Who doesn’t love having fun in the sun? While getting sunshine and fresh air is excellent for your physical and mental health, the sun is also a powerful radiant energy source. As a result, overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin and cause lasting, harmful effects on your body.
Skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in America, and almost 20 Americans die from melanoma every day. If you’re like most parents, you know the importance of sunscreen for your children’s safety and have added it to your daily skincare routine, but what you may not realize is that not all sunscreens are created equal.
Mineral sunscreen has proven to work more effectively against sun exposure and has added benefits.
Mineral Sunscreen vs. Chemical Sunscreen
There are many key differences between chemical and mineral sunscreen that impact your child’s UV protection, health, and safety.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, avobenzone, or oxybenzone. This type of sunscreen absorbs UV rays before converting them into heat and releasing them through the skin.
While chemical sunscreens are more traditional, they’ve been a topic of criticism and controversy in recent years, especially in light of the benzene outbreak and recalls in 2021. Additionally, their harsh chemicals can be irritating to acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Mineral sunscreens – those with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients – do not absorb into the skin like their chemical counterparts. Rather, they reflect the sun’s rays on top of the skin – a much safer alternative. In fact, the FDA has determined that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two sunscreen active ingredients granted the GRASE designation - ‘Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective'. Chemical active ingredients are under investigation. Zinc oxide also has healing components and works well on sensitive skin.
The 2021 Benzene Outbreak and Chemical Sunscreen Recalls
In 2021, Valisure, an independent laboratory, found the carcinogen benzene in 78 after-sun and sunscreen products, most of which were sunscreen sprays.
Benzene is a component of gasoline and crude oil. It’s frequently used to create waxes, rubber, detergents, and some pharmaceuticals. However, this known carcinogen has been linked to cancers like leukemia, sparking fear and demands for recalls from the public and Valisure.
How Did Benzene Get Into Sunscreens?
So how did benzene get into the sunscreen products of reputable brands like Aveeno and Neutrogena? Many experts believed it to be a contamination problem or byproduct of manufacturing rather than a directly added ingredient. Regardless of how the chemical got there, Johnson & Johnson issued voluntary recalls for many of these products.
These recalls illustrated the importance of monitoring what you put on your child’s body for sun protection. In the case of chemical sunscreens, what you put on your child’s body could go into your child’s body.
While there’s no doubt that sunscreen is an essential part of skin cancer prevention, there are better, safer options than chemical-based sunscreens, including mineral sunscreens, that are composed of safe and clean ingredients.
My Day Screen: Mineral Sunscreen You Can Rely On
My Day Screen™ is committed to providing parents and kids with mineral sunscreen they can rely on. Not only does their sunscreen contain safe and clean ingredients, but it’s more sustainable and cruelty-free than traditional chemical-based sunscreens. That means no animal testing and reef-friendly products with eco-friendly packaging on every order.