I’m on something of a Lumixyl roll right now with the latest being the MoistureLock Sunscreen SPF30 ($58). Lumixyl’s sunscreen is based on a new and very interesting sun protection active, not surprisingly since they utilize a Stamford University developed a cutting edge skin lightening ingredient in the Topical Brightening Crème.  This sunscreen active, benzylidene dimethoxydimethylindanone is a mouthful that, thankfully, also goes by the name of SymHelios.

SymHelios specifically helps protect against UVB rays and the mechanism by which it does this is fascinating (at least to nerdy types like me). Lumixyl isn't the only skincare company to have tracked it down - you can also find it in products by DermaDoctor and Glymed.

UVB rays are toxic and cause long term skin damage because they cause an amino acid, tryptophan, to form a toxic substance. This toxin binds to a protein in our bodies called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) where it wreaks havoc by destroying collagen and  elastin, creating oxidative stress and potentially leading to skin cancers. Enter SymHelios. This binds to the AhR, preventing UVB radiation.

Now it must be understood that SymHelios is not a UV-filter and does not protect against sunburn to the skin. Consequently, it needs to be combined with a UV filter. Here, in Lumixyl’s sunscreen, it is paired with titanium dioxide.

At this point, I need to say that titanium dioxide, although much more desirable than a chemical sunscreen active, does have its issues. For a start, TD doesn’t just reflect rays, it also absorbs them. And this means that, like chemical sunscreens, TD is a photosensitizer. If it is absorbed by the skin, it can result in an increased production of free radicals. The Australian government, however, issued a report saying that TD isn’t readily absorbed by the skin. I should note that Lumixyl describes its titanium dioxide as micronized (unike nanoparticles, micronized are usually too large to be absorbed).

Lumixyl did not formulate MoistureLock Sunscreen to be chemical free (although apart from phenoxyethanol, pentylene glycol and silicones, there isn’t anything especially worrisome), but they did make a big effort to come up with a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a ghostly white sheen to the skin. Sunday commented that she did find it a bit too chalky, but my fair skin found that the cream disappeared with minimum rubbing in seconds. Followed with a slick of Osmotics Inner Light I’m good to go. Importantly, I have so far (about a week of use) had no breakouts or other reactions. Lumixyl MoistureLock can also be bought in the TIA shop  as part of the Lumixyl travel set.

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8.40%

Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water (Aqua/Eau), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Benzylidene Dimethoxydimethylindanone