Originally published September 29 2008
Protect Your Skin Naturally With Badger Sunscreen (Product Review)
by Aria Milan
(NaturalNews) Many parts of the country are starting to feel the chill bite of Autumn approaching. But there are many people in this country and around the globe who are still enjoying the outdoors in the hot sun. Particularly those who live near the Equator. For those still enjoying the sun, it's important to get sunlight exposure on your skin without any sunscreen for a little while every day so that you get adequate amounts of Vitamin D, which is known to slash the risk of many different types of cancers (breast, prostate, colon, esophagus, and pancreas) by a significant amount.
Sunlight provides Ultra Violet (UV) rays that your body uses to make a prohormone (precursor to a hormone) that it needs for many of its processes to work smoothly, this prohormone that your body synthesizes is Vitamin D. More and more researchers are coming to the conclusion that the U.S. RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) levels of Vitamin D aren't nearly enough and more like 1,000 IU is beneficial for the body.
For fair skinned people, 15 minutes on uncovered skin is usually adequate and for people who have darker skin, they may require up to 2 hours of daily sun exposure to get the needed amounts of Vitamin D. You can never get too much of this nutrient from the sun because the body has a built in mechanism to stop producing Vitamin D once it's gotten enough.
Beyond that, if you are planning to spend all day outdoors, the sun's rays can penetrate deep into your skin and can start to burn. This is not so good. The fact that this is dangerous is still controversial, as statistically, fair skinned individuals living near the tropics (where sun exposure is more frequent) tend to get less skin cancer than fair skinned people living in the northern hemisphere where Vitamin D deficiency is rampant. That's because getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D is also known to lower your risk of getting skin cancer.
Skin cancer is exacerbated by toxic chemicals found in most skin lotions and sunscreens. Whether there is a cause and effect relationship between these toxic chemicals and various types of skin cancers should be looked into but science, especially mainstream science, is still up in the air about this.
Getting sunburned is not desirable aesthetically -- skin tends to age quicker with sun damage -- and can severely test one's tolerance to pain. So, once you get your adequate amount of daily sun exposure for Vitamin D (and this will never be to the point of sunburn because once this starts to happen, you've surpassed your daily amount) it's a good idea to protect your skin. For this, you want a reliable sunscreen.
Like I mentioned earlier, many of the chemicals included in most conventional sunscreen brands contain harmful chemicals that can possibly give you cancer. But there are companies out there doing a great job of promoting effective sunscreens and sunblocks that are all-natural and chemical-free. I'd like to present one such company: Badger.
Badger is a small, natural body products company based in Gilsum, New Hampshire. They are dedicated to creating earth-friendly and effective products using ingredients traditionally known to work for what the product is targeting. They currently strive to use at lease 70% organic ingredients in their products, while some of these are made with 100% organic ingredients.
I've tried their sun care products as I spend a lot of my time in the tropics and I've found their SPF 30 and SPF 15 Suncsreen for Face and Body to be very effective. These are made with 100% natural ingredients, with 60% organic ingredients, and are physical barrier sunscreens. There are two types of sunblocks: Physical Barrier and Chemical Barrier. Physical Barrier creates a reflective surface on the skin that reflects UV light or scatters it off of the skin's surface. These types of sunscreens are known to be very effective in blocking both UVB and the highly skin damaging UVA sun rays.
Chemical Barrier sunscreens, on the other hand, contain an active chemical ingredient that absorbs UV light before it can cause any skin damage. These aren't as effective because the single active ingredient only works on one of the light spectrums -- either UVB or UVA. To get "broad spectrum" protection from Chemical Barrier sunscreens, you need to purchase a product with more than one active chemical ingredient. And like I mentioned in previous articles, it's best to avoid synthetic chemicals when applying anything to your skin as these tend to get absorbed into the body.
Badger Sunblocks work to block all UV light wavelengths including UVC. While UVC gets reflected by the ozone layer and is not of specific concern to beach-goers and people on the surface of the earth, according to the Badger Company Website, this product is also great for pilots and astronauts.
