Please view my answers in blue.
Eva, what do you think of this sunscreen: Mexitan SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion.
* 6% Titanium Dioxide (Micronized) "T-Lite"
* 22.5% Zinc Oxide (Micronized) "Z-Cote"
OTHER NATURAL INGREDIENTS
* Deionized Water
* Sunflower Oil
* Lecithin (Soy-based)
* Coconut Oil
* Xanthan Gum
* Green Tea Extract
* Jojoba Oil
* Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
* Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
* Shea Butter
* Eucalyptus Oil
It seems to be a bit oily to me.
On the web site it says: " The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide used in Mexitan is micronized, with a coated variable particle size of 100-200nm
. (Nanoparticles are less than 100nm in size). This allows our sunscreen lotions to be more cosmetically appealing compared to coarser particles. The protection is less visible, yet remains on the skin's surface."
T-Lite and Z-Cote are trademarks of BASF. I use them myself. Most likely in this sunscreen the coated version is used that is especially made for use in sunscreens where Carbomer or Xanthan Gum is used.
Will these particle sizes (Z-Cote and T-Lite) give me adequate protection from UVA? The sunscreen is non-greasy, which is the most important thing for me? On the whiteness issue, it is slightly white, but I understand that this is necessary for UVA.
Well, TiO2 (T-Lite) will protect you up to 330nm and ZnO in Z-Cote around 370-375nm.
The good side of Z-Cote is that it is very little visible however I would always recommend using it together with ZnO of bigger particle size in the same formulation to give better UVA protection. (But then it is more visible on the skin as well).
However, this sunscreen is superior to many sunscreens on the market nevertheless. It is inherently photostable and suitable for sensitive skin.
Also, is it acceptable to put a witchhazel/aloe toner on underneath sunscreen during the day?
I have read some information about aloe veras oxidizing abilities in the presence of UV light. Which hazel (even though it is widely used as an anti-acne agent) is a skin sensitizer.
So I am not so sure it is the right thing to put on before sunexposure.
I have acne issues and clogged pores (I know that this sunscreen has coconut oil, but it is the least greasy I could find). Other acne agents like tretinoin and exfoliators over-sensitize my already sunburn prone skin. Even with fantastic sunscreen there are gaps in protection (summer is coming and I am a 17 year old guy). Are there any other acne agents available that would not sensitize my very white transparent skin?
Yes, 20% Azaleic Acid (Skinoren in EU). It is a strong anti-oxidant as well.
One more question, I never used to burn as easily as I do now. But my skin has experienced a lot of abuse over the years due to anti-acne agents. Oral antibiotics, oral anti-inflammatories, tretinoin, gobs of oxidative stress- causing benzoil peroxide over new sunburns, some of these all at the same time and none of them with any sunscreen protection. Last summer, after having used tretinoin, I burned very badly so that I had scabs on my face. Instead of recovering I ended up lying on the beach some more and put benzoil peroxide on at night. I blame this on the dermatologists who did not inform me of the dangers of the sun and the interaction of acne medicines. Since then I have been good about using sunscreen all the time now and the health of my skin is slowly starting to return, ie. the skin is not so cold (even indoors) anymore and the texture is starting to return.
It is really sad that dermatologists did not inform you about the crucial importance of sunprotection when using so strong topicals. Am really sorry for your bad experience in the sun.
The good news is that our skin CAN heal over time when it is let be in peace and well protected against UVR. You are very young so it should not be a problem to recover fully over some years. However I would recommend the usage of a sunscreen daily and avoidance of unnecessary sun exposure.
The one issue remains is that I seem to burn much more easily than I used to. Could there be a connection between these past abuses and my current propensity to sunburn?
I don't think I am the right person to answer this question but the probability that there is a connection seems reasonable to me.
I wish you all the best! And keep up the good habit of using sunscreens.