There’s nothing cool about a sunburn.
And if it hurts now, you’ll be rocking prematurely-aged skin later
Plus it raises your risk of skin cancer.
The amazing thing about mother nature is that it provides us with most things our skin requires, including sun protection.
In the article natural sunscreen ingredients, we studied some of these wonderful extracts in detail.
Getting to grips with flavonoids and carotenoids
Polyphenols in the form of flavonoids are one of the most studied class of compounds that offer sun‐protectant properties.
They are a class of polyphenolic compounds that are synthesised by plants, that have both antioxidant and anticarcinogenic potential.
Flavonoids are present in many fruits including apples, strawberries, and grapefruits; they are also found in some vegetables; and beverages such as green tea and red wine.
Rutin and quercetin are the most studied flavonoids, that have remarkable protective effects against solar radiation.
Carotenoids, such as β‐carotene, lycopene, and lutein, are natural pigments that have many biological functions and health benefits.
These include substances like antioxidants, dyes, and hormonal precursors, that are essential to photosynthesis. These are referred to as tetraterpenes and are responsible for the bright colors of red, yellow, and orange fruits, roots, vegetables, and flowers.
Bio lipid complex a potent antioxidant is rich in carotenoids and can quench many of the damaging free radicals our skin gets hit by during the day, helping to prevent premature ageing.
Natural sunscreen extracts
Green tea leaf extract
The major polyphenolic constituent in green tea is known as EGCG, this is what is responsible for the tea’s protective capabilities.
A study in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology found that the topical application of green tea, may protect against the sun’s UVB rays, it provides an SPF protection of around 1.05.
Another interesting fact, if you drink lots of this tea, your providing you’re body with internal protection from UV radiation.
White tea extract
Recent research has shown that white tea is very similar to green tea and can offer the same protection against the sun’s rays.
It is a featured ingredient in many natural sun protection products, as it contains a natural SPF of 1.2 like green tea, it is also a natural antioxidant.
Kaempferia galanga root extract:
This rarely talked about ingredients, offers great protection against damaging UVB rays.
it is also wound healing and works on the skin as an anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin E has natural protective qualities; it helps protect the skin from signs of photoaging and prevents skin tissues from breaking down.
It is also an excellent moisturiser when used in a lotion; vitamin E protects the epidermis, from the early onslaught of UV damage, making it perfect for preventing and treating sun damage.
It is ideal as a natural face sunscreen ingredient because it has UVA properties and is an excellent antioxidant.
Vitamin C is also essential for the formation of collagen, which gives skin its strength and structure. C+ vitamin complex is a great formula for targeting these concerns.
Zinc is considered one of the best natural sunscreens, due to its UVA and UVB protective properties.
It is thought to be a lot safer than other chemicals or physical ingredients on the market.
The naked truth
Sunscreen use is essential to combat skin damage.
Most recently the FDA has been looking at the use of various sunscreens and found that many of the chemical sunscreens get absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
So a number of studies aimed at developing new formulations that are both safe and efficacious, which contain natural compounds of plant origin that are capable of absorbing UV radiation, which also has photoprotective activity.
As we discussed earlier – Polyphenols, especially flavonoids, have radiation absorptive properties. Furthermore, carotenoids are currently being analysed for their potent antioxidant activity.
Whilst studies are being carried out on plant compounds and how they can improve SPF values and efficacy of commercial UV filters, the research into new sunscreens that contain plant compounds, which can protect the skin effectively is still a long way off.
Our advice at the Naked Chemist is to always follow safe sun practices , certainly until more research has been carried out on these wonderful botanical extracts.