Vad ska jag tänka på när jag väljer solskydd?

What should I consider when choosing sunscreen?

Do you also think it can be difficult to choose which sunscreen suits you? We help you with a small basic course in sunscreen filters and give tips on how to protect yourself against the sun's strong rays.

What is a UV filter?

Ultraviolet (UV) filters are the protective elements that prevent solar radiation from burning your skin by reflecting, scattering or absorbing UV rays. They are divided into two categories, chemical/synthetic and physical sunscreens. Confusingly, chemical/synthetic filters can also be called organic filters ( no this has nothing to do with being natural! ) and mineral filters go by the name of inorganic and/or physical UV filters. UV filters are also usually defined by their particle size (nano/non-nano).

Chemical/synthetic UV filters are the most popular type of sunscreen, it is often easy to apply and rarely leaves a white film on the skin. But we think you should watch out here. Studies show that some chemical/synthetic filters can penetrate the skin and reach the circulatory system. When these substances enter your blood, they can disrupt the endocrine system, which in turn can cause developmental or reproductive problems. Unfortunately, the sad news does not end there. Chemical/synthetic UV filters can also have the same effect on the marine environment, and also have a negative impact on coral reefs.

Various physical UV filters
Physical sunscreens layer on top of your skin and create a protective barrier. That is one of the reasons why mineral sunscreens are the safer option to use. There are two different mineral-based (physical) UV filters; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Zinc oxide is an important mineral that has been used by humans for hundreds of years. When applied, it protects and heals the skin due to its antimicrobial properties. Zinc oxide naturally protects against both UVA and UVB rays, meaning it has broad-spectrum protection.
Titanium dioxide has been used for decades and is generally considered a safe material. It effectively blocks UVB rays (the ones that burn you) but it doesn't fully protect against UVA. Therefore, it cannot be considered a broad spectrum protection when used alone.

However, it must be remembered that the safety of both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide changes if the minerals are ground down to a nano form.

Nanoparticles in sunscreens
Nanoparticles are ultra-small particles that are less than 100 nanometers (nm) in diameter. This means that nanoparticles are so small that they are invisible, even when viewed through a conventional microscope.

Nanotechnology is exploding at the moment and can be found in various fields, including electronics, clothing, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It is also what is driving the mineral sunscreen revolution that has taken place in recent years. We welcome that there are several physical sunscreens to use, however, scientific studies on the safety of nanoparticles have had mixed results.

Nanoparticles of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, are made by a process of gamma radiation or microwave radiation (among others) until they become so small that they are completely invisible (unless you have a transmission electron microscope handy). It enables a smooth and transparent application of mineral sunscreens and without the boring white film that can be experienced from some natural sunscreens.

However, the explosion in nanotechnology has led to an increase in research into the toxicity of these new materials. When substances are changed to nanoform, they interact differently with biological systems than their non-nano counterparts. For example, there has been some research to show that nanoparticles can penetrate the skin, turning these minerals into cytotoxic chemicals, but there is also research showing the opposite.

Worth knowing is that if a product contains nano products, it must be stated on the packaging. You can find that on the inci list and then it says NANO after the substance that is nano or NO-nano.

Which protection should I then use?
With the right information, the choice is easier - even if it is not easy to decide what is best for you and your family. For those of us who work at Nordic Natural Beauty, finding good physical sun protection is a matter of course. We can honestly say that it has been difficult to find physical protection that we feel protects against the sun's strong rays and that does NOT leave a dull film on the skin. Therefore, for a long time, we have not had sun protection in our range. We never compromise on quality, sunscreen should of course protect against sun damage, but should also feel great to use. Today we have several different sunscreens to offer, all of them are physical and do not contain nano-particles.

We especially recommend

Sol de Ibiza Face & Body Plastic Free Tin 30

INIKA Natural Sunscreen SPF50+ 50ml

Want to read more?
You can find our references here.

Geoffrey, K., Mwangi, AN, & Maru, SM (2019). Sunscreen products: Rationale for use, formulation development and regulatory considerations. Saudi pharmaceutical journal : SPJ : the official publication of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society , 27 (7), 1009–1018.

Wang J, Pan L, Wu S, Lu L, Xu Y, Zhu Y, Guo M, Zhuang S. Recent Advances on Endocrine Disrupting Effects of UV Filters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016; 13(8):782.

Kyu-Bong Kim, Young Woo Kim, Seong Kwang Lim, Tae Hyun Roh, Du Yeon Bang, Seul Min Choi, Duck Soo Lim, Yeon Joo Kim, Seol-Hwa Baek, Min-Kook Kim, Hyo-Seon Seo, Min- Hwa Kim, Hyung Sik Kim, Joo Young Lee, Sam Kacew & Byung-Mu Lee (2017) Risk assessment of zinc oxide, a cosmetic ingredient used as a UV filter of sunscreens, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 20: 3, 155-182, DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2017.1290516

Rainieri S, Barranco A, Primec M, Langerholc T, Occurrence and toxicity of musks and UV filters in the marine environment, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 104, 2017, Pages 57-68, ISSN 0278-6915, https://doi .org/10.1016/j.fct.2016.11.012.

Schneider, SL, Lim, HW. A review of inorganic UV filters zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed . 2019; 35: 442– 446.

Amir Moezzi, Andrew M. McDonagh, Michael B. Cortie, Zinc oxide particles: Synthesis, properties and applications, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volumes 185–186, 2012, Pages 1-22, ISSN 1385-8947 /10.1016/j.cej.2012.01.076 .

Dardenne, M. Zinc and immune function. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, S20–S23 (2002).

Lansdown, ABG, Mirastschijski, U., Stubbs, N., Scanlon, E. and Ågren, MS (2007), Zinc in wound healing: Theoretical, experimental, and clinical aspects. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 15: 2-16.

Skocaj, Matej, Filipic, Metka, Petkovic, Jana and Novak, Sasa. "Titanium dioxide in our everyday life; is it safe?" Radiology and Oncology, vol.45, no.4, 2011, pp.227-247.

Smijs, Threes G, and Stanislav Pavel. "Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens: focus on their safety and effectiveness." Nanotechnology, science and applications vol. 4 95-112. 13 Oct. 2011, doi:10.2147/NSA.S19419

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