Tag Archives: Sun Protection

Sunscreen Active Ingredients Explained – Vine Vera Reviews

You know that you are supposed to use sunscreen every single day even during those months where the sun is scarce. Using a sunscreen protects your skin against damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Damage can be in the form of sunburn, sun spots, premature wrinkles or even skin cancer. However, what you may not know is what exactly the active ingredients in sunscreen are or how they protect your skin against all of the aforementioned types of damage. We explain here what the active ingredients in sunscreens really do.

In a document that gives consumers important information about sunscreens, the Environmental Protection Agency states that “[b]road spectrum sunscreens often contain a number of chemical ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB radiation.” In addition to chemical compounds that provide sun protection, there are also physical compounds that work a bit differently and are frequently referred to as sun blocks. The physical compounds zinc oxide and titanium dioxide scatter, reflect and absorb both UVA and UVB rays.

Woman spraying sunscreen on her legs.

Chemical Sunscreens
The majority of people applying sunscreens are using a chemical sunscreen, and these are often the most recommended by skin experts. The compounds contained in chemical sunscreens are approved by the FDA include:

  • Aminobenzoic acid (PABA) – Provides minimal UVA protection extensive UVB protection.
  • Avobenzone – Provides extensive UVA protection and limited UVB protection.
  • Cinoxate – Provides limited UVA and extensive UVB protection.
  • Dioxybenzone – Provides considerable UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Ecamsule – Provides extensive UVA protection limited UVB protection.
  • Homosalate – Provides minimal UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Menthyl anthranilate – Provides considerable UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Octocrylene – Provides limited UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate – Provides limited UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Octyl salicylate – Provides minimal UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Oxybenzone – Provides considerable UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Padimate O – Provides limited UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Phenylbenzimidazole – Provides limited UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Sulisobenzone – Provides considerable UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Trolamine salicylate – Provides limited UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.

The good news about chemical sunscreens is you do not have to worry about finding one with extensive UVA and extensive UVB protection because the vast majority of chemical sunscreens contain combinations of chemical compounds so that you are as protected as possible. This is why they are labeled as broad-spectrum sunscreens. Skin care experts suggest using an SPF of 30 (or higher) and always making sure that it provides broad-spectrum coverage.

Woman applying sunscreen on her shoulders.

Physical Sunscreens
There are currently two active ingredients approved by the FDA. They are:

  • Titanium dioxide – Provides considerable UVA protection and extensive UVB protection.
  • Zinc oxide – Provides extensive protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

One of the reasons that these active ingredients are not as popular as their chemical counterparts is the application, the appearance and the potential for breakouts. Still, these physical ingredients are beneficial protection from both UVA and UVB rays and these work immediately upon application whereas chemical sunscreens take about 20 to 30 minutes to absorb into the skin.

Skin care experts, while often recommending chemical sunscreens, remind you that the only effective sunscreen is the one that you wear. Choose the type of sun protection that makes the most sense for your skin and your lifestyle and apply before any sun exposure.

Top Summer Skin Care Ingredients – Vine Vera Reviews

Summer is seriously just around the corner and it is time to start re-evaluating your skin care routine. Sure, you may need some of the same products you use year-round, but summer skin does have a certain set of needs to be aware of. Here are a few of the most beneficial summer skin care ingredients to be on the lookout for.

Woman applying sunscreen.

Sun Protection
You knew we were going to say something about sun protection and sunscreen. And, you also know that you should be applying sun protection to both your face and body no matter what season it is. However, if you don’t follow the rule of year-round sun care, it is especially important to look for ingredients aimed at sun protection during the summer. The sun is out more frequently, the days last longer and you have more skin exposed in warmer weather, all of which add up to the fact that sun protection is an absolute necessity. Two of the most common skin care ingredients to watch for include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Oranges rolling out of a medicine bottle. Vitamin C Concept.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another skin care ingredient that is majorly beneficial during the entire year, but especially so during the summer. Vitamin C, when applied topically, aids in collagen formation and growth which helps keep your skin supple and radiant. Additionally, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study online that states vitamin C also helps prevent the formation of sunburn cells. Still, these are not the only benefits in using a skin care formulation that includes vitamin C: other benefits include improved skin elasticity, reduction of fine lines and visible improvements against photo-damaged skin (discolored skin).

Hot coffee in a cup with coffee beans scattered on the table. q

Caffeine
You may have noticed that caffeine is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient when it comes to skin care. There are a few reasons for this and the most relevant reason with regards to summer skin care includes the fact that caffeine has a sunscreen effect when applied topically. While caffeine mimics sunscreen and provide a bit of added protection, it is not a substitute for traditional sun protection. In addition, recent studies have found that when used on cells that had UV damage, caffeine was able to destroy the damaged cells without any harm to the surrounding healthy cells.

BHA representation.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHAs)
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids are beneficial chemical exfoliants, but when summer rolls around it is usually advised to stick with a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant than AHAs. This is because many AHAs, such as glycolic or lactic acids, increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and BHAs do not. Using a BHA is helpful during summer because the warmer weather tends to lead to increased sebum (oil) production and a BHA exfoliant helps to clear pores of sebum and other debris such as dead skin cells.

Another important thing to remember during summer when it comes to skin care is to drink plenty of liquids. Not only does water help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated, it also helps keep your skin hydrated as well.

