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Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
Posts: 119
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I recently purchased a baby mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide SPF 18 from Avalon Organics.

I contacted them and asked if it was micronized and the reply was, "Our baby sunscreens utilize non-invasive micronized titanium dioxide."

So am I correct in assuming that this product is still unsafe?
Picture of Skin Biology
Location: Skin Biology in Bellevue, Washington - USA
Registered: 22 June 2004
Posts: 4850
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Dear SAGE262:

Pure, non-micronized minerals would serve as better reflectors of ultraviolet light.

Dr. Pickart would have to comment on if "non-invasive micronized" still falls under the category of micronized or siliconized sunscreens (encapsulated sunblockers that may penetrate into the skin and not remain on the surface).

There's another sunblock that a client asked about that contains no zinc and has Titanium Dioxide 9.1% - See: http://healthyskin.infopop.cc/...?r=88710158#88710158

But again, a client would have to find out from the company if it indeed is micronized or not.

Best Wishes,
-Skin Biology
Location: new york
Registered: 28 June 2007
Posts: 665
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Sage,

I purchased this sunblock the day before you posted it. I will throw it away. Good thing it cost less than $10.00 on amazon.

It is unfortunate that the FDA does not require the sunscreen manufacturers to state whether the minerals are micronized. Most sunscreens on the market now must be using the micronized minerals. I think the only way to get an un-micronized mineral sunblock is to add un-micronized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to a cream or lotion.
Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
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kitty:
I posted a question to Dr. Pickart about the avalon baby sunscreen and am waiting for a definite answer on it. I still have not received mine, and filed a claim through Amazon. Stoney used it and says it is pretty pasty looking so I'm confused that it is supposed to be micronized if it looks white and pasty on the skin when applied.
Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
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I do not know exactly what another company produces.

If it is pasty, it is probably OK.
Location: new york
Registered: 28 June 2007
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Sage,
I am confused about that because I do remember her comment that it looks pasty. I thought micronized sunblocks were not pasty. I hope that I don't receive mine so that I can get a refund from amazon.

Is it possible that the person who responded to your email is confused? What exactly is "non-invasive" micronized titanium dioxide? If it is micronized then I am going to assume that it is harmful. I am not buying any more commercially made sunscreens with minerals. I will just make my own. Organic-creations has confirmed that their titanium and zinc are not micronized so I am going to purchase ingredients from them and add to a lotion.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have been known to be effective sunblocks for decades but they were not widely used because of the pastiness. So many sunscreens now have titanium and zinc, it seems reasonable to assume that the minerals are micronized because the pasty look is still not desirable.

If I am going to use a harmful sunblock, then I will stick with the chemicals. They create free radicals, but that is not as frightening to me as particles getting trapped in my DNA. Summer is short where I live and if I use the chemical blocks only on the days when I need the most protection, then that would amount to a few months of use per year. I think my body can handle that. After all, even breathing and the metabolism of food creates dangerous free radicals. And the sunblock chemicals are probably no more harmful than the chlorine that is added to most water supplies in this country; it is readily absorbed through the skin and is a powerful oxidizing agent.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nicekitty123,
Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
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kitty,
It's not the free radicals created by the chemical sunscreens so much as it is the estrogenic effects they have on the body that I'm concerned about. We are UNKNOWINGLY exposed to enough xenoestrogenic crap in the world every day without having to add any more to the pile ourselves.

Here is an excerpt from an article I saved on my computer. NOTE that where this article mentions that titanium and zinc are the best to use, it fails to mention that they should not be micronized Frowner


If you are going to get more sun than that... the best and most natural sunscreen you can get if you are going to be spending more than a half hour out in the hot summer sun are the sunblocks (mineral based) that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. These ingredients are safe, natural ingredients that physically block UVA and UVB rays and there are no health concerns about using them on your skin.

The downside of these types of natural physical sunblocks is that they tend to leave a white coating on your skin so they don't look as appealing as the chemical sunscreens which are invisible since they absorb into your skin. So the other option is simply to make sure to cover up with clothing if you don't want to use a mineral-based sunblock that makes the skin look white.

