A Message From Our Founder
RAW ELEMENTS USA all natural sunscreen was developed because Skin Cancer is an epidemic. I have spent 17 years as an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard and during this time I have come to realize the damaging effects of environmental exposure and chemical sunscreens. This really came to a head one day around my 30th birthday when I decided to have a UV photo damage scan done one my face. The image that appeared on the screen absolutely horrified me. I began to do extensive research on sunscreens and was astounded at what I learned about skin cancer, false label claims, chemical effects and so on. To be quiet honest, I felt foolish that I had never taken the time after all these years to learn what I was putting in my body and into the environment. This discovery turned into a passion and I decided it was my time to make a difference.
I don’t want Skin Cancer, I don’t want my friends and family to end up with Skin Cancer. I set out to develop the best sunscreen in the world, all natural, certified organic ingredients that is free of the chemicals and able to provide physical, broad spectrum protection . I am committed to spreading education and awareness toward Skin Cancer prevention and a responsible approach toward sun protection. This is WHY I developed RAW ELEMENTS USA Sunscreen.
Brian Guadagno – Founder, Raw Elements USA
Ocean Lifeguard Captain
All Natural Sunscreen Achieves Highest Rating
EWG Gives Zinc Oxide & Organic Sunscreen Ingredients #1 Rating
Raw Elements USA is pleased to announce that it has received the highest Environmental Working Group sunscreen rating possible. Raw Elements USA sunscreen manufacturers an all-natural organic base sunscreen with zinc oxide that protects your skin and is extremely water resistant even in the most harsh elements. Despite the increased use of chemical sunscreens, skin damage and skin cancer are at epidemic levels. When using sunscreen, it is imperative that you apply a sunscreen properly to actually protect your skin. Raw Elements USA all-natural, zinc oxide and organic sunscreen ingredients provide maximum protection from sun without chemicals. Our natural sunscreens have an organic base and are child safe, reef safe and biodegradable.
The Truth about Tans, Sunburns, & the New FDA Regulations on Sunscreens.
By: Brian Guadagno – Raw Elements Sunscreen CEO & Journalist Theodore Schneider
What is a Tan?
Before one goes out to catch some rays, it is important to understand what a tan is. Not all tans are the same, and proper knowledge of what a tan really is will help you understand why you get sunburned. Tanning is the skins way of protecting itself from Ultra Violet rays. Additionally, different skin types have different levels of tolerance to sun exposure. The ability of protection is determined by how much pigment (called melanin) your skin can make and how quickly the skin produces it. Melanin is contained in small granules that form and are contained in your skin cells. The pigment produced provides you with the familiar tan color. The creation of melanin does offer a minute benefit of sun protection. Melanin granules are spread out over the top of the living skin layers where the skin has been exposed to UV rays. It is important to understand that even generous layers of Melanin pigments in your skin offer very little protection from the sun and take quite some time to build up.
What is Sunburn?
Sunburn is a normal reaction to overexposure to UV rays by our skin. It is the skin’s way of warning us of the cascade of events that begin with prolonged exposure to UV rays. Again, it is important to understand what kind of skin you have and the tolerance levels that come with your skin. Sunburns are caused by both UVA and UVB rays. However UVB rays are the major perpetrator of the painful effects of extreme sun exposure.
UVB and UVA Rays’ Role in Sunburn.
The intensity of UVB rays varies throughout the year and in accordance to where you are located in the world. It is important to know when UVB rays are at their strongest according to your location. UVB rays are strongest during the middle of the day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. One common fact about UVB rays is that they reflect off materials such as sand, snow and penetrate water. The reflection of UVB rays produces extremely intense radiation and causes rapid burning. UVA rays do not vary like UVB rays. UVA rays radiate down to earth all day, every day, no matter where you are in the world. UVA rays are the most common, but do not produce most sunburns. UVA rays penetrate into deeper levels of the skin, causing longer term damage that may not be noticeable for years. UVB rays provide the initial redness to your skin. When one notices this process starting, it is important to get out of the sun before the UVA rays burn you as well. There are NO benefits for your skin in the event of sunburn! When the skin is red and inflamed, it is weak, painful, and requires special care. After sunburn the skin heals but is forever damaged. The more frequently one sunburns, the more damage that ensues. Some of the everlasting effects of sunburns include: permanent sunburn freckles, skin thinning, skin cancer and in the worst case; melanoma. Sunburns are not a way to get a tan and should be avoided at all costs.
Understanding the new FDA Guidelines on Sunscreen
New sunscreen regulations were supposed to start in June, 2012 though the new FDA has just pushed these guidelines forward to year’s end 2012. These new rules only affect the labeling and the testing of sunscreens. This ruling is the first on sunscreen since 1978, and should offer some clarity to the world of sunscreen. The new regulations, however, should ground many claims made by companies, which will allow consumers to make a more educated choice when determining which Broad Spectrum sunscreen is best for them.
A Proposed SPF Cap of 50+.
Previously, companies could claim that their brand of sunscreen provided protection up to 100 SPF. Now the FDA is proposing this will be capped at “SPF 50+.” The problem with sunscreens that are rated above SPF 50 is that they give the consumers a false sense of security; they feel the higher SPF number means they do not need to reapply as often, or that they do not need to apply as much. Another interesting point is that there is no clinical data on how much longer these products last. The FDA is leaving nothing to chance as consumers will be directed to reapply every two hours. It is still unclear when this may actually go into effect, as the FDA is still taking comments here.
Broad Spectrum Labeling
This change will clear up what the term “Broad Spectrum” actually means. In the past the SPF number only included the UVB protection index. Starting in June, the SPF will also have relevance toward UVA1 and UVA2 protection. The rating will be proportional for both UVA and UVB rays. This means that if a product claims to provide “Broad Spectrum Protection,” the SPF will indicate the relative protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Currently there are 18 FDA approved active ingredients in sunscreen that provide protection from the sun. These ingredients generally offer adequate UVB protection, but there are only four that offer UVA protection: Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Of these four, only Zinc Oxide can physically block the entire range of UVA and UVB rays. Look for Zinc Oxide sunscreen levels to be over 18% on the back label for proper protection.
Clarity to the term Water Resistant.
Now sunscreens will clearly state on the label weather the product is rated for forty or eighty minutes when exposed to moisture. Manufacturers now cannot claim that sunscreens are “water proof” or “sweat proof.” Claims such as these overstate their effectiveness, thus giving the consumer a false sense of security that they do not need to reapply sunscreen after prolonged periods of exposure to moisture. In order to be branded as either a forty or eighty minute water resistant sunscreen, the product must provide the same SPF after water submersion as is provided when originally applied. It is recommended that reapplication of the product after swimming and toweling off because when swimming or exercising you are always actively moving.
Back Label changes
There is a saying that “knowledge is power.” The new FDA regulations on sunscreen have aimed to educate the consumer to increase the understanding of the risks of excessive sun exposure. Now “drug fact” labels on the back of all sunscreen products will include warnings similar to those found on tobacco or liquor products. Warnings will include reminders to reapply every two hours. Products that are rated as water resistant will have reminders to reapply after forty or eighty minutes. Non-water resistant products will have reminders to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating. Sunscreen alone is not the only defense. The FDA now makes it clear on the back of the label that sunscreens cannot provide adequate protection from lengthy exposures to the sun. “Broad Spectrum” sunscreens will mention regular use ‘diminishes risk of skin cancer’. Other warnings will state that sunscreens break down when they are exposed to excessive heat and that proper care must be taken to ensure that the products integrity is maintained.
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