Most helpful positive review
290 of 304 people found the following review helpful
do your research!!!!!
on July 26, 2011
I have HEAVILY researched sunscreens for about 6 months. Here are my concerns and some some facts I have learned. I have no affiliation with any company. I am not a scientist. I have a newborn on the way and my wife and I live in a very hot area and we both are light skinned, and I am anal and analytical to a fault. take from this what you will.
1. Harmful cancer-causing sunlight consists of UVA and UVB rays. But UVB are the rays that cause a tan. If you are not burning, you can still be getting pelted by UVA rays and not even know it-- Ask any dermatologist--Many people get cancer on their hands and arms even though they think they are always covering up, but in fact when driving for decades, UVA is damanging their skin badly--UVA can penetrate glass--
2. "SPF" protection refers only to UVB protection. Many of the worst melanomas and skim damage are caused by UVA, although both UVA and UVB are very harmful. So when you see "SPF" 60 or 100 or whatever, you may very well be receiving limited coverage and protection.
1. Zinc Oxide is the only non-chemical substance that can effectively block close to 100% of the UVA harmful rays, and blocks most of the UVB rays. Titanium Dioxide is the only non-toxic substance that can effectively block 100% of UVB rays, and most of the UVA rays. These substances are referred to as "mineral" sunblockers.
2. Even a mineral (non-chemical product) that does not contain some combination of both can be excellent, but not provide 100% coverage. (unless you are applying so much Zinc Oxide white layers "like you see surfers wearing on their nose" that the physical barrier alone will take care of almost all UVA and UVB. Some formulations use one or the other, but again, ideally you want both for full sprecturm coverage. This product lists both as active ingreditents.
3. When you see "full UVA and UVB spectrum coverage" on any product tube it may well mean nothing. It may mean that 99% of UVB is covered, and only 1% of UVA, but they can still call it "full spreturm."
4. Chemical-based sunscreens can also block 100% of UVA and UVB. Most every product you will find in stores iss based on chemical screens. The knock on these products is that they are said to have been proven to readily absorb into the deepest layers of the skin, where the toxins are released into the blood in large amounts, and need reapplication much more than chemical blockers. Most of these chemicals have also--according to my research--but you must determine this for yourself-- been proven very clearly to cause cancer in lab animals. Many specultate that this fact, along with the fact that these products lose their effectiveness very quickly and produce free radicals in the skin, and that those folks using high SPF products without UVA protection tend to stay in the sun longer, may be why skin cancer rates are higher in those using suncsreens than not using them.
5. Cosmetically, mineral blockers leave horrible white coating on the skin. Chemical screens do not. That is why chemical screens are so popular. Attemps by companies selling mineral blockers to reduce the "ghost" effect have led to the formulation of "nanonized" and "micronized" formulations, with very small particles that spread more easily that minimize dramatically the whiteness of the mineral blockers. Nano particles are 100 times smaller than micronized, which are much, much smaller than normal mineral blocker particles.
6. There has been a lot of hpye over the danger of nano/micro particles in lotions and products. It has been hyped that due to their small size they absorb in to the lower layers of the skin and enter the bloodstream in toxic leves just like the chemical screens.
7. My research--again, ad nauseum--you must confirm this for yourself--shows me that there has never been any credible study to prove these particles absorb into the deep layers of the skin. Recent studies, in my opinion, have proven conclusively otherwise. As well, I believe the FDA has recently de-bunked the "nano/micro myth." Check to confirm I am on the right track. Most of the hype seems to come from overzealous "green" sites who have not fully done their research or are mis-interpreting true studies, or citing non-peer-reviewed, double blind solid studies. Check with your dermatologist. Many probably mean well, but seem to be using incorrect information. From what I understand, breathing in titanium dioxide dust into your lungs in huge quantities would be a problem, but from a sunscreen, no.
8. The next concern I have is that nano and micro particles, if uncoated, have higher "photoreactivity" which causes them to release free radicals in the skin when exposed to UV light, thereby being cancerous. This is another reason people think that chemical and even nano/micro screens can lead to even more cancers in sunscreen users.
9. My research has led me to believe--you must check for yourself--that when coated with alumina, dimethicone or other coatings, the photoreactivty problem is reduced to minimal levess. Also, when the product itself has many anti-oxidents to offset the free-radicals themselves, the oxidation problem appears to be neutralized. Again, do the research yourself. Some products coat their screens, some do not. I have been told by a company rep that Vanicream coasts theirs very effectively. I would call them to confirm.
10. My next issue is with alumina. I don't want aluminum from deodorant or any other source. Vanicreme has it listed as the first ingredietnt. I have fouund out that somme sunscreens--including Vanicreme, are considered pharmaceuticals so they must list their ingredients in alphabetical order, not in descending order of concentration. Check with the company, but it is my understanding that the amount of alumina in this product is the least amount of any other ingredient, and on application is less than we probably get in our water or food--again--check to make sure yourself. I think their new products coming out have no alumina. Check with the company.
11. I have not checked into the other ingredients in this product, many sound strange to me, so you might want to check those. But as for the active ingredients repsonsible for blocking the sun and protecting you, that is what I found out and i am more comforatble with this product than any I have seen or found.
12. I find it to be a bit greasy, but overall after rubbing it in thoroughly, after a while it blends in pretty well and I use it every day on my face--but again, it is still a little greasy to me.
In my opinion, after checking numerous products, that vanicreme is the safest for me to use, and I like the cosmetic features of the product. more than the numerous products I have tried. You must research the product thoroughly or you may be doing more harm than good from some of these products.