A “physical” sunscreen sits on the surface of the skin and forms a protective barrier. These ingredients do not have the ability to be absorbed by the body, although dermatologists have argued that if one has a skin condition such as
Products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide protect against UVA and UVB radiation. However, zinc oxide blocks more of the sun’s harmful rays than titanium dioxide, and is generally the preferred ingredient among . The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has only given these two ingredients the green light for use in sunscreens.
Zinc oxide protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays and provides more UVA protection than titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide does not protect the skin from the “long” UVA rays which cause aging and sun damage; however it is non-irritating, , and allows the skin tone to show through the product after it is applied. The “chemical” ingredients approved by the FDA that block UVA and UVB rays include:
Levels of DHA differ greatly in various products. Tan extending lotions and gradual self-tanners often have a level of two to three percent of this ingredient. Self-tanners usually range from a four to six percentlevel, and professional applications and tanning mists from an eight to 14 percent level of DHA. In recent years, of professional spray tanning solutions have increased DHA levels above 15 percent and as much as 22 percent to make the tan appear more rapidly. The European Commission for Health and recently reviewed all of the studies done throughout the world over a span of 50 years on this ingredient. They deemed DHA safe for inhalation in concentrations less than 10 percent, which is far below the common level for rapid developing tanning products.
The secondfound in self-tanning products is generally considered “optional”, but is known to extend the life of a faux tan and produce a color that is truer to your skin tone. Erythrulose, derived from a raspberry, is considered an expensive ingredient for formulations. It is not currently approved by the FDA for a self-tanning agent. This ingredient must be combined with DHA and is usually found in concentrations of up to three percent.
The main complaint about the self-tanning process is directed towards the smell that is produced when DHA reacts with the skin. Some companies choose to mask the products with heavy, but more recently are using an ingredient called Ordenone® which is very low in skin toxicity and essential oils for .
The second most popular complaint about these products is the fact that the skin can turn orange. This always has to do with over-application of the products. As a general rule, those with fair skin must use products with a lower concentration of DHA, or use less of the product that they are applying. Over-application of this ingredient can lead to skin with an orange tint. It can be very hard to remove the tan if this happens, so a general rule on self-tanners … less is more!
On another note, it has been found that for the 24 hours after a self-tanner with a level of over five percent is applied to the skin, it is susceptible to free-radical damage with sun exposure. It is important to wear a sunscreen if you will be in the sun.
Tanning pills, one of the most controversial self-tanning applications contain an ingredient called tyrosine and claim that they stimulate and increase, and in turn accelerate the self tanning process. These pills are used in conjunction with UV exposure. There is no scientific data to support this.” – by Kelly Richardson, found on dermascope.com