By now we all know how important it is to wear sunscreen every day, especially living in South Africa. Research shows that in South Africa, the incidence of malignant melanoma is among the highest in the world with at least 23.2 cases per 100,000 reported among white South Africans and 0.5 per 100,000 among black South Africans. The statistics are indeed frightening, and prove just how important it is that everyone, regardless of skin tone, wears sunscreen daily.
But, choosing a sunscreen isn’t as simple as walking into your local pharmacy. Finding the best sunscreen for your skin can be tricky as factors, like texture, thickness, and ingredients all influence which sunblock you choose to wear. And, as South African consumers become more ingredient savvy, local brands like Environ are gearing up to make a splash on the market with innovative and safer sunscreen products like the all-new Environ RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen.
Mineral sunscreens vs. Chemical sunscreens
Many sunscreens on the market contain ingredients that are not only harmful to your skin but also the environment. In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the demand for more skin-and-planet-friendly mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens. Ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate (the main ingredients in most chemical sunscreens) have recently come into the spotlight for their contribution to coral destruction. Similarly, chemical sunscreens have been shown to cause skin irritation and acne in those with sensitive skins.
Mineral sunscreens have become increasingly popular with health and environment-conscious consumers owing to the fact that they contain safer ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These kinds of sunscreens have a lower chance of irritating your skin and damaging the environment. Which is where Environ’s new RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen comes in. The new addition to the popular Even More Sun Care+ range continues Environ’s tradition of innovative suncare solutions to bring consumers even more ways to protect their skin from sun damage.
Key ingredients to protect & repair
Environ’s new mineral sunscreen contains what Environ calls “new generation” Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and offers broadspectrum UVA and UVB protection. The Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide powerful physical UVA and UVB reflectors and work to form a protective barrier on the skin. Like its sister product, RAD Shield Antioxident Sunscreen, this new sun cream also includes a wide spectrum of antioxidants such as colourless carotenoids and vitamin E, which assists in minimising free radical damage triggered by UVA radiation.
Adding to the list of powerful ingredients, the sunscreen also contains Venuceane, a heat-adaptive ingredient to help counteract the damaging effects of infrared radiation. IR can trigger heat-induced ROS responses in the skin such as inflammation, hydration loss and the degradation of collagen and elastin, increasing the risk of photo-ageing of the skin. This is especially important in darker skins, as darker skins absorb more Infra-Red (IR) rays and, as a result, increase heat in the skin. Environ’s new mineral sunscreen is particularly better suited for darker skins which need a sunscreen that covers the SPF while also concentrating on UVA and IR protection.
Less. More Often
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Eviron’s new mineral sunblock is the seemingly low SPF15. While it’s been drilled into us to opt for the highest possible SPF at all times, Environ has chosen to take a less, more often approach. Research has shown that the skin absorbs sunscreen ingredients, and many of these can become aggressive free radicals.
In the same vein, it is scientifically proven that higher SPF products provide minimal added protection (less than 5% difference between SPF 15 and SPF 50), but contain higher concentrations of chemical sunscreen ingredients, which can trigger free radical assault on the skin. By opting for a lower SPF of 15 in this mineral sunscreen, Environ is ensuring you are putting less of these harmful chemicals onto your skin at any one time and instead encourages clients to rather apply their sunscreen more often, every 1.5 – 2 hours, throughout the day to ensure the skin is properly protected.
Speaking to Professional Beauty on the less, more often approach and the importance of UVA protection, Environ founder Dr Des Fernandes explained that UVB rays “are only about 5% of the UV rays we encounter. Ninety-five-percent of the UV rays we encounter are UVA, and SPF doesn’t give any indication of how well the product protects against UVA.” He continued saying; “in fact, the higher the SPF, the less ‘room’ there is in the formulation to devote to UVA blockers. UVA penetrates deeper and even in the darkest skin, the natural sun-blocker, melanin, is not totally protective and about one-third of the UVA rays still penetrate right into the deeper layer of the skin. They wreak damage by creating free radicals.” It is for these reasons that Dr Des believes in a sunscreen “you not only need SPF 15, but also a strong UVA protection.”
Is this the best mineral sunscreen for you?
One of the most important factors for me when choosing a sunscreen is how it feels on my skin. There are loads of good facial sunscreens on the market, but they can often feel very thick and leave a heavy feeling on the skin, or a white cast. If I’m going to be layering my sunscreen under my makeup it needs to help create a good base for my makeup while also offering good protection for my skin.
Environ’s new RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen is lightweight, and almost transparent, with no white residual appearance on the skin. It feels lovely going onto the skin and melts into the skin quickly, leaving a smooth base for applying your makeup over it. While my skin can be quite dry, I also struggle with oily skin around my T-zone and eye area. I’ve tried loads of great sunscreens in the past but have had to ditch them because they cause stinging in the eyes. I’ve experienced little to no migration with applying this sunscreen around the oilier areas of my face, which means bye-bye red, stinging eyes.
Of course, in addition to feeling great on my skin, I also love the fact that this sunscreen is kinder to the planet. Environ’s RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen is definitely going to be my sunscreen of choice next time I go on a beach holiday to an exotic location like Mauritius or Thailand where it’s imperative not to add any more nasties into the ocean while enjoying your holiday.
The Environ RAD Shield Mineral Sunscreen will be available from select beauty salons and spas from August 2020 at a recommended retail price of R435 (125ml).
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After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.