WHY WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF OUR SKIN
The skin is our most voluminous organ and, at the same time, a double entry barrier. On the one hand, it isolates us from the environment, but, on the other, it is the organ that keeps us in contact with our environment and therefore needs special care.
It is a living organ with the capacity to regenerate, it is waterproof, resistant and flexible, it breathes and remains active 24 hours a day, performing all kinds of fundamental actions for our body. The skin is a vital organ for the human body that works as a protective barrier against the outside thanks to its complex cellular and immunological mechanisms, it takes care of us of diseases, extreme temperatures and injuries such as blows and burns. She selects and filters what is harmful to our body and takes what is beneficial. Regulates our body temperature and synthesizes vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
As you know, this vitamin, which is so necessary to keep our bones and tissues healthy, is not abundant in food, hence the importance of using adequate sunscreen. We wanted to start on the blog with this topic of sunscreens and therefore we include a recipe for sunscreen cream without chemical filters or endocrine disruptors.
ABOUT SUN PROTECTION
Summer is coming and the sun is shining in all its intensity. However, we all want to go to the beach and the mountains to enjoy life outdoors. So, we have decided to write some tips on sun protection.
The sun creams that we usually find in the market usually contain a high percentage of sun protection filters, mostly chemical filters. These chemical filters have the advantage that our skin absorbs them relatively well and that they are easy to apply, but they also have many drawbacks, as we will see below:
-They damage the skin: There seems to be more and more controversy regarding conventional sunscreen creams. There has been an increase in skin and lip cancers in recent years, which are associated with the use of sunscreen with chemical filters. Apparently, these sunscreens do not form a protective barrier between our skin and the sun as we might think, but that ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin and protection is done thanks to reactions that take place in our skin. The danger is that since we don’t have the sensation of burning, we can stay in the sun for hours, but since ultraviolet rays do penetrate our skin, they end up damaging our cells. And of course, the sun is cumulative and the cells of our skin have a memory effect.
-They work as hormonal disruptors: Many of you already know what endocrine disruptors are, but for those who don’t, we will tell you that they are substances that have the ability to alter our hormones. This is a very serious issue and one that deserves our full attention. For example, there is a study linking a type of sunscreen, called benzophenone, to an increase in women with endometriosis problems. Retinol palmitate and oxybenzone are also apparently disruptive.
-They harm the environment: Chemical filters are not biodegradable, in fact, it is estimated that 4,000 tons of these chemical filters are deposited and accumulate on the seabed every year. According to a study by the EHP (Environmental Health Perpectives) carried out by Professor Donovaro in different parts of the world; It was concluded that sunscreens with chemical filters have a negative impact on coral reefs. Today it is estimated that more than 60% of coral reefs are in poor condition. Many marine animals live and depend on these reefs, so they too would be affected. In some marine reserves, such as the Tulum Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, the use of sunscreens with chemical filters is prohibited. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that these sun creams, apart from sunscreens, contain other substances (parabens, phenoxyethanol, silicones …) that should also be avoided.
In our experience, if we really want to take advantage of the time of solar exposure to synthesize vitamin D, it is best not to wear anything that prevents the synthesis of vitamin D. Of course, you have to take precautions such as avoiding the central hours of the day, wearing clothes cotton and straw hats to protect our face and eyes, maybe use some natural oil to hydrate the skin. The massive use of sunscreens is perhaps the reason why today everyone is deficient in vitamin D and this is not only the case in countries that receive few hours of sunshine per year, by the way. What is clear is that, if we cannot respect these rules and we have to expose ourselves dangerously to solar radiation, it is important, if we want to get away from the dangers of skin cancer, that we use a natural sunscreen cream whose possible formulation we detail below.
And there is an alternative to chemical filters that are physical filters, also called mineral filters. They are zinc and titanium oxides. Unlike chemical filters that interact with the skin to protect us, these filters make a reflective protective layer on the surface of the skin like a mirror or screen. We are only going to use zinc oxide in our formulations because there are also studies carried out on rats in titanium dioxide that the nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are able to cross the skin and reach the nervous system with the risk of damaging the brain. Therefore, we think, it is better to be cautious and use only the protectors based on zinc oxide and, in any case, natural bronzers based on biological filters of vegetable photoprotective oils, which, although they will not be able to protect us for a long time, neither will they do us any harm.
These biological filters, although their level of protection is lower than that of mineral filters, have the advantage of nourishing and hydrating our skin, favoring a soft tan. They are vegetable oils and extracts that protect the skin avoiding cellular oxidative stress and the alteration of our skin immune cells.
Among the biological filters are: vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, ferulic and caffeic acids, vegetable oils such as carrot, jojoba, argan, coconut, avocado and shea butter, aloe juice, coffee, buriti (which is an oil with a protection factor as high as that of raspberry oil that we will talk about later), pomegranate, known for its high antioxidant power.
As prevention, the simplest measure that we can implement to protect ourselves from the sun’s rays is a simple water spray spray in which we will dilute the mint and lavender EAs. These essential oils have a sunburn prevention effect and refresh the skin. Peppermint is not only refreshing; it also prevents the skin from itching. Lavender, in synergy with mint, prevents our skin from burning.
We can, for example, dilute 20 drops of each essential oil in a spray spray with a content of about 250 ml of water. Simply, it will be enough to spray ourselves in the exposed areas when we go for a walk in the summer sun, to prevent us from burning ourselves.
And we can make a very simple cream with a mineral filter such as zinc oxide, the protection factor of which will be somewhat higher, thus preventing us from burning ourselves when we go to the beach or the country. Of course, it will be necessary to always avoid the central hours of the day and long exposures, as we already know. With the sun, prudence will be the most appropriate measure to take care of our skin and maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.
Basic sun protection cream with SPF of approximately 30:
A simple sunscreen recipe whose effectiveness is due to the physical mineral protection action of zinc oxide is this that we detail below. When smearing this cream on the skin it will leave it a little white, but that is normal because it is the protective screen effect of zinc oxide. As long as our skin remains white, we will not burn. In addition, this cream is in itself quite waterproofing and does not usually go when bathing in the beach or the pool.
40 gr of sesame oil
15 grams of beeswax
15 grams of zinc oxide
We will melt the beeswax in a bain-marie and add the oil and zinc oxide. It is important to beat very well with a rod so that the ingredients mix well.
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