||• Mission Statement
• The KINeSYS Story
• Thoughts On Sunsreen
• Scientific Advisory
• KINeSYS Press
• In Memory Of Brian Maxwell
• Retailer Area
||Thoughts on Sunscreen
Over the years much has been written about sunscreen, suncare and sun safety. In the last year, sunscreen has become a hot and topical topic (no pun intended) and a wave of press is trying to change and educate people on sun safety. The problem is the message is still unclear: SPF 15, 30, 45, 60, 85, 100+++, if it's bigger it must be better?
Many people still don't know that SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is based only on the UVB rays and is for a measure of time, ie. SPF 30 gives you 30x more protection than not wearing any sunscreen. The UVB rays are the rays that give you the sunburn, think of UV B "burning" rays. We now know that UVA rays mutate cells and aid in the breakdown of collagen, the elasticity of your skin and cause skin cancer. UV A "aging" rays. There are only a few ingredients that protect from "broad spectrum" UVA - Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide, Avobenzone (or Parsol 1789) and Mexoryl.
The new wave, or what I call "green washing," of sunscreens all make claims like: Natural, All Natural, Natural UV, All Mineral, Chemical free, Non-chemical, Without Chemical, Organic, Inorganic and Natural Organic. We are all looking to protect our skin as safely as possible, but buying a product that claims to be "all natural" is misleading. One of the few natural sunscreens: mud, mud works as a natural sunscreen but it doesn't look very nice on your skin.
To make inorganic Zinc and Titanium small enough to go on your skin without leaving major residue, companies use "nanotechnology" involving a chemical and mechanical process. There are groups now that want to ban the use of nanotechnology, stating that the minerals are so small they can get past the skin and into the blood causing DNA damage. There are other groups that say nanotechnology is safe; it's hard to know who is right and who is wrong and who's behind each study. Tests are still ongoing to evaluate the safety of all sunscreen ingredients.
So, Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Mineral and Chemical, there's good and bad, but I believe that in the case of sunscreen, the health benefits far outweigh any potential (and unproven) health risks.
THE ONE TRUE AND PROVEN GUARENTEE doctors, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and all other medical practitioners agree on is that the sun is helpful but is also very deadly with the potential for skin cancer. I personally know that getting burnt is very uncomfortable, hinders performance for athletes and isn't very good for your mental well being with all the pain, peeling, aging and potential for skin cancer. It's also very dangerous for children and increases their chance of skin cancer later in life.
In 1999, the FDA came out with a "new" monograph (new regulations) for sunscreen, and in my humble opinion, it was right on the mark (in some key areas) but failed to address UVA. It read that nothing could be packaged to read higher than SPF 30+ (following the Australian standards [the most mature suncare market in the world]) and the terms "Natural", "Non-chemical" and "Chemical free" are false and misleading in the labeling of OTC sunscreen drug products. It also stated that products could not say "All Day protection," "Waterproof" or "8 hour waterproof."
The problem was that companies like KINeSYS followed this monograph but many of the major brands did not, as it meant taking all the SPF 45, 50, 60, 70++++ off the shelves. The major brands lobbied against this monograph and many, many years later still sell the higher SPF's.
There is a new proposed 2009 monograph, since the 1999 one was never fully adopted, that is now in the FDA's hands. This monograph contemplates ratings for UVA, which I think is wonderful, but it allows manufacturers to go as high as SPF 50+??? This goes directly against their earlier wisdom, leaving me to wonder: is this just succumbing to the pressure of the lobbying?
Bottom line, as a human being we have the opportunity to make a choice: BURN or PROTECT? You choose and then find what that works for you: a cream, a spray, UV clothing or just staying in the house. It's up to you, but find something you are comfortable with and will USE and keep protected.
Go out, enjoy the outdoors,
CEO & Co-founder- KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen
PS. Over the last 14 years, I have been using our sunscreens almost every day. At tradeshows or events, I will spray more sunscreen on myself in one day than most people use in one year. I am telling you this because if anyone is ever going to show signs of health issues due to sunscreen use, it's going to be me. I can tell you after 14 years of HEAVY, HEAVY usage; I don't have any ill effects, adverse reactions or breathing issues. I will keep using, and over-using, our products and will monitor myself and keep you all updated.