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What are Nano-Particles and What do They do in Sunscreen?

It's official! Summer's here and it's time to pull out the family beach kit to enjoy some fun in the sun. But before you reach for your "go to" family-sized sunscreen brand and lather yourself with its contents, you might want to check a few things first.

What is actually in your favorite sunscreen? A hot topic these days is nano-particles. What is a nano particle?  Nano particles can be found in the “active ingredients” of a mineral sunscreen, that protect us from burning; some examples are zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide to be specific. But why should you care? For the past few years there has been a huge controversy over the safety of these zinc and titanium nano-particles in sunscreens and the possible damaging effects that they may cause to the skin of young kids and adults alike. What are Nano-particles? Nano-particles are extremely small and can be found in some brands of mineral sunscreens (a natural sunscreen is typically made with zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide). Nanometers are one billionth of a meter. In order to be qualified as a nano, each particle must be less than 100 nanometers (that's hundreds of times smaller than the human skin cell!). What’s the deal with nano? The controversy around nano-particles is that, with their extremely small size, there is nothing to prevent these potentially damaging particles in your favorite sunscreen, from passing through your children's skin and their bloodstream. Some studies indicate that the small size could allow these nano-particles to enter places in the body not accessible by bigger molecules and may damage cells in the process. Other scientists have studied the risks and have denied these claims, stating that the levels of nano-materials detected in the bloodstream are too low to cause any harm (californiawatch.org). While nano particles may pass through your skin and into your bloodstream, the zinc and titanium micron sized particles in TruKid sunscreen, due to their larger size, sit on top of your skin, are less likely to cause skin irritation, and they act as a physical barrier to reflect off the harmful UV rays the minute that it is applied. Meaning, you can apply our sunscreen and immediately go into the sun. With chemical sunscreens, you must wait 15 minutes after application for them to be effective. Red-TriCycle-Winner-2013TruKid provides safe, nano-free sunscreen In order to completely avoid this nano controversy, TruKid has created a safe, family-friendly, award-winning, non-nano sunscreen. Instead of nano-sized particles, we use micron-sized particles (specifically 200 nanometer sized particles) which are one millionth of a meter and are 1000 times bigger than nano-particles. To understand this size difference, picture that a nano-particle is the size of a grain of sand while a micron sized particle is as large as a boulder. Enjoy the sun safely So, as you go to your favorite spot this summer, whether it be the beach, the park, the pool, or even just in your backyard, make sure that you're protected from the sun's UV rays with a sunscreen that protects your skin safely. Enjoy the time with your family outside and let us know below in a comment what you plan to do with your family this summer! NOTE: If you're not sure whether or not your trusted sunscreen contains these nano-particles, we encourage you to contact the manufacturer directly to understand the ingredients and formula of the sunscreen brand and the health risks that these may cause. (http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/nanoparticles-sunscreen-may-be-unsafe-scientists-say-11962) http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/cells/scale/  
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