By Ariia Perouzii
CEO and founder of Tru-Green Organics
Sunscreen can be a very confusing topic. There’s so much misinformation about ingredients — what’s safe and what’s not? Ariia Perouzii, cosmetic chemist and botanist, medical aesthetician and CEO and founder of Tru-Green Organics will straighten it out for you.
It can be tough to choose a sunscreen, there’s no denying that. But when you understand the ingredients, it can make your choice a lot simpler.
First, let’s talk about insoluble ingredients — ingredients that don’t contain any nano (small) soluble ingredients that are absorbed into the bloodstream. The two we favour in the Tru-Green Organics labs are zinc oxide and titanium oxide, as they’re both Health Canada and FDA-approved filters with UVA and UVB protection. These are the first precepts we use to distinguish sunscreen safety, both for the environment and hormonal safety.
A recent study in Dermatology Times confirms that sunscreen changes levels of virtually every sex, pituitary and thyroid hormones, as well as certain growth factors in both pregnant and non-pregnant women. Some of these ingredients include Benzophenone-3 (also known as Oxybenzone), Avobenzone and Octinoxate.
Next, we look at SPF and broad-spectrum protection. The sun’s rays are becoming more intense and more damaging, so we suggest using a sunscreen that contains at least SPF 30 or higher. We lean toward SPF 50+ to give our clients the safest benefits we can provide while keeping our sunscreen free of a chalky consistency.
The next step is to determine if the key ingredients give you plenty of UVA protection.
- UVA (the aging rays) are the main trigger for skin cancers and photo-aging
- UVB (the burning rays) are what trigger the sunburn feeling
UVA accounts for 94 percent of the UV light that reaches our skin. This is why we use zinc oxide —it gives extensive UVA protection. We paired it with titanium dioxide to give our sunscreens the most sun protection available without adding soluble ingredients.
Lastly, let’s talk about silicones and fragrance — something we avoid in the formulation of all of our products, not just in our sunscreen. We skip silicone ingredients, which can cause acne due to clogged pores, plus these ingredients can be very harmful to the environment as they do not break down. It is also important to avoid strong synthetic fragrances. We used a soft, natural aroma that gives our clients that perfect hint of freshness without causing irritation. Some products contain heavily synthetic fragrances that often come first in their ingredients list. Heavily fragranced products can irritate skin and cause allergic reactions in some people.
Another important factor we took into consideration is the feeling and consistency of the sunscreen. We formulated our sunscreen to be sensory safe. What does this mean? It means that the consistency and textures of the sunscreen are favourable to individuals who may suffer from sensory disorders such as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used an oil-free formulation with plenty of smoothing antioxidant-rich ingredients. Our sunscreen has a sheer, velvety consistency that goes on light and smooth, which is favourable for sensory processing.
Finally, our sunscreen is formulated for the face and body, so that our clients can use an easy, two-in-one formula. It’s the perfect sunscreen for those on the go.
Featured photo by Antonia Gabola