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Natural Sunscreen 101: Leah Dawson in addition to Avasol

Leah Dawson pumps Avasol sunscreen into her palm. 
If our peel is the largest organ of our bodies, why don't nosotros feed it amongst the same high standards of organic greens that nosotros eat? During our hunt for a sunscreen isn't made amongst harmful ingredients together with nourishes the skin, yet all the same stays on during long sessions, Seeababe Leah Dawson introduced us to Avasol

From first-hand experience, she praises Avasol sunscreens for their efficacy inward the waves together with high character ingredients without relying on traditional (and toxic) sunscreeen components such every bit reef-killing Oxybenzone, harmful nano-particles together with parabens.

Avasol is made from wholesome ingredients — many of which are prophylactic plenty to eat. “For surfing, I similar to wearable Seea gear that covers a skillful part of my skin, together with utilization non-toxic sunscreen to encompass together with protect the balance that is exposed,” Leah says of her peel aid regimen. She continued, “I’ve been using Avasol for 2 years now, both their confront stick together with their cream,” Leah tells us. “The sunblock ever stays on my face, fifty-fifty if I convey a long four-hour surf session. The cream needs to live reapplied every dyad of hours, but I tend to wearable full-body gear anyways if I facial expression to live out for a long session.”

Founder together with owner, Chris Wilkinson started Avasol from scratch afterward failing to reveal options inward the marketplace position that were upward to his environmental standards. Both Chris together with Leah offering us some advice for choosing sunscreen together with why it’s upward to consumers to withdraw products that are salubrious for our bodies together with the environment.

Leah smears the Avasol stick on her confront earlier paddling out. Photo past times Luki O'Keefe.
What are the harmful effects of traditional sunscreen products?

Leah: Parabens of all types convey been institute most harmful. Traces of them convey been institute inward pectus cancer tumors. Parabens are oftentimes institute inward shampoos, conditions, lotions, sunscreens, together with perfumes. Scary. Johnson & Johnson late released that they are removing all parabens from their babe products past times 2016. It’s almost time. 

The manufacture has gotten away amongst harming us for besides long. Consumers must modify the market!

Avasol’s utilization of wholesome products keeps the products reef together with sea safe. Nearly every sunscreen construct institute at the normal marketplace position inward America is filled amongst nano-particals of zinc oxide together with titanium dioxide, which convey been institute harmful for both human peel together with sea reefs. 

My friends at the Keep H5N1 Breast Foundation created some other organisation called the Non-Toxic Revolution, raising awareness almost the toxic consumer industry, together with the unsafe products nosotros necessitate to live aware of. Unfortunately, our nowadays FDA doesn’t regulate against thousands of unsafe chemicals spread throughout our marketplace, together with then nosotros must assume the responsibleness every bit consumers to practice our ain research, read labels, together with purchase products that nosotros know together with trust are non harmful to us together with our families. It is alone past times refusing to purchase unsafe products that the large corporations making them volition lose their powerfulness over the marketplace.

Chris: There are multiple compounds inward most commercial sunscreens that are a really existent concern. These mutual active ingredients are known hormone disruptors. This fact is non novel together with it is non debated. They are to a greater extent than oftentimes than non synthetic and/or petrochemical inward origin. You may intend that you’re prophylactic substituting Avobenzone instead of Oxybenzone, but the fact is that commercial sunscreens incorporate chemic combinations that convey never been tested for their safety. This includes the stabilizers together with peel penetration enhancers, the balance of the toxic materials used to save it together with arrive facial expression together with odour pretty.

These ingredients inward combination are known to deed synergistically inward a harmful way. Yet spell the FDA is aware that the ingredients inward most sunscreen are toxic, they claim that that the jeopardy of peel cancer outweighs the toxic ingredients. To add together to the confusion, they also set down that, “The FDA is non aware of information demonstrating that sunscreen utilization solitary helps foreclose peel cancer.” It is also a known fact that most commercial sunscreens neglect to adequately protect against UVA.

Chris, where did your inquiry to create Avasol start?

