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Are Nano Particles in Biodegradable Sunblock Dangerous?

Posted by Bill DAlessandro on

Unfortunately, some people avoid sunscreen altogether as they are afraid of the reports of it’s many possible dangers. However, safe and sunscreen can go together and practically all dermatologists agree that wearing sunscreen is crucial for preventing cancer and skin aging. The two general types of sunscreen are chemical and mineral sunblocks, and almost all detrimental effects that you will hear about are only caused by the chemical formulas. Once you’ve decided that avoiding the chemicals and using a mineral based, biodegradable sunblock is the right thing to do for your own health and for the environment, it’s also important to choose the right type of mineral sunscreen.

Biodegradable Sunblock
Mineral sunscreens use ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to sit on top of the skin and reflect back the sun’s rays. Mexitan uses both of these ingredients for maximum effectiveness especially towards blocking dangerous UVA rays that age the skin. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are put into the biodegradable sunblock in a very fine powdered form. In fact, the particles are so small that they must be measured in nanometers, or one billionth of a meter. Although there are no enforced standards the generally accepted rule is that to be classified as a nanoparticle the average particle size must be below 100 nanometers.


Some sunscreen safety advocates have raised the issue of whether these small particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are completely safe and not able to cross over into the body and enter the bloodstream through the skin. The concern originated in 2008 when a study conducted in Australia found that paint on metal roofs touched by installers wearing nanoparticle sunscreen weathered significantly faster. People were worried that this would mean that human skin would weather or take damage faster in a similar fashion. This is certainly a legitimate concern; if a substance can damage a steel roof what can it do to a child’s sensitive skin?

Metal RoofSeveral government and private groups have investigated the effects of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in biodegradable sunblock. Overall, researchers have concluded that the effects on roofs do not mean that humans will have the same problem. Metal roofs are exposed to an extreme amount of sunlight, especially in Australia, and will never react in the same way as a person’s skin which is constantly shedding cells and replenishing itself. Both the US and EU regulators currently agree that nanoparticles are safe to put in sunscreen.

The one thing that is certain is that any mineral sunscreen will be safer than a chemical one and of course it is safer than getting a sunburn without using any sunblock. Mexitan biodegradable sunblock uses a mineral particle size that varies from 100-200 nanometers. This is the ideal size for biodegradable sunblock because it is large enough to not even leave the possibility of seeping through the skin while still being small enough to be less visible. Of course, it also blocks the sun perfectly well!

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