Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently posted her experience with mineral sunscreen in an Instagram video. Across her various platforms, she is trying to foster that political momentum. On Thursday, the congresswoman posted an Instagram video in which she told her 1.5 million followers that “U.S. sunscreens are far behind the rest of the world,” adding, “We deserve better here in the U.S.”
Hoping to avoid the white cast, heaviness and greasiness common in many sunscreen products available in U.S. drugstores, some Americans, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have taken matters into their own hands, opting for sunscreens manufactured abroad.
While sunscreen is regulated as a cosmetic in major skin-care hubs such as South Korea, Japan and the European Union, in the United States it falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration. Any drug product marketed to American consumers must be approved by the FDA, and because sunscreen “makes a drug claim” — namely, that it can prevent sunburn, decrease the risk of skin cancer and mitigate early skin aging — the agency regulates it as an over-the-counter drug.
The last time the FDA approved new active ingredients for use in sunscreens was more than two decades ago, and at times it can feel as if the rest of the world has surpassed the United States in the development of new sunscreen formulations and protocols. Currently there are 14 sunscreen filters approved for use by the FDA. The European Union employs more than 30.
“I also think it’s very important that we maintain a level of rigor around safety,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We want to make sure this is not about advocating for the deregulation of these filters.”
While Rep. Cortez’s intentions are noble to offer additional solutions to U.S. consumers, many people are allergic to the 12 chemical UV filters approved in the U.S. or the 30 plus chemical filters approved in Europe, where the chemical UV filters and their skin breaks out with a rash and/or hives. Chemical UV filters can be harmful to the skin because when they encounter sunlight, they degrade and produce reactive oxygen substances that generate oxidative stress in skin cells, damage to genetic material, premature aging, and predisposition to skin cancer.
It has also been shown that these chemical UV filters are systemically absorbed into the body after one use, according to the studies published by the FDA. The agency also found they could be detected on the skin and in the blood weeks after they had last been used.
Other studies have reported finding sunscreen ingredients in breast milk, urine and blood plasma samples. And it’s possible for sunscreen users to inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some of the ingredients they apply to their lips, so the ingredients must not be harmful to the lungs or internal organs.
Most consumers do not realize that inactive ingredients typically make up 50 to 80 percent of a sunscreen’s formula, including hazardous dimethicones and silicones that are petrochemical based ingredients. These ingredients can be found on the label of almost every single mainstream personal care product. Dimethicones and silicones trap debris in your pores. Like plastic wrap, silicones form a barrier on top of your skin. That barrier can lock in moisture, yes, but it can also trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris along with it. Apart from the fact that there are petrochemicals involved in manufacturing dimethicones, even if they are attached to plant oils, they are bioaccumulative and build-up in the environment.
Dr. Terry Zickerman, CEO and founder of Love Sun Body was visiting Point Pleasant Beach New Jersey with his family, and they had a conversation when shopping for sunscreens, similar to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s experience about mineral sunscreens and their ornery application.
Dr. Zickerman’s solution was to develop new mineral sunscreens with all natural ingredients that blend into the skin with no white cast and true efficacy.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only natural origin UV filters, and they offer the best broad-spectrum protection. The chemical filters each offer a small range of UV protection. Therefore, chemical sunscreens need to use several chemical UV filters.
The FDA has stated only two active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be marketed without approved new drug applications because they are recognized as safe and effective, do not penetrate and are not absorbed through the skin.”
When zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are manufactured as a UV filters, they are made as either small particles, named “nano” or larger particles, named “non-nano”. A nanoparticle is a particle smaller than 100 nanometers (nm), or 100 billionths of a meter. Many sunscreen manufactures use nano zinc oxide and/or nano titanium dioxide because they are clear, making it less whitening when the sunscreen is applied. The nano mineral filters are not as effective as the non-nano mineral filters because many of the UV rays pass through the smaller nano sized particles. There are studies showing that very small nanoparticles (smaller than 35nm) of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be harmful to the environment by being toxic to marine life.
Love Sun Body only uses non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide. The range for "non-nano" is 100 nanometers (nm) or greater. The larger size non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide are opaque and absorbs, scatters and reflects UV rays and converts the energy to infrared heat, which radiates safely away from the skin surface. Extensive research has concluded that non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide are the safest ingredients for protecting your skin from UVA + UVB rays and blue light and the only truly reef safe sunscreen UV filters.
Love Sun Body has developed revolutionary mineral face, body and tinted face sunscreen formulas that rub into the skin with no white cast. Love Sun body formulas are the first and only sunscreens in the United States that have been certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural that are certified 100% natural origin. 100% natural origin means that the complete range of formulas contain no hazardous ingredients found in almost all U.S. and non-U.S. sunscreens, including no chemical UV filters or petroleum-based ingredients.
Love Sun Body sunscreens meet and exceed the FDA OTC Monograph System, the European Commission’s recommendation on UVA protection and Health Canada Natural Health Products Regulations. All Love Sun Body formulas are biodegradable and our packaging is recyclable.
Love Sun Body face, body and tinted mineral sunscreens are made with 100% natural origin sustainable minerals and plant-based ingredients. Love Sun Body SPF 30 formulas contain over 20% non-nano zinc oxide and our SPF 50 formulas contain over 20% non-nano zinc oxide and over 7% non-nano titanium dioxide.
Love Sun Body sunscreen formulas are certified Cosmos Natural, PETA Cruelty Free and Vegan, gluten-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, with no eye stinging ingredients.