Sun Protection Besides SPF – Vine Vera Reviews

To prevent premature aging, sun spots and skin cancer, you need to protect your skin every time you expose it to the sun. UV rays cause serious damage to your skin even if you tan instead of getting a sunburn. It is far easier to be proactive and prevent sun damage than it is to repair damage from the sun later. But what happens when you find yourself without sunscreen at the last minute? Vine Vera rounds up the best ways to protect your skin from the sun besides using an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Fresh tomatoes on a wooden table.

Add Vitamins and Antioxidants to Your Diet
Fresh tomatoes are plentiful during summer and you can add these to your diet to help prevent sun damage. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes has been studied and does provide acute sun protection, particulalry in women. Aim for about 55mg (3 tablespoons of raw tomatoes) daily to keep your skin from ending up as red as a tomato.

Olive oil being poured into a bowl.

Add Saturated Fats into Your Diet
We know, summertime means that you want to maintain a lean, healthy beach body but there have been some studies that indicate increasing saturated fats into your diet helps protect you from sun dangers such as melanoma. A study involving mice lead researchers to conclude that a diet that was higher in saturated fats provided a bit of protection against sun damage and problems such as melanoma. Don’t go crazy with the fats but try to use olive and coconut oils where possible in your cooking.

Closeup of red wine glasses.

Break Out the Wine
Wine contains proanthocyanidins which are thought to provide protection against harmful UV rays. Additionally, red wine contains resveratrol which has provides a number of other health benefits also is being considered as a photoprotective agent. Once the resveratrol is incorporated into your skin cells it provides protection against UV damage. If you don’t want to grab wine for your day at the beach, proanthocyanidins are also found in blueberries and nuts such as hazelnuts or pistachios. Take a tasty treat with you and provide extra protection.

Vitamin supplements in a bowl.

Choose the Right Vitamins or Supplements
Vitamins or supplements that may help protect your skin from sun damage include vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been thought that supplementing your diet with vitamin D increases your tolerance towards the sun. In addition to this, vitamin D may also provide UV protection reducing your chance of sunburn. In a laboratory study, vitamin D also helped decrease the incidence of tumor growth. Get your omega-3 fatty acids by adding oily fish such as tuna to your diet or look for a supplement containing DHA to help protect your skin from sun damage.

In addition to these dietary methods of protection, there is also some research indicating that there are natural oils that contain a level of SPF. Some of the oils that may provide protection include coconut oil, red raspberry seed oil and almond oil. Whatever method you choose, remain consistent to reduce sun damage. And while some of these methods may not turn out to be perfect, as many are still being researched, it can’t hurt to take some plump fresh blueberries to the beach or sear a delicious tuna filet on your grill.

Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen – Vine Vera Reviews

Woman with sunscreen on her back in a beach.

With summer approaching rapidly the importance of applying a sunscreen increases. And you don’t need to put a whole lot of thought into the brand you choose because sunscreen is sunscreen, right? Not entirely. There are actually two major types of sunscreens:  physical and chemical. Both protect against UV damage, but the way in which they work differs. Sunscreens do exist that are a hybrid of both types of sun blockers containing physical and chemical sunscreens. Vine Vera reviews both physical and chemical sunscreens to help you learn which sunscreen suits your needs best.

Woman applying sunscreen in a beach.

Physical Sunscreen
Physical sunscreens are also known as sunblock or inorganic sunscreen and are generally considered safe and are approved by the FDA. Physical sunscreens tend to be thick and may leave a white cast on the skin. The UV filters in physical sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide; both are natural minerals ground into a fine powder. Zinc oxide provides complete protection from the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays. Titanium dioxide protects against UVB rays, but not the entire UVA spectrum. One of the advantages to using a physical sunscreen is that it begins blocking harmful UV rays immediately upon application. Physical sunscreens work by blocking or deflecting the sun’s rays. While physical sunscreens do provide immediate blocking protection, they also rub off more easily than chemical sunscreens. Additionally, if spending an extended time in the sun, physical sunscreens must be applied more frequently than chemical sunscreens. A disadvantage to physical sunscreens is that titanium dioxide may increase blemishes on your skin. If mineral makeup causes you to break out, it’s most likely due to the titanium dioxide, and problematic skin may result from using a physical sunscreen.

Woman applying sunscreen in a beach.

Chemical Sunscreen
Chemical sunscreen is also known as organic sunscreen and they work mainly by absorbing the sun’s harmful rays. Some of the UV filters used in chemical sunscreen work by scattering the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreens are often more liquid than physical sunscreens, and can feel quite greasy on the skin. The possible UV filters in chemical sunscreen include:

  • 4-MBC
  • Avobenzone
  • Helioplex
  • Homosalate
  • Mexoryl SX and XL
  • Octisalate
  • Otinoxate
  • Octylcrylene
  • Tinosorb S and M
  • Uvinul A Plus
  • Uvinul T 150

Some downsides to chemical sunscreen include the potential for skin irritation and damage, increased free radical damage and many of the filters have not been FDA approved yet. These UV filters have been approved in areas such as Europe and Asia. Additionally, chemical sunscreens tend to take more time to absorb into your skin. Dr. Craig Burhart, associate professor of Dermatology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was quoted in an article by the Wall Street Journal advises the use of physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens. Still, he says that the best sunscreen is the one that you actually use. He is quoted as saying “[w]hether it’s a chemical or zinc oxide or titanium dioxide product, I want you to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside, and I want you to apply it every two hours while you’re exposed to the sun.”

The bottom line is that no matter what your preference is, to protect your skin you must apply sunscreen each and every time you head outside so you can enjoy the sun safely.