Chris: Since no 1 was coming to the rescue amongst a sunscreen that met my stringent requirements of functionality, character together with sustainability, I had to start from scratch. Looking back, it was that vacuum that pushed me to the out-of-the-box thinking that was needed. The enquiry began every bit “what were our ancestors doing centuries agone to protect themselves”? Some of the evidence fifty-fifty pre-dates written history, but it became clear that at that spot was a ameliorate way, together with none of it included synthetic UV absorbers, petrochemicals, or nano particle sized minerals.

What are the benefits of using wholesome ingredients?

Chris: The unexpected benefits are abundant together with significant, because I was studying for clues inward ethno-pharmacology, or indigenous/traditional medicine. It makes feel that what was used for millennia to process together with protect the peel mightiness convey modern application too. Since the FDA regulates sunscreen every bit a drug, manufacturers may non construct medical claims other than “may foreclose sunburn,” but it’s pretty obvious the diverseness of benefits that mightiness live derived from using traditional medicinals every bit your base.

The antioxidant laden ingredients that I institute were the biggest lesson, non exactly the ones that yous lay on your skin, but the ones that yous eat! Not alone are antioxidants skillful for protecting yous from Sun damage, but it is essential for your wellness inward general. Visible changes inward people's peel together with anti-aging benefits are no small-scale affair for many of people, together with 1 of the most pop side benefits amongst our products.

Avasol's biodegradable packaging. Photo past times Luki O'Keefe.
Avasol cream. Refill packages available to bring down plastic waste. Photo past times Luki O'Keefe. 
What is some mutual greenwashing that you’ve seen other suncare brands claim, together with what did yous wish to construct certain yous were doing correct amongst Avasol?

Chris: Today, it seems that marketing together with misleading become mitt inward mitt - ranging from subtle overstatements to outright together with blatant lies. Greenwashing preys on peoples wish to practice the correct thing, together with the fact is that it is confusing together with time-consuming to empathise it all. By far, the hall of shame accolade should become to the companionship who trademarked the term “reef safe”, yet who utilization the exact ingredients [Oxybenzone, etc.] that are proven to kill the reefs.

Perhaps at that spot are companies who are exactly ignorant, but the results are the same. Simply containing mineral actives, similar Zinc Oxide together with Titanium Dioxide, does non construct a production safe, specially if it is inward nano particle shape together with if the balance of the ingredients are known to live toxic. What almost the “all natural,” “reef safe” sunscreen that contains Alumina, which is known to kill fish together with other aquatic life? I could become on, together with on… There are no perfect solutions, together with humans tend to harm the surroundings regardless. My destination was to exactly practice the really best that I could, without regard to cost, or the nay-sayers. It is an exciting procedure to continually reveal ways to practice it ameliorate together with amongst less impact.

What are the crimson flags consumers facial expression for when choosing sunscreen to ensure it’s salubrious for their body, together with reef safe?

Chris: Unfortunately the price “Organic”, “Natural”, “non-nano” together with “Reef Safe” are straight off huge crimson flags for me. Manufacturers rely on the fact that most people don’t bother to flip the production over together with read the ingredients. And if they do, the chances are that they won’t empathise anyway.

Considering that the safest active ingredients for sunscreens are “Inorganic” minerals, claiming that a sunscreen is “Organic” is confusing together with totally misleading.

Bottom line, if your sunscreen is clear, it’s likely non safe. The security of clear sunscreens is impossible—both measure together with mineral types. Any fourth dimension yous run across a formula that is clear, it is going to either incorporate UV absorbing actives similar Oxybenzone, etc., or if it’s a mineral formula, it volition incorporate nano-particles. There is currently no rule on disclosure of nanoparticles, together with then many products that straight off claim to live ‘non-nano’ are also clear!? So nosotros must decipher betwixt claims of ‘natural’, ‘mineral’, ‘organic’, ‘reef-friendly’ sunscreens, past times reading the labels together with making certain the production is non invisible when rubbed into the skin.

