There are lots of new sunscreens on the market especially this year (seems like), and quite confusing and hard to choose which sunscreen is the best for my skin.
Luckily Director Pi (cosmetics ingredients analyst and more) posted 4 big topics on her Youtube and blog, narrowing down sunscreens by formulas, ingredients and function etc,.. One of her recommendations is also the winner of 2019 Best Sunscreen in the ‘Get It Beauty’ show so I have picked this category first to share.
(Basic information of sunscreen: find here)
This is an additional/summarized information of Physical and Chemical sunscreen.
< Should not use these ingredients in sunscreen >
If you know about specific ingredients in sunscreens, may easy to understand what type of sunscreens you need and also should avoid, so I put this section (Director Pi’s 1st episode of sunscreen) here and follows best sunscreens for babies & pregnant women (episode 4).
1.Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate)
This UVB-absorbing agent is used in many base-makeup products such as foundation, cushion, primer as well as shampoo & lipstick as it is inexpensive and safe to use under the specified limits. However it is toxic to coral reef, destroying the marine ecosystem, and is a hormone disruptor.
Palau and Hawaii prohibit sales, distribution and use of sunscreen that includes Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), Octinoxate, Octocrylene and certain parabens starting from Jan. 2020 and 2021.
Regarding the issue about Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Korea’s restrictions specify that under 7.5% is authorized, Europe (10%) and Japan (20%).
eg. ) Contains both Butyl Methoxydibenzoymethane (Avobenzone) and Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3) with authorized amount
2. Butyl Methoxydibenzoymethane (Avobenzone)
This ingredient is type of benzene and used in chemical sunscreen (provides protection from a wide range of harmful UV rays by absorbing those rays and converting them to energy that is less damaging to the skin), however should be avoided for children, pregnant women and people with sensitive skin (could give dermatitis).
There are some health hazards associated with avobenzone, but it’s not confirmed so still can be used – Korea & Europe allows(declared) up to 5% and USA & Canad 3% etc,.
3. Nano/non-nano physical sunscreen
Above 2 main ingredients in chemical sunscreens have definite reasons to be wary, physical sunscreen also can create health concerns.
EPA(Environmental Protection Agency of America) brought up the dangers of nanoparticles(a piece of material that is so small it has to be measured in nanometers), showing the results of Titanium Oxide nanoparticles damaging nerve cells, also ECHA(European Chemical Agency) warns fine, nanoparticles that are small enough to be absorbed into the skin.
The good news is that a large number of studies produced no evidence that zinc or titanium can soak in below the dermal layer, could remain on the skin’s surface. As the hazard of nano-physical sunscreen, getting absorbed into the inner layer of the skin, sun spray can be very harmful because the particles can get into your lungs. Should avoid sun sprays or loose powders that contain nano-particles of physical sunscreen.
Not many sunnscreens show the qualities of the particles on product labels in Korea unlikely Europe so hope the manufacturers make this information public and/or Korean FDA(KFDA) provide a guideline for this issue, containing restriction and recommendations about particle characteristics.
Eg. Scinic The Simple Non-nano Physical Sunscreen, Dr.Orga 100 Sunscreen and Innisfree truecare Non-nanoPhysical Sun Stick are all non-nano and marked.
< Summary >
Technically, physical and chemical sunscreen both are not good for your body, however we need a protection from the sun’s damaging rays. Chemical sunscreens spreads more easily on the skin, making it more wearable for daily use, however can irritate the skin and eyes, trigger photoallergic contact dermatitis.
I’m not saying that Physical Suncreen is the best option for you even though leaves a white cast and difficult to blend into skin. The fact to consider is less irritating and a better fit for sensitive skin compare to chemical sunscreen, and non-nano sunscreens will be a very positive your future sunscreen.
*This article is getting long so have devided by 2 sections, making easy to understand and give more information. Also it’s based on Director Pi’s post and video so please watch her original videos – my purpose is to share for the information who may interested in Korean cosmetics especially non-Korean speakers.
Thanks for reading~