This is a first for me. I have never before recommended a chemical sunscreen. Heck, I haven’t used a chemical sunscreen for years. Amarte Ultra Veil Sunscreen ($45) has changed the habits of a lifetime.
I must admit that I approached Amarte Ultra Veil Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF50 with some trepidation. I have frequently had allergic reactions to chemical sunscreens and am concerned by the safety profile of them on a much broader level, as they can increase the production of free radicals and cause cellular damage. But I decided to give Amarte Ultra Veil a go for two reasons: it uses chemical sunscreens that are far from the worst offenders, and the formula has plenty of antioxidants and even an epidermal growth factor to help counteract a potential free radical issue.
Amarte Ultra Veil Ultra Light Sunscreen has two chemical sunscreens. Octyl methoxycinnamate also goes by the name of octinoxate. Now, it should be noted that it can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity and certainly should not be used by pregnant women. Studies of percutaneous absorption indicate that 1 to 2% may be absorbed through the skin and most of the octyl methoxycinnamate appears to be trapped in the stratus corneum (skin surface) in adults. The other chemical active is octyl salicylate (also called octisalate) and, although it has been linked to contact dermititus, its safety record seems to be fairly good.
Additionally, there are two mineral sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These are also not without controversy, especially titanium dioxide. But they are generally not irritating to my sensitive skin, and they are in the sunscreens that I usually use.
Amarte Ultra Veil is one of the most cosmetically acceptable sunscreens I have used, meaning that there is no residue, chalkiness, greasiness and it plays nice with makeup. This is no doubt due to the high proportion of silicones.
They are outweighed though by the many good antioxidants and skin repairers. A sunscreen with epidermal growth factor is another first for me. EGF results in the stimulation of wound healing, and collagen production by EGF is due to increased fibroblast proliferation. Among the antioxidants there is ginkgo biloba, which is anti-inflammatory and a collagen builder, and a type of mushroom that is believed by researchers to be an anti-cancer agent. Potentilla extract is supposed to improve the synthesis of collagen Vll (according to a patent). Plus there is rooibos (known as red tea, although it is a pea).
I feel a fleeting tingle when I first apply Amarte Ultra Veil Ultra Light Sunscreen, but otherwise no adverse reactions. The spring sunshine of New York hasn’t done much to put the SPF50 through its paces, but so far so good. I certainly like the idea of a sunscreen that has so many antioxidants, and I’ll be continuing to use Amarte through the summer.