And most important, to protect your skin and minimize the damage the sun can do to your skin...

EAT your sunscreen to best protect your skin against sun damage and cancer

Ok, I’m not talking about squeezing that stuff out of the bottle and actually eating it!

I am talking about protecting your skin from the inside out with nutrition! One of the best ways to prevent sun damage, and protect your skin, is with your diet. Yes, you can actually eat your own healthy version of natural sunscreen by following these recommendations:

First, be sure to eat plenty of omega-3 rich foods in your daily diet. Research studies show that eicosapentaenoic acid (also called EPA) in omega 3 fats helps prolong the time that it takes skin to get burned during sun exposure, and reduces your chances of skin cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids best sources come from grass-fed beef, free range whole eggs, and cold-water wild caught fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

But keep this in mind: An optimal balance of omega-3's to omega-6's (1:1 to 2:1) is critical for many, many health factors, including skin health. If you are eating much more omega 6 fatty acids in comparison to omega 3’s, you actually increase your chances of skin cancer from the sun.

It is a well-known fact that people who regularly eat a diet higher in saturated fats and omega-3 fats tend to have much smoother, softer skin. In contrast, a diet high in trans fats and excessively high omega-6 fats ages skin and when people consume that type of diet they tend to have older-looking skin and wrinkles.

So, here's how to eat the healthiest kind of sunscreen that is best for your body and your skin:

* Eliminate processed vegetable oils and instead eat grass fed butter, extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil. Some of the oils highest in omega 6’s are soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, peanut, and corn oil, so avoid these (this also means avoiding anything deep fried!). Eliminate packaged processed junk food, fast food, and prepare fresh, whole food from scratch.
* Eat Carotenoids. Carotenoids are colorful molecules that reflect UV rays. Each of the pigments functions as Mother Nature’s sunblock. When humans ingest carotenoids, they are actually deposited into the skin to prevent sunburn and oxidative stress.

The best sources of carotenoids are whole eggs, spirulina, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc), and brightly colored yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).

The most potent carotenoid is a red pigment found in algae, salmon, trout, shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish. It is known as astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is 1,000 times more effective at protecting skin from UV damage than other carotenoids. One way that you can provide a double whammy of skin protection is to take a daily Krill Oil supplement, as krill oil is a good source of astaxanthan as well as potent omega-3's in a form most usable by your body.
* Lycopene is found in red fruits such as tomatoes, red bell pepper and watermelon. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, cooking actually increases this nutrient. Tomato paste actually has much more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. In one study, people who consumed tomato paste had 33% more protection against sunburn compared to a control group after 12 weeks.
* Drink plenty of green tea a day for internal sun protection. Green tea is known to contain a category of antioxidants called polyphenols that boost the ability of skin to protect itself from the sun. If the idea of drinking warm green tea on a hot day is unappetizing, go for cool glass of iced green tea.

Also keep in mind that ALL teas are rich sources of various skin-protecting antioxidants, so consider expanding beyond just green teas and try yerba mate, rooibos, tulsi tea, mint, chamomile, and other teas... the more variety you use, the more diversity of antioxidants you obtain.

* Snack on vitamin and flavanol-rich fruit like berries and other fruit such as mangoes, kiwis, peaches, cherries, and plums that are naturally sweet and juicy. Most fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is also a great vitamin for skin health. Known for its role in building collagen, vitamin C prevents wrinkles and photo damage through its anti-inflammatory action. Toss some berries into a bowl for breakfast, make a berry smoothie, or have berries for a healthy dessert.

To sum up:

1. Avoid the dangerous chemicals in regular chemical sunscreens. These contain potentially carcinogenic compounds as well as chemicals that are xenoestrogens, which are known to contribute to "stubborn belly fat".

2. Don't forget the skin protection and vitamin D benefits of getting small doses (10-20 minutes daily) of sun over a good portion of your body (without burning) before slathering on the sunblock or covering up with more clothing.

