Why your skin will love avoiding these ingredients

The No-Go List. Why your skin will love avoiding these ingredients.
We’re just gonna go ahead and coin the term sunwashing.
Like its famous cousin greenwashing, sunwashing helps consumers feel as though they’re making healthy choices for their skin when they purchase sunscreen.

And that’s partly true, but it’s not the whole story.

Protecting your skin from the sun? Tick.
Promoting skin health with skin-loving products? Big fat hell no.

Dig a little deeper into most sunscreens’ labels, and you might be surprised by what you see. (Spoiler alert: bad surprise).

So while industries are singing sunscreen’s praises from the rooftops, they’re not so much as throwing out a whisper about the common ingredients that can cause allergies, premature ageing and clog the skin.

But hold the overwhelm, ‘cos we gotchu.

While MOTHER SPF understands the importance of educating about ingredients, there’s enough going on in the world to be anxious about, and your sunscreen shouldn’t be one of them.

So we’ve put together a starter list of ingredients your skin will love you for avoiding. (Like bear hug, french kiss, face-squish kinda love).

1. My Physical Romance
When it comes to sunscreen, you’ve got two choices: chemical or physical.

Only two active ingredients were proposed as safe by the FDA in 2019, and they’re only found in physical sunscreen (also known as ‘mineral’ sunscreen).

Think of physical sunscreen (MOTHER) as your skin’s personal karate kid, acting as a barrier to block the rays from ever reaching the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, are designed to absorb both the product and the UV rays into the skin, creating a reaction to release it as heat.

There are a few problems with chemical sunscreens:

  • The ingredients are not photostable. They break down in the presence of sunlight, causing free radical damage and premature ageing.
  • 5 out of 6 active ingredients used by the chemical sunscreen industry have been found to cause allergic reactions and skin inflammation. A common active ingredient in sunscreen called oxybenzone shows that when combined with sunlight, it can cause photo contact dermatitis and skin inflammation.
  • Chemical sunscreens cause the skin to heat up, which can worsen heat-related skin conditions such as melasma and rosacea.
    Physical sunscreens are your safe alternative. Zinc-oxide-based physical sunscreens, like MOTHER, are famous for their anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. They’re 100% photostable, don’t absorb UV rays and instead reflect heat away from the skin.

    2. Emulsifiers and PEGs (not the washing line kind)
    It’s hard to browse the skincare aisle without coming across emulsifiers and PEGs (the most common emulsifier). They’re almost everywhere because they help blend liquids such as oil and water, and have excellent cleaning and high-foaming potential.

    There are many to choose from and they are easy to spot! Literally just look for PEG. Examples include  PEG-40 Stearate and Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone

    From a formulation perspective, these guys are great.
    From a skin-health perspective, not so great.

    If you’ve ever cleansed your face and felt tight afterward, emulsifiers are to blame. If you ever find yourself wondering why your face needs moisturising more than once a day, these guys are usually to blame.

    While initially the emulsion of oil and water feels good and absorbs speedily, there’s a catch. And it’s called the wash-out effect.

    Once they’re on the skin, these critters will keep working whenever water comes into contact with the skin. They’ll pull from the skin’s protective lipids (its fats and oils) to combine an emulsion with water, washing away your natural fats and oils.

    Hence the dryness.

    If your skin’s natural barrier is already compromised, emulsifiers can make your redness, itching, or irritation much worse.

    3. Plastic is not so fantastic
    Our third spotlight is on silicones, the synthetic plastic fillers that create a slinky-smooth texture on the skin. But not such slinky-smooth results for your skin.

    Silicones create a plastic barrier on top of your skin, clogging the skin and trapping everything from dirt to bacteria to impurities. Because of this barrier, they also prevent nourishing ingredients from being absorbed, wasting any other skincare you put on top.

    With no benefits to the skin and no antioxidant properties, your skin will love you for steering clear.

    So what are the natural alternatives?
    Fortunately, new kids on the sunblock are wising up to the potential hazards in traditional formulations and we have more skin-loving options than ever before.

    For skincare products, an easy alternative is to choose oils for both your moisturiser and cleanser, or look for natural products without the nasties.

    For sunscreen, we have a very sunny and cute suggestion (hint: rhymes with smother) that ticks the boxes for a physical sunscreen without harmful chemicals, emulsifiers, or silicones.

    It’s time to kick those inflammatory, clogging and allergy-inducing ingredients to the curb.

    The sun-safe solution?

    Your goddess-glowing skin will thank you for it 💛

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