Sunscreen Saviors: chemical vs. mineral

Our skincare regimes may switch up throughout the year, based on climate changes, hormonal changes, and many other factors. But one thing remains consistent – rain or shine, sun or snow, you should always wear sunscreen. Proper sun care is one of the most effective ways to prevent skin cancer, premature aging, and sun damage.  In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that about 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun. And since the skin is the largest organ in the human body with so many crucial functions, its up to us to protect it so that we may continue to GLOW!

But with so many different types of sunscreens on the market, how can you tell which is right for you, and which to avoid?

Sunscreen has come a long way since the days of the Coppertone “baby bottom” ads, and formulas are so advanced now that there’s no reason not to call it what it is – an essential step in your morning skincare regime. Let’s not let it be an afterthought. 

The two main types of sunscreen available are mineral (sometimes known as physical sunblock) and synthetic (also known as chemical sunblock). They act in one of two, somewhat self-explanatory ways – by forming a mineral barrier, or by forming a chemical one.  While chemical sunscreens are definitely the most common type on the market, you may want to reconsider grabbing at the first SPF you see on the shelf at your local drugstore. 

Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin, and scatter and deflect the sun’s harmful rays upon absorption.  There are over 30 synthetic sun-protection chemicals that can be found in skincare products, including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These tend to be found in more water-resistant formulas, which can make them more appealing as a consumer, but in reality, they need to be reapplied just as often as their mineral-based counterparts.  If you’ve ever had a reaction or irritation from a sun protectant product, chances are, it was a chemical-based one.  Don’t be fooled by high SPF labels. They can tempt you into staying in the sun too long, and (above SPF 50) the higher the SPF, the more often they must be reapplied. 

Chemical sunscreen ingredients have been shown to cause damage to coral, accumulate in fish and the environment, and cause hormone disruptions in fish and amphibians. So imagine what they can do when absorbed into our own skin.  But what about FDA certification? The Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed evidence of potential hazards of sunscreen filters – instead it grandfathered in ingredients used in the late 1970s when it began to consider sunscreen safety.  Instead, the EWG has reviewed existing data about human exposure and toxicity levels in the 9 most commonly used sunscreen chemicals.  After testing over 1,400 popular sunscreens on the market, only 5% met their safety standards for human use.  And oxybenzone (a synthetic form of estrogen), the most prevalent ingredient in sunscreens on the market – showed worrisome results.  Present in nearly 65% of non-mineral sunscreens in their 2018 market database, it was found to cause allergic skin reactions and hormone disruptions in both men and women.  Because these chemicals are absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin, where capillaries and veins circulate blood, they in turn entire the body’s circulatory system.  In a recent study, traces of oxybenzone were been found in 96% of the American population. Traces were also found in breast milk – indicating that developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances.  Interesting, considering their topical use has not been approved for infants.  Mineral sunscreens are the only form of sun protectant that has been approved for use on babies.  We all know that what we put into our bodies effects our skin, but the opposite is just as true as well – in most cases, what we apply to our skin externally, often finds its way into our bodies. We should always be sure that what we apply is safe.

Now as for the second type of sunscreen – mineral-based formulas, there is a lot more hope.  There are two main ingredients for mineral sunscreens – titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and they can often be found either together or separate.  Mineral sunscreens are known “physical” sun blockers because of their relatively large molecular size – hence, they won’t absorb into the deeper layers of skin, but rather coat the skin and act as a mirror, reflecting light and harmful rays away from our exposed flesh.

Naturally white in color, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are both powdered minerals. With their highly reflective particles, they are naturally “broad-spectrum,” meaning that they protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.  In addition, they won’t break down in the sun and have the EWG’s seal of approval, something that’s always been important to us over here at the Goddess of Skin. 

While titanium dioxide is the gentler of the two minerals and is best suited for the most sensitive skin types, zinc oxide is slightly more effective at blocking long UVA rays and in addition, is naturally antimicrobial.  Both are noncomedogenic – meaning that proper application (i.e. thin layers on clean skin) won’t clog your pores or contribute to skin congestion.

Bottom Line:

Use mineral over chemical sunscreens, reapply often, and drink lots of water for healthy, happy skin all summer long! While sunscreen should never be an afterthought in your skincare regiment, it also shouldn’t be the only step you take towards protecting from the sun’s harmful rays. 

⁃Studies show that proper attire (hats, shirts, shorts, etc.) can protect and reduce your burn risk by 27%. 

⁃Whenever possible, try to plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon with the sun is lower in the sky and the UV index is safer. 

⁃Sunglasses should always be worn! Not only are they cute, but they help prevent cataracts, protect from harmful UV rays, and prevent premature aging around the eyes by lessening subconscious need to squint. 

⁃Keep skin clean! Breakouts happen when dirt, oil and bacteria get trapped inside the pore – always wash your face and body after sunscreen use and sun exposure. 

⁃Avoid the tanning bed! As tempting as it may be to “build a base” or get that glow year round, tanning beds expose the skin to up to 15 times more ultraviolet radiation than the sun and contribute to rising increase in melanoma rates. 

⁃And lastly, we are all unique! Love the body you’re in and embrace your own natural levels of melanin – and the healthy glow provided by simply using a good, nightly body oil. Nourished skin will love you back! – Guide to Sunscreens – The Trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals – Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics

Natural Skin toner by Goddes of Skin

Skin Toner and the Power of PH Balance

Everyone knows skin toner is the first step on a healthy path to keeping your skin tone at a neutral PH balance, right? …Well, maybe not. The joyful byproduct of being an esthetician for more than thirty years is that I am a teacher first for my clients and can share why skin toner is so important. But if you don’t see me in Los Angeles or New York, trust me when I say maintaining a neutral PH balance is imperative to your skin’s health. What does this even mean?