3. If you must spend a long amount of time out in the summer sun, eat a skin-healthy diet with lots of antioxidants, and protect your skin from excess sun and burning by either covering up with clothing or with a safe and natural zinc oxide or titanium oxide based sunscreen too.
Picture of stoney
Location: Maine
Registered: 30 March 2008
Posts: 2846
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Great Post Sage!...You are "singing my song"... Cheers!
Location: new york
Registered: 28 June 2007
Posts: 665
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Sage,
Good information.

The information about tea is interesting. In my native country, people drink a lot of tea even though the climate is hot all year round. And they eat lots of antioxidant rich foods and fish because that is what is available. Maybe that is why people there don't have the skin and aging problems that many Americans have.

Also, I am glad that saturated fats are being vindicated. Coconut oil was the only oil we used in my native country and the women in my family had great skin.

I am already doing most of what they recommend. I have already adjusted my diet and vitamin supplements to prepare my body to handle the sun. My favorite drink in the summer is iced green or black tea made with stevia and a little lemon juice. It has almost no calories and I can drink it all day to help meet my fluid requirements. I also take green tea capsules. And I am planning to drink a lot of homemade kombucha this summer.

Even with the estrogenic effects, I plan to use the chemical blocks when the summer sun is most intense and I need maximum protection. I cannot use a high concentration un-micronized sunblock to get enough protection on the hottest days. I am using strong acids and I can't risk the skin damage. Nothing is perfect. We have to make the choices that we feel we can live with. I do believe that the FDA should require sunscreen manufacturers to state whether the minerals are micronized. But that will probably never happen.
Picture of stoney
Location: Maine
Registered: 30 March 2008
Posts: 2846
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Pickart:
I do not know exactly what another company produces.

If it is pasty, it is probably OK.


Yes, I used this on my arms & under my neck last week before the rainy weather set it.

It is definitely pastey which lead me to think the minerals were not micronized.

Sage, who did you speak to at Avalon? Have you received yours yet? It leaves a noticeable white cast on the skin.
Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
Posts: 119
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Hi Stoney,
I didn't speak to anyone but I probably should have called for thorough answer. I emailed them and got a response the same day.

Non-invasive micronized is a new term, I really hope Dr. Pickart can give a better explanation of that term. I posted a question to him yesterday in the Specifically for Skin Biology section. Actually I'm still waiting for a response about the PhotoDynamic Therapy Lotion question I posted on May 15. Confused?

I have not received it yet. Amazon shows it shipped almost 2 weeks ago. I have filed a claim with them and now having done so I bet my package will arrive this week Roll Eyes

Dr. Pickart says if its pastey its probably OK so I wonder whats the real deal with that sunblock? Probably should dig up the ingredients again and post them on the question to him.
Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
Posts: 119
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quote:
Originally posted by SAGE262:
kitty,
It's not the free radicals created by the chemical sunscreens so much as it is the estrogenic effects they have on the body that I'm concerned about. We are UNKNOWINGLY exposed to enough xenoestrogenic crap in the world every day without having to add any more to the pile ourselves.

Here is an excerpt from an article I saved on my computer. NOTE that where this article mentions that titanium and zinc are the best to use, it fails to mention that they should not be micronized Frowner


If you are going to get more sun than that... the best and most natural sunscreen you can get if you are going to be spending more than a half hour out in the hot summer sun are the sunblocks (mineral based) that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. These ingredients are safe, natural ingredients that physically block UVA and UVB rays and there are no health concerns about using them on your skin.

The downside of these types of natural physical sunblocks is that they tend to leave a white coating on your skin so they don't look as appealing as the chemical sunscreens which are invisible since they absorb into your skin. So the other option is simply to make sure to cover up with clothing if you don't want to use a mineral-based sunblock that makes the skin look white.

And most important, to protect your skin and minimize the damage the sun can do to your skin...

EAT your sunscreen to best protect your skin against sun damage and cancer

Ok, I’m not talking about squeezing that stuff out of the bottle and actually eating it!

