As some of you know, I am obsessed with sunscreen. Skin cancer runs in my family, so I have to be very careful to daily sun exposure. Also, on the vain side of things, 90% of wrinkles and skin aging (yes, that's 90%) are caused by the sun. It is especially important to us a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA/UVB rays.
There are many active ingredients used in sunscreens, and I thought I had found a best friend in Avobenzone (also known as Parsol 1789), a chemical sunscreen that blocks UVA rays. However, questions are being raised about its photostability (how well this chemical sunscreen holds up in the sun and how quickly it breaks down). Isn't that just great? A sunscreen that breaks down in the sun into other chemical compounds that could be absorbed into the skin. Instead of chemical sunscreens, a lotion with a physical sunscreen as the active ingredient is your best bet, and there are only two: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. To learn more about all sunscreens, both chemical and physical, I found this article very, very helpful. FYI, it is possible for a sunscreen to keep you from getting any color, but still allow the skin damaging UVA rays through - these two ingredients block both types of rays.
And another good reason to stick to physical (mineral) sunscreens? The chemical sunscreens are bleaching and killing our coral reefs.