Normal or “neutral” PH balance is 7-7.5 and using a natural skin toner helps you maintain a healthy balance. Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York further explains the benefits of maintaining a neutral PH balance but the most important benefit: Clearer skin which means a reduction of acne and breakouts.

Additionally when the skin is at a normal PH level your face creams and serums are absorbed better by the skin, helping you maintain a healthy skincare regime.

The types of toner you use are as important as when you use a skin toner. The Goddess of Skin Radiant Toner and Skin Pads are a natural product and safe to use every time you wash your face, or after a workout. We created toner wipes that offer an on-the-go solution, and then I always have a mister in my purse for a quick hydration fix, a cream and then always a layer of protection.

By eliminating the sweat and bacteria quickly, you reduce the chance of the sebum settling into pores and leading to blackheads. This is especially important since we go from different temperatures, air quality, and activities throughout the day. Once the sebum cools, it solidifies which leads to blackheads.

Now you get to choose your toner. Make sure you are not using a heavy alcohol based product as this can strip the skin. A Chamomile and licorice root toner helps brighten the skin. Check ingredients and post a question to me on Facebook about your skin to help decide on the best approach for your daily skincare routine.

If you have a favorite toner or question please share with me and learn more about the Goddess of Skin toner here.

Hydrating from the Inside Out

I’ve been called misty-eyed many times in my life …but not because I’m emotional (well, I am sometimes) but because I’m constantly spritzing my face and my clients’ faces with a Mist to keep skin hydrated.

Skin hydration is at the top of my list of important “to do’s” when it comes to keeping the skin healthy. But hydration begins on the inside.

The body functions with water and in order to do everything we need to do, we need water. Water also helps eliminate the impurities “waste” from our bodies and if we don’t eliminate then our skin is impacted because these impurities are going to come out via the skin. The skin being the bodies largest organ for detoxification.

If we don’t keep skin hydrated then it breaks down and opens itself up to issues that could further degrade the integrity of the skin and increase the possibilities of eczema forming.

What are the best ways to keep skin hydrated? 
I drink two liters of water a day and it makes a difference because I’m flushing my system. Hydrating the skin with a blend of oil and water emulsion also helps to seal in the moisture.

I use my “Rum Cake” analogy since I baked this as a child. When making a “rum cake”, you start out with the sponge cake which is like the skin, then you fill it with the rum, or Mist, and then top it all off with the “frosting” or crème or sunscreen. Like the cake, this seals all the yummy Mist moisture inside.

There are so many water choices on the market so whether you’re swigging from the latest S’well bottle or inspired by the oh so creative pH balanced LIFEWTR make sure you are drinking what you need on a daily basis (reminder, I drink at least two liters) and enjoy a morning, noon, and night, spritz of our Synergy Mist.

If you have questions about your skin, post to the Goddess of Skin Facebook page.

Natural skin care includes vitamin c serum

Natural Vitamin C Serum Helps Repair and Protect Skin

Yes, it’s true: Spring is in the air! The last bit of rain and snow for most people in the country is winding down just as the sun’s rays are warming up which can lead to skin damage. It’s time to get ready for summer and that means repairing any sun damaged skin from winter weather and protect your skin just in time for summer. Natural skin care is important and our Vitamin C Serum is not only natural but cruelty free and contains natural lighteners to help fight the signs of aging skin.

How would you feel if you looked in the mirror and saw a luminous complexion? Would you like to protect your skin from the ravages of the sun even more? Are those pesky “salami” spots showing up on your forehead and cheeks? Would you welcome firmer skin?

When I started thinking about adding a new product to the Goddess of Skin natural products line, I consulted with my clients and the consensus was that a Vitamin C serum was essential for heathy skin. Thus began the journey to research and create the perfect serum to add to our already sacred skin care ritual.

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topical L-ascorbic acid and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)have beneficial effects on skin cells, and studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photo damage to skin. Although not a sunscreen itself because it does not absorb light in the UVA-UVB range, it does protect against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals.

The Goddess of Skin’s Vitamin C Serum is a favorite amongst clients testing the product over the past year. I take to heart feedback on our product line and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Vitamin C can be a fragile little helper, and to ensure its efficacy not only do we need to protect it from sunlight and heat, but air will render this powerhouse completely useless. So, packaging and the synergy of the ingredients is crucial. I knew I wanted it to be hydrating, and also had to keep in the parameters of a natural skin care brand. We are against toxic ingredients and Goddess of Skin products are cruelty-free.

Additionally, I knew I wanted our Vitamin C Serum to be able to brighten the skin. So I added a natural lightener, Kakadu Plum, and Ferulic Acid for added efficacy.

But I took it a step further with the addition of “Syn-ake Peptide”. This revolutionary peptide’s active compound is based on a synthetic tri-peptide that mimics the effect of Walgerin1. This is found in the venom of the Temple Viper. (Love that this snake is found in a Temple! I wonder how many mantras it has listened to?) The activity of the snake peptide reduces the contraction of the frequency of muscle cells on the face.  Thereby decreasing the appearance of expression lines. In-vivo testing showed an impressive reduction of the appearance of wrinkles of over 50% in 28 days.

All of these incredible ingredients are in a base of Hyaluronic Acid, and there is no water in this formula. This means less chances of oxidation, and HA is responsible for tissue hydration, lubrication, and tissue stability, and holds 500 times it’s own weight in water.

Adding  “Let the World “C” YOU Serum” into your regimen keeps your skin protected, nourished, firm and GLOWING! And who does not want to add a little yummy scent into our morning and evening ritual.