I am talking about protecting your skin from the inside out with nutrition! One of the best ways to prevent sun damage, and protect your skin, is with your diet. Yes, you can actually eat your own healthy version of natural sunscreen by following these recommendations:

First, be sure to eat plenty of omega-3 rich foods in your daily diet. Research studies show that eicosapentaenoic acid (also called EPA) in omega 3 fats helps prolong the time that it takes skin to get burned during sun exposure, and reduces your chances of skin cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids best sources come from grass-fed beef, free range whole eggs, and cold-water wild caught fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

But keep this in mind: An optimal balance of omega-3's to omega-6's (1:1 to 2:1) is critical for many, many health factors, including skin health. If you are eating much more omega 6 fatty acids in comparison to omega 3’s, you actually increase your chances of skin cancer from the sun.

It is a well-known fact that people who regularly eat a diet higher in saturated fats and omega-3 fats tend to have much smoother, softer skin. In contrast, a diet high in trans fats and excessively high omega-6 fats ages skin and when people consume that type of diet they tend to have older-looking skin and wrinkles.

So, here's how to eat the healthiest kind of sunscreen that is best for your body and your skin:

* Eliminate processed vegetable oils and instead eat grass fed butter, extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil. Some of the oils highest in omega 6’s are soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, peanut, and corn oil, so avoid these (this also means avoiding anything deep fried!). Eliminate packaged processed junk food, fast food, and prepare fresh, whole food from scratch.
* Eat Carotenoids. Carotenoids are colorful molecules that reflect UV rays. Each of the pigments functions as Mother Nature’s sunblock. When humans ingest carotenoids, they are actually deposited into the skin to prevent sunburn and oxidative stress.

The best sources of carotenoids are whole eggs, spirulina, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc), and brightly colored yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).

The most potent carotenoid is a red pigment found in algae, salmon, trout, shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish. It is known as astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is 1,000 times more effective at protecting skin from UV damage than other carotenoids. One way that you can provide a double whammy of skin protection is to take a daily Krill Oil supplement, as krill oil is a good source of astaxanthan as well as potent omega-3's in a form most usable by your body.
* Lycopene is found in red fruits such as tomatoes, red bell pepper and watermelon. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, cooking actually increases this nutrient. Tomato paste actually has much more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. In one study, people who consumed tomato paste had 33% more protection against sunburn compared to a control group after 12 weeks.
* Drink plenty of green tea a day for internal sun protection. Green tea is known to contain a category of antioxidants called polyphenols that boost the ability of skin to protect itself from the sun. If the idea of drinking warm green tea on a hot day is unappetizing, go for cool glass of iced green tea.

Also keep in mind that ALL teas are rich sources of various skin-protecting antioxidants, so consider expanding beyond just green teas and try yerba mate, rooibos, tulsi tea, mint, chamomile, and other teas... the more variety you use, the more diversity of antioxidants you obtain.

* Snack on vitamin and flavanol-rich fruit like berries and other fruit such as mangoes, kiwis, peaches, cherries, and plums that are naturally sweet and juicy. Most fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is also a great vitamin for skin health. Known for its role in building collagen, vitamin C prevents wrinkles and photo damage through its anti-inflammatory action. Toss some berries into a bowl for breakfast, make a berry smoothie, or have berries for a healthy dessert.

To sum up:

1. Avoid the dangerous chemicals in regular chemical sunscreens. These contain potentially carcinogenic compounds as well as chemicals that are xenoestrogens, which are known to contribute to "stubborn belly fat".

2. Don't forget the skin protection and vitamin D benefits of getting small doses (10-20 minutes daily) of sun over a good portion of your body (without burning) before slathering on the sunblock or covering up with more clothing.

3. If you must spend a long amount of time out in the summer sun, eat a skin-healthy diet with lots of antioxidants, and protect your skin from excess sun and burning by either covering up with clothing or with a safe and natural zinc oxide or titanium oxide based sunscreen too.