Badger Sunblocks are able to provide full spectrum protection naturally through the use of Zinc Oxide which is a natural mineral that deflects UV rays. Zinc Oxide is considered to be the most effective natural sunscreen ingredient available. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is used in many over-the-counter cold remedy lozenges. Badger Sunblocks are rated one of the most safest and effective sunscreens in the world according to the Environmental Working Group's Safe Cosmetics Database. The SPF 30 Sunblock ranked a 1 out of 910 similarly available sunblock products, (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php?...) .
The other ingredients in these sunblocks are:
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Golden Yellow Beeswax
* Jojoba Oil
* Cocoa Butter
* Wild African Shea Butter
* CO2 Extract of Seabuckthorn Berry
* And essential Oils of Lavender, Moroccan Blue Tansy, Ylang Ylang, Lime and Sweet Orange
Many of these ingredients will also work to moisturize your skin. Both the SPF 30 and the SPF 15 Sunblocks are waterproof for up to 40 minutes; after this, it's best to reapply if you will be continuing your time in the sun.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measurement of how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned by UVB rays while using the product. SPF only measure effectiveness against UVB rays, the UV ray that causes visible sunburn, and not UVA rays which penetrate deeper into the skin and are highly damaging because of their potential to release free radicals and cause DNA damage. There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a sunscreen, not just the SPF factor, such as time of day the sunscreen is going to be applied, how much will be applied, and the activity one will be engaging in. For someone who's skin will start to burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure, for example, they can stay in the sun for 150 minutes when applying a sunscreen of SPF 15. This is calculated by multiplying the SPF number with the amount of minutes it takes one's unprotected skin to start burning. According to the Badger Company website, this SPF effectiveness scale is not linear and an SPF 30 sunblock will only block 5% more UVB radiation than SPF 15. Experts recommend that people choose at least a product with SPF 15 and that it is applied generously and frequently when spending a great amount of time outdoors.
UVB rays are known to cause some types of skin cancers whereas UVA rays have been linked to melanomas. Most conventional sunscreens that may have a high SPF factor are not effective in blocking UVA rays. Choosing a broad-spectrum product will protect you against both types.
Harmful Chemicals to avoid when purchasing a sunscreen (partial list):
* Oxybenzone and Dixoybenzone
* PABA (Para Amino Benzoic Acid) and PABA esters - p-aminobenzoic acid, glyceryl PABA, 4-aminobenzoic acidpadimate-O, or octyl dimethyl PABA
* Cinnamates - octyl methoxycinnamate and cinoxate
* Digalloyl trioleate
* Menthyl anthranilate
* Salicylates - homomenthyl salicylate, octyl salicylate, and triethanolamine salicylate, ethylhexyl salicylate
I usually use the Badger Sunblock SPF 30 when I'm spending my days under the hot Hawaiian sun and I've been very satisfied with this product. Not only because it is all-natural but because it's very effective. I haven't gotten sunburned with this product. Another benefit that I've found is that with many other sunscreens, they tend to get runny and will seep into my eyes when I'm out swimming. This is very painful and can hamper your time spent in the ocean, pool, river, lake etc. and stymie your ability to see for up to 15 minutes while your eyes tear to get the stuff out. I believe the pain is due to the chemicals used in these sunscreens. I've found that the Badger Sunblocks don't run into your eyes at all so this is not a problem.
Badger does not test any of their products on animals. You can purchase their sunblocks online at (http://www.badgerbalm.com) or at many natural health food stores such as WholeFoods.
Look beautiful naturally!
About the authorNatural Beauty Expert and Fashionista, Aria Milan is a passionate researcher in all things that will bring out the natural beauty in people. She practices what she preaches and is always striving to look and feel her best and her goal is to help others do the same. Her philosophy is 'True Beauty comes from Health that radiates from within'.
Aria is currently the editor of an alternative news website called Apollo News Daily, which can be viewed at www.apollonewsdaily.com .
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