H5N1 non-toxic, non-nano particle based sunscreen volition ever come upward inward the shape of a visible, ‘physical barrier’.

What other ingredients should consumers facial expression for inward their sunscreen to decide if they are responsibly made? 

Chris: While “Chemical-sounding names” tin live a warning, “Chemical Free” is a huge crimson flag too. Zinc Oxide [ZNO] together with H2O [H2O] are technically chemicals, together with then this is actually misleading. Look for together with avoid ingredients that are derived from fossil oil - Petrolatum, Mineral oil, polyethylene (PEGs), etc are but a few examples. Also, avoid ingredients ending inward …cone, every bit these are silicone derivatives. Obviously, avoid anything related to parabens. Synthetic “fragrance” or “parfum” is a large 1 to avoid. When inward doubt, facial expression it up.

The publish of ingredients inward a formula together with your powerfulness to pronounce them has no existent footing to estimate a product. Even the safest botanicals must live listed inward their Latin name, together with then skillful luck using pronunciation every bit a stair out of safety. But DO scout out for companies who arrive hard to reveal both the active together with inactive ingredients. By law, it has to live on the production package, but many larn out it off their website, making it hard to practice your research.

Here is dandy tip to construct yous a sunscreen detective or inward whatsoever personal aid production — facial expression for H2O every bit an ingredient. The starting fourth dimension argue is that if there’s water, at that spot MUST live a chemic preservative, together with probable an emulsifier too. If yous are an active, outdoor person, a surfer, or exactly don’t wish to pay for a inexpensive filler that increases the likelihood of toxic chemic ingredients, intend almost this… if it’s a water-based formula, isn’t it means to a greater extent than probable to launder correct off inward the water? Or travail off?

On that topic, whatsoever sunscreen that claims “Waterproof” is basically bogus.

After lathering up, Leah goes for a surf inward the Solanas Surf Suit. Photo past times Luki O'Keefe. 

Leah inward the Solanas Surf Suit. Photo past times Luki O'Keefe. 

Do sunscreens actually foreclose peel cancer? What regulations are inward house to protect consumers? 

Chris: If your sunscreen promises to foreclose peel cancer, know that this is designed to a greater extent than to promote fearfulness together with increment sales than to protect together with educate… But it is fourth dimension to start looking at the entire moving painting together with considering other factors inward our lifestyles, diet together with environment. We know that what yous eat plays exactly every bit large a component subdivision inward protecting yous from the Sun together with preventing cancers. What almost all of the other toxins together with carcinogens nosotros expose ourselves to on a daily basis? What if they acted every bit a catalyst?

It is also critically of import to empathise that making sunscreen is serious trouble organisation together with it is strictly regulated past times the FDA. While the FDA allows a lot of questionable together with apartment out toxic things inward commercial sunscreen together with personal aid products, they also require a lot of extremely of import security testing. If a companionship fifty-fifty remotely suggests that a production mightiness protect yous from the sun, it’s sunscreen - at that spot is no means to a greater extent than or less it. It is tempting to back upward small-scale start-ups, specially if they are trying to practice the correct affair past times making an “organic” product. But, did they practice an actual SPF test? What almost H2O resistance tests? What almost clinical/allergy testing? Is each together with every ingredient tested on every batch? Did they audit the suppliers for their organic, or sustainability claims?

Avasol started inward the kitchen too, but at that spot are no excuses for knowingly cutting corners. There is a correct way, together with a incorrect way… Know that Avasol is legit, together with has done all of the required testing, together with more. Feel complimentary to arrive inward your kitchen yourself, if yous are together with then inclined [*I volition fifty-fifty give yous an open-source formula]. It’s exactly non worth the jeopardy to back upward sunscreen manufacturers who don’t bother to live street legal. If they don’t practice whatsoever testing, or register amongst the FDA, what else are they cutting corners on?

Do a search here to run across if a companionship is legitimate together with registered amongst the FDA.

Thanks Chris together with Leah for this wealth of knowledge! To store these products together with to a greater extent than answers to your ain sunscreen questions, become to