I FORGOT THE REST OF WHAT I WANTED TO POST! This is very important stuff. Pay close attention to the ingredient Retinyl Palmitate. Some of SKIN BIOLOGY products contain it. Nervous


Did you know that most sunscreens only protect against the burning UVB rays? Well, it is a fact that the UVA rays are damaging to your skin as well. What kinds of chemical concoctions are you putting on your skin that are absorbing into your bloodstream? Numerous studies have raised serious concerns about these chemicals' safety:

* Oxybenzone -- One of the main ingredients in many sunscreens. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer--a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin — this means that any chemical on the skin will be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This common sunscreen ingredient is an endocrine disrupting chemical that damages cells and is potentially dangerous for pregnant women especially. Oxybenzone has been shown to decrease sperm count and lengthen the estrous cycle in mice; and it is potentially carcinogenic in humans.
* Retinyl palmitate -- Retinyls are vitamin A derivatives that are often used in lotions and sunscreens. They are associated with the accelerated growth of skin lesions and tumors when combined with sun exposure. These retinyls are often used to reduce the look of wrinkles, but FDA data suggests that retinyls have photo-carcinogenic properties, which means that when it is applied to the skin and exposed to the sun, it may speed up cancer formation! This ingredient is in about half the sunscreens sold commercially.
* Octyl-methacinnamate has been shown to actually damage skin cells, and many people are highly sensitive or allergic to this ingredient. It can cause a serious rash, redness and irritation to sensitive individuals.
* Bensopenone-3 (BP3), homosalate (HMS), 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), and octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA) were all found to have estrogenic effects (these are xenoestrogens) in the body, which can lead to weight gain (xenoestrogens can cause "stubborn belly fat") and several types of cancer, including breast cancer — even in men.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a new study showing that nearly all Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone, a widely-used sunscreen ingredient. This chemical so far has shown potential links to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage, as well as low birth weight in babies whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also has a guide that helps you to determine how chemical-laden your current sunscreen is.

Although sunscreens are meant for external use only, the popular ‘spray on’ sunscreens end up being inhaled as well, and are particularly dangerous. While inhaled particles of any size can pose a health risk, tiny nanoparticles -- ultra-tiny particles used in many of these formulations -- can more easily penetrate linings and tissues in your body and cause inflammation and increase risk of cancer or other respiratory issues.
Picture of stoney
Location: Maine
Registered: 30 March 2008
Posts: 2846
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quote:
Originally posted by SAGE262:
I recently purchased a baby mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide SPF 18 from Avalon Organics.

I contacted them and asked if it was micronized and the reply was, "Our baby sunscreens utilize non-invasive micronized titanium dioxide."

So am I correct in assuming that this product is still unsafe?


Hi Sage, the only similar sunblock that I came across that uses the words "Non-invasive formula" is California Baby SPF 30. A non-whitening high SPF sunblock.

Definitely micronized. Using non-invasive to implicate that the micronization of the minerals is non-nano size.

I doubt the Avalon is micronized due to how white it is when applied & the lower SPF.

Wondering if Amazon was referring to the California Baby in their reply regarding "non-invasive minerals" & not the Baby Avalon since it makes no mention of micronized titanium dioxide on the label?

It still may be, but it just doesn't appear that way when applied.

Just a thought...
Picture of SAGE262
Location: New York
Registered: 03 March 2011
Posts: 119
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Maybe that could be the case, I'm not sure, but I did try the Baby Avalon and it's just like you said and not greasy at all. Seems safe to me.
Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
Registered: 15 September 2004
Posts: 7065
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quote:
Originally posted by SAGE262:
I recently purchased a baby mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide SPF 18 from Avalon Organics.

I contacted them and asked if it was micronized and the reply was, "Our baby sunscreens utilize non-invasive micronized titanium dioxide."

So am I correct in assuming that this product is still unsafe?


I don't know what they mean. My guess is that it forms a clear film on the skin - not pasty. Non-invasive is relative. A very small skin penetration each use over years will be significant.

I would not use it.

The cosmetic companies say anything to sell products.
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