The damaging effects of UV sun rays are well documented. Free radicals generated by skin-penetrating UVA rays attack and destroy collagen and elastin in the dermis layer of the skin, resulting in premature aging and wrinkling. The more powerful sunburn-producing UVB rays may contribute to premature aging and wrinkling, but they’re the main culprit when it comes to skin cancers.
Scientists and dermatologists have long advised sun avoidance to minimize the risks associated with sun exposure. When spending time in the sun, high-SPF sunscreens can provide some protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Many consumers gravitate toward chemical blocker sunscreens that protect skin by absorbing UVB rays and breaking them down. However, because of skin sensitivities to certain chemical ingredients, including PABA, and consumer movement toward more natural (chemical-free) formulations, full-spectrum physical blockers are another option.
Physical blockers protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays by creating a barrier that prevents sunlight from coming into contact with the skin’s surface. They contain particles that sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays, usually with ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. For those with allergies or sensitive skin problems, physical blockers are a well-tolerated, safe and natural choice for full spectrum sun protection.
However, the one disadvantage to physical blockers has been the whitened appearance they create on the skin, a shortcoming that has had little aesthetic appeal for many users. There’s a common misconception that it’s actually impossible to achieve a high SPF physical blocker formulation that isn’t whitening.
Ariel Laboratories, headquartered in South Plainfield, NJ, has been able to overcome this challenge by creating an all natural, non-whitening sunscreen line with SPFs that range from 15 – 60. To counteract the aging effects of UVA rays, Ariel has also added peptides, including pepha-timp, that capture free radicals and protect collagen to keep it from degenerating. Ariel can add vitamins A, C and E to its sunscreen formulas to provide more emollient properties and smooth the skin.
According to Peter Bohm, Ariel Laboratories president and master chemist, “Our exclusive all-natural sunscreen line preserves the sun-reflecting particles of a physical blocker, using all-natural ingredients that address sensitive skin concerns. Then, when you consider that we have been able to formulate a non-whitening, high SPF physical blocker with the added benefit of anti-aging ingredients, it becomes crystal clear that you can combine aesthetics and functionality to produce effective skin protection that people will embrace and use, without question.”