Why don't we use an SPF factor in our skin care products?

This forum has just been brought to my attention so I felt it would be appropriate to address the main question which has been asked...'why do we not include an SPF factor in our skin care products?' There are two prime reasons.

*This was a question raised on Warren's Blog where you can find many comments regarding this question and various others.

It has just been brought to my attention that there is currently an active forum at skincaretalk in which people are talking about why we do not use an SPF factor in our skin care products.

So...I thought that it was appropriate that I gave an explanation. So, for readers who are interested, here it is:

Hello All,

This forum has just been brought to my attention so I felt it would be appropriate to address the main question which has been asked...'why do we not include an SPF factor in our skin care products?' There are two prime reasons.

Firstly, is that for normal day to day use it is truly not needed. Yes, I appreciate that this is contrary to what is promoted by various 'authorities' but I personally believe it to be incorrect information. How many people are really exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight in their normal day? Most people work, or spend a high percentage of their time inside.

How many people would actually get their face sunburnt in a normal day if they did not wear a sunscreen? I would think not many. Most people only get burnt when they are at the beach or exposed to extended outdoor activities in the middle of the day during the summer.

We have always advocated the use of a sunscreen to avoid getting sunburnt but that is the only time they should be used.

As I am sure many people are now aware, there is a serious deficiency of Vitamin D in the majority of people. This in turn is triggering off a number of avoidable degenerative diseases. Some people in an attempt to correct this are jumping on to the current fad of taking high dose Vitamin D supplements. But, as a supplement manufacturer we do not advocate that either, as high dose Vitamin D supplements can also cause a detrimental effect in the body.

The only safe way to get Vitamin D is through sensible exposure to the sun. I personally think that it is irresponsible for manufacturers to promote the principle of wearing a sunscreen at all times. All that will achieve is aging you prematurely by preventing the benefits that can only be received through sensible skin exposure.

So, unless your daily activities would cause you to get sunburnt, don't use an SPF factor in your skin care. Only use it when you are exposed to conditions in which you will get burnt.

Secondly, another reason is that the SPF factors in skin care products work below the surface of the skin rather than creating a safe barrier above it. They use chemicals that will find their way into the blood stream and there is a school of thought amongst scientists that suggest that the long term use of these chemicals may prove to be carcinogenic.

Now of course I accept that time may prove these people to be wrong...but, if you are going to play Russian Roulette there should at least be a measurable upside...but, for the reasons that I mentioned above it is all downside.

I know and appreciate that many people believe that the sun causes you to age prematurely and wrinkle. That is another fallacy for the overwhelming majority of people. I say the majority because excessive sun can have an aging effect on some people such as redheads and these people need to be careful about not getting sunburnt.

But...wrinkles are caused primarily by other factors than sunshine. Using myself as an example. All my life I have had what one may call excessive exposure to sunshine. I spend a lot of time in the tropics, for a number of years I ran my own commercial fishing operation and had full exposure to the elements on the ocean.

I rarely use sunscreen unless I am out on the ocean for a couple of days in intense sunshine where I have to deal with the reflection of the sun off the ocean as well. In other words getting a double dose. And then I only use it for the first one or two days. But, I do use our moisturizer at the end of each day.

I will be 63 in August and I hardly have a wrinkle. The photo on the website is genuine and was taken when I was 61. It is NOT the sunshine that causes skin to age. It is aging itself and that is influenced by your nutritional intake which includes levels of anti-oxidants etc. Look at a smoker who may have never seen much of the sun let alone got burnt.

Many of them by the time they are 60 are heavily wrinkled. This is because the smoking robs their bodies of various essential nutrients and they age faster.

One last comment on sunscreens. Even a broad spectrum sunscreen does not provide total protection against all UV rays. It is only possible to protect against those ones that slip through from the inside out. If you go to our website and have a look at our Omega 3 / DHA Plus product you will find an explanation regarding this.

Hopefully this will help readers better understand our position on SPF factors and why we do not include it in our skincare products.

Warren Matthews
Xtend-Life Natural Products (Intl) Ltd

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