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Exploring Alternatives to Commercial Sunscreens

Exploring Alternatives to Commercial Sunscreens

By Julia Faller, Benedetta Founder and Formulator

The subject of alternative sunscreens is not a popular view, yet their efficacious use is underestimated. Public demand for a less toxic replacement to existing chemical products is growing.

Continued research on marine life and UV Blockers have proven danger to coral reefs and other marine eco-systems by disrupting endocrine systems and DNA. This poses a threat to humans as well.

Evidence shows in a small pilot study conducted by the FDA and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that after just one day of use, four of leading chemical blockers in sunscreens, avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule accumulate in the bloodstream at significant levels.  They continue to rise daily resulting in an increase plasma level exceeding the FDA’s established threshold of 0.5 ng/ml.

 Exploring Alternatives

The study of MAAs (Mycosporine-like amino acids), which can absorb solar UV radiation, is a promising alternative. Compounds like these, found in lichens, marine environments, fungi, and other antioxidants, are being considered as more sustainable options to traditional UV blockers.

Exposure to UV light generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin cells, leading to oxidative stress and aging. Plant antioxidants and polyphenols from sources like seabuckthorn, carotenoids, rosehips, and kakadu offer nutritive systemic protection before and after sun exposure.

Plants produce secondary metabolites to shield themselves from UV radiation, which can also protect human skin from photoaging and certain skin issues. Phenolic compounds, such as those in olive juice and other plant polyphenols, guard against UV penetration, inflammation, and oxidative stress at the source.

Moreover, effective skincare delivery lies in the formulation and combination of viable materials, allowing for protective and renewing effects on cellular function.

Benedetta's Approach

I have always developed products with design and focus on how the skin behaves and what it needs to thrive. That’s a tall order and requires a disciplined approach to not only receptibility of an organism, with respect to the individual and the overall collective.

One focus would be the delivery and uptake of botanical nutrients. In particular, and for this specific writing- antioxidants and polyphenolics. These phyto-nutritive compounds are not pharmaceutical white powder concentrates but fresh, healthy plants that are rich in their vital carotenoids and constituents that aid oxidative stress, our vital organ recognizes.

Only Certified Organic & Biodynamic materials from alive botanicals are used to provide bioavailable filtering and protection against ultraviolet radiation.

Some of these include Rosehips, Amalaki and Kakadu, Carrot, Sea buckthorn, and Olive juice extract to name only some used in our skin care and the Ombra Del Sole series of preparations.

After years of seeing the difference in our facial regimens ability to mildly filter the suns rays as it corrected fresh damaged skin, the Ombra Series was developed to withstand the atmospheric toxicity including but limited to UV radiation at a stronger and deeper level for prolonged sun exposure, not exceeding 1hour in most cases.

Benedetta’s Nighttime Serum is Step-2 in our 3-part system used at night only. A newer addition to the Benedetta nighttime facial regimen, this serum delivers phytonutrients deep in the lowers layers of the skin and fights oxidative disruption where it’s needed.



Day Spa Magazine, July 2019, Page 61


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