grape seed extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E). It also has minimal parabens .
  • Citrix Antioxidant Sunscreen $21 at Amazon.com. Goodies: Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate. It also has minimal parabens


The first two you can find at any drugstore. Murad is found at Sephora and Ulta. And Citrix is found online at Amazon or any dermatologist.
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