Ouch!

Last time I was in South East Asia, I got more sunburned than I have been in my entire life.  Maybe I needed sunscreen?

Many blogs told me that carrot seed essential oil would provide adequate sun protection.  For me at least, all of that is a bunch of lies.  I was coated in essential oil, and I ended up looking like this, not mention being dyed orange for over 2 weeks.

Lesson Learned

Now I am back in Southeast Asia, and even though there is plenty of rain because it is the rainy season instead of the sunny season like last time, there is still plenty of sun to be had.  This time, I brought my Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with me to protect me from all the harsh rays.

When Young Living first launched the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, there was a lot of concern about it.  Let’s talk through some of the concerns:

Sunscreens in general are toxic.

Not true.  There are two different types of sunscreens on the market.  The first is chemical sunscreen and the second is barrier sunscreen.  Chemical sunscreens include a combination of ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octorylene, homosalate and others, whereas barrier sunscreens include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the primary ingredient. Both are known to filter ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, and they do it in different ways.

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV light, whereas barrier sunscreen physically block UV light.  Chemical sunscreens are known to cross the skin barrier, and may contribute to systemic toxicity.  The concern for systemic toxicity with barrier sunscreens arises when the particles are very small.

Zinc oxide can be absorbed into the skin and there is no way to know if it is safe or not.

When Young Living designed the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, we specifically created it with non-nano zinc oxide. ‘Nano’ is basically an easy way to say, ‘really tiny.’ In more scientific terms, nano means that there are particles that are 10-9 smaller than a meter, or one billionth of a meter.  If a meter is 1, a nanometer would be 0.000000001 meters.  Count ‘em, the ‘1’ is in the 9th place because nano means nine.

Nano particles may be absorbed across the surface of the skin. There is little to no data about what happens once it has crossed the surface of the skin. However the data that we do have is not great, as there is evidence that it may cause liver dysfunction and liver dysfunction in offspring.  While it may not be dangerous all the time, there is not data to confirm that it is generally safe either. Therefore, Young Living chose to avoid them until we have additional safety information.

Non-nano zinc oxide such as those in the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion are large enough to where they do not cross the surface of the skin. They help to ensure that there are no unforeseen dangers.

The SPF of 10 is too low to provide adequate coverage against skin damage.

Let’s first talk through what SPF even is. SPF stands for sun protection factor.  It is a measure of how well an agent blocks UVB rays (the kind that cause skin cancer).  When not wearing sunscreen, your skin will naturally change color and incur a certain amount of damage in one hour. If you are wearing an SPF of 2 you will incur that same amount of damage in 2 hours that you would have incurred in one hour without any SPF. An SPF of 10 will get you 10 hours, SPF 30 will get you 30 hours, etc.

Here’s the thing, SPF is not linear (i.e. you don’t get 10 times more protection going from SPF 1 to 10 or 10 to 100).  When you apply SPF 10, you are blocking approximately 90% of UVB rays. SPF 15, approximately 93%; SPF 30, approximately 97%; and SPF 50, 98%.  So applying an SPF of 30 only gives you 7% more protection than SPF 10.

Also worth considering: if you do not plan on spending more than 10 hours in the sun, you may not need the 30 hours of protection than an SPF 30 may offer. In fact, when is the last time you saw 30 hours of daylight?

Bottom line, lower SPFs, applied more often, may offer similar sun protection as higher SPFs.

Why I was concerned?

When I have used mineral sunscreens in the past, I have struggled to get them to blend in.  Everyone remembers those horrible streaks of neon down the nose in the 80s, right?  Thankfully, the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion blends in easily and does not leave a residue behind. Girl gotta look her best, even on the beach.

Are there downsides to mineral sunscreens?

Sure. As with any product, there are always pros and cons. Mineral sunscreens may rinse off more easily because they sit on the surface of the skin. Therefore it is important to reapply them regularly.  Mineral sunscreens may leave an opaque residue on the skin, and you have to be selective about which one you use. Ensure you select one that absorbs easily.  Mineral sunscreens must be applied liberally to ensure adequate coverage.  Don’t skimp!

How do we use the Mineral Sunscreen Lotion most effectively?

1. Apply 15 minutes before exposure to the sun.

2. Reapply at least every 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, or every 2 hours.

3. Apply to children older than 6 months old, unless under the consultation of a physician.

4. Feel good that you are using a formula that is free from: UV chemical sunscreens, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, animal-derived ingredients, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic dyes.  Go here to learn more about other Young Living products with potential allergens.

5. The Mineral Sunscreen Lotion can be thick to apply. Be sure to warm it thoroughly in your hands before applying to the body. You can also sit the bottle out in the sun and allow the product to heat up a bit before applying. This will help it to glide on more smoothly.

Want to learn more about my skin care routine?  Let’s go!

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