Meet Lauren from The Facialist

My absolute skin queen Loz is the one I go to when i'm breaking out, flakey, dry & dehydrated or have a million questions about what products are good for my skin. She also may be the first person that needs to know when i'm burnt because i've absolutely sizzled my skin the day before my appointment....absolute rat bag, i know! BUT, not anymore as SPF has become my new bestie and you'll understand why too. Grab a snack, and get reading.... 

You can thank me later x


OK Loz here from The Facialist. Let’s get physical! 

Sunny days, warm waters, salty hair, and bronzed sun-kissed skin, whilst there is no denying the general perception is that a tan looks 'healthy', it couldn't be further from the truth.  

A tan represents skin cells in trauma, your cells are in damage control, frantically responding to the increased exposure to harmful radiation by increasing your skins epidermal pigment to combat the penetration of radiation into your body. 

Whilst small amounts of unprotected exposure are needed for synthesis of Vitamin D, an incredibly important Vitamin for our health, the fact remains that it is 'small amounts'. 

Thousands of Australians are dying each year from exposure to the sun’s radiation. The statistics on skin cancer are staggering, with 2 out of every 3 Australians diagnosed with a form of skin cancer before they hit their 70's. 

If that doesn't have you reaching for your sunscreen,  then also to consider is the myriad of aesthetically displeasing skin implications a little UVR can give us, such as a decent dose of hyper-pigmentation... think mottled patches of brown pigment across your lovely face, neck and decolletage, and then there is the swift unleashing cascade of free radicals on precious connective tissues, namely collagen and elastin (the proteins responsible for providing the our skins supportive mesh)... cue drooping, sagging and wrinkling as skin degradation and ageing speeds up, and if still not sure if you'll bother, why not type 'sun lesions' into your search engine.. then hit 'images'. 

 I admit I love the sun and can be frequently heard saying "I just need some sunshine on my bones", but I also throw out the phrase "no hat no play" with the same frequency.  

Here in Australia where we sit near the equator, over exposure to UV radiation can prove lethal, it’s not called sun ‘protection’ because it sounded fun. 

I love the sunshine, but I do so safely. This is partly because I understand the risk and the escalating statistics regarding UVR induced cancers, and partly because the gorgeous warmth of the sun gave me a skin condition which tore shreds through my self-esteem for many years. 

Here is my dilemma when advocating sun smarts, as it turns out, most sunscreens... aren't all that safe.  

Studies are reporting that specific ingredients in chemical sunscreens may have the ability to generate free radicals within the body damaging our DNA and, further, may act as endocrine disruptors, mimicking our hormones.  

Let me give you some basics about the 2 primary UVR wavelengths we seek to block, 

  1. UVB- shortwave rays that cause skin reddening known as burning, though the damage these rays cause is more superficial, they still contribute to skin cancer and photo-aging. 
  1. UVA- long-wave rays, account for approx. 95% of UVR that reaches the earth's surface. Due to their ability to penetrate the deeper layers of our skin, these rays are primarily responsible for premature skin aging & contribute to, and may even initiate, development of skin cancer. 

Sunscreens typically fall into 3 categories, physical, chemical or hybrid- a combination of physical and chemical. 

A physical sunscreen reflects UV rays. 

A chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays. 

See the table below for a general list of common sunscreen ingredient inclusions, the UVR they protect from and if they are Chemical or Physical ingredients. 

Whilst the information available is vast, the following chemical sunscreen inclusions are my main concerns, 

  •  Oxybenzone- this little nasty has been shown to penetrate the skin and enter living tissues when applied topically, one study concluded that 2% of a topically applied dose excreted in urine (Hayden 1997). It has been linked to endocrine disruption in both men and women, associated with endometriosis, eczema-like allergic skin reactions, & sperm alteration in animal studies.  
  • Homosalate- this chemical can accumulate in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, potentially becoming toxic and disrupting our hormones, namely estrogen, androgen & progesterone. The implications of this on our health are huge. 
  • Octocrylene- add a little UVR & this chemical is a monster at generating damaging free radicals. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts. Additionally, this one also proves toxic to the environment! 
  • Cinoxate- this chemical is restricted for use in cosmetics in Japan, there is concern regarding tests on mammalian cells that show positive results for mutation, hence there is potential for this ingredient to act as a cancer-causing agent. 

Whilst this list is not extensive, there is plenty of research out there, sadly, I could write pages. 

When weighing up potential risks of chemical sunscreen ingredients against physical sunscreen ingredients that do not penetrate skin, such as zinc oxide & titanium dioxide, for me it's a no brainer, why take unnecessary risks with your health... go physical! 

Don’t forget to book your next skin check, 

x Lauren Kate 


Instagram @thefacialist_online

Babes, wear SPF 



With thanks to the following sources, 

 Australia, C. (2017). SunSmart - Cancer Council Australia. Retrieved 7 July 2017, from 

Burnett, M., & Wang, S. (2017). Current sunscreen controversies: a critical review. Retrieved 7 July 2017 

Janjua, N., Mogensen, B., Andersson, A., Petersen, J., Henriksen, M., Skakkebæk, N., & Wulf, H. (2004). Systemic Absorption of the Sunscreens Benzophenone-3, Octyl-Methoxycinnamate, and 3-(4-Methyl-Benzylidene) Camphor After Whole-Body Topical Application and Reproductive Hormone Levels in Humans. Journal Of Investigative Dermatology, 123(1), 57-61. 

Jiang, Roberts, Collins, & Benson. (2001). Absorption of sunscreens across human skin: an evaluation of commercial products for children and adults. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 48(4), 635-637. 

Kadry, A., Okereke, C., Abdel-Rahman, M., Friedman, M., & Davis, R. (1995). Pharmacokinetics of benzophenone-3 after oral exposure in male rats. Journal Of Applied Toxicology, 15(2), 97-102. 

Schlumpf, M., & Lichtensteiger, W. (2001). "In Vitro and in Vivo Estrogenicity of UV Screens": Response. Environmental Health Perspectives, 109(8), a359-a361. 

Skin cancer facts & stats - SunSmart. (2017). Skin cancer facts & stats - SunSmart. Retrieved 7 July 2017, from 

The Role Of Vitamin D & Vitamin D Deficiency | Cleveland Clinic. (2017). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved 7 July 2017, from 

UV radiation. (2017). World Health Organization. Retrieved 7 July 2017, from 

WHO | Health consequences of excessive solar UV radiation. (2017). Retrieved 7 July 2017, from 

  1. Permitted ingredients. (2017). Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Retrieved 2 August 2017, from

Can Increasing the Viscosity of Formulations be used to Reduce the Human Skin Penetration of the Sunscreen Oxybenzone? - ScienceDirect. (2017). Retrieved 2 August 2017, from 

CINOXATE || Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | EWG. (2017). Retrieved 2 August 2017, from 

Dunford, R., Salinaro, A., Cai, L., Serpone, N., Horikoshi, S., Hidaka, H., & Knowland, J. (1997). Chemical oxidation and DNA damage catalysed by inorganic sunscreen ingredients. FEBS Letters, 418(1-2), 87-90. 

GHK and DNA: Truth, Myths, and Science of Sun Health by Biochemist Dr. Loren Pickart - Power of Copper Peptides for DNA Repair | Beware of Toxic Sunscreens, and Chemical Sunscreens Increase Cancer. (2017). Retrieved 2 August 2017, from 

Hayden, C., Roberts, M., & Benson, H. (1997). Systemic absorption of sunscreen after topical application. The Lancet, 350(9081), 863-864. 

Sunscreens, E. (2017). EWG's 2017 Guide to Safer Sunscreens. Retrieved 2 August 2017, from 

N., & Kim, A. et al. (2017). Study Finds a Link between Sunscreen Ingredient and Endometriosis. Women's Health Research Institute. Retrieved 2 August 2017, from 

Yap, F., Chua, H., & Tait, C. (2017). Active sunscreen ingredients in Australia. Australasian Journal Of Dermatology.