Ep 82 - The Rogue Pharmacist : Our Love Hate Relationship with the Sun

woman sunbathing at the bean and applying SPF to her arm

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) presents The Rogue Pharmacist with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph. This podcast takes an enlightening approach to supporting licensed estheticians in their pursuit to achieve results-driven skin care treatments for their clients. You can always count on us to share professional skin care education, innovative techniques, and the latest in skin science.

For more great information like that shared in this podcast, check out this blog post brought to you by Associated Skin Care Professionals: Wearing Sunscreen Daily. Still hungry for more? Read about Sunscreen and SPF in ASCP Skin Deep magazine.


About Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph.:

Benjamin Knight Fuchs is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist, and skin care chemist with 35 years of experience developing pharmacy-potent skin health products for estheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Ben’s expert advice gives licensed estheticians the education and skin science to better support the skin care services performed in the treatment room while sharing insights to enhance clients’ at-home skin care routines.

Connect with Benjamin Knight Fuchs, R.Ph.:

Website: www.brightsideben.com

Phone: 844-236-6010

Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-Bright-Side-with-Pharmacist-Ben-Fuchs-101162801334696/


About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.

Connect with ASCP:

Website: www.ascpskincare.com

Email: getconnected@ascpskincare.com

Phone: 800-789-0411

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ASCPskincare

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ascpskincare






0:00:04.1 Tracy Donley: Welcome, everybody to ASCP and the rogue pharmacist Benjamin Knight Fuchs. In each episode, we will explore how ingredients chemicals in the environment can have a positive and negative effect on the skin. I am Tracy Donley, Executive Director of ASCP, and joining me today and co-hosting is Maggie Staszcuk, our very own education specialist. Hey, Maggie. 


0:00:28.6 Maggie Staszcuk: Hey, Tracy. 


0:00:29.8 TD: So question for you. Are you a sun worshipper or a total recluse when it comes to the sun. 


0:00:36.8 MS: You know, I am addicted to my SPF, but I also like to partake in a little sun damage as well, you know... 


0:00:44.1 TD: Oh no. 


0:00:44.4 MS: Intentional sun damage, I like to say, bring it off later. 


0:00:47.5 TD: I hear you. I love it too. So on that note, guys, we are going to be discussing today our love and hate relationship with the sun and welcome, Ben, how are you?  


0:01:00.2 Ben: Hey, Tracy. Hey, Maggie Nice to see you guys. 


0:01:01.5 TD: Hey, so this topic can be a little polarizing, see what I did there?  


0:01:07.2 Ben: That's very good. Very clever. 


0:01:09.8 MS: That's totally right. 


0:01:09.8 TD: So let's just get right into it. 


0:01:11.8 Ben: Yeah, I gotta take issue with you guys... 


0:01:14.7 TD: Oh no, okay. 


0:01:15.9 Ben: Yes. I love Mr. Sun. 


0:01:17.6 TD: I do, too. 


0:01:18.2 Ben: Yes. You know what? The sun is not... We've come to be terrified of the sun, we demonize the Sun, we vilify the sun, but guess what, every time you eat food, you're eating the sun. The reason why we eat is to get the sun's energy, everything we do is to get the sun's... Every way that we interact with our environment to get fed and nourished is really to get fed and nourished from the sun. 


0:01:41.3 TD: That's interesting. 


0:01:42.5 Ben: The power of food is in the electrical energy in the food, and the electrical energy in the food is a direct result of photons from the sun, and not only that, by the way, not only is all food powerful to the extent that it has sun energy in it, this is why processed food is so problematic, by the way, now we have ultra processed food, but check this out, that chair there, that table here, these headphones, this microphone, this glass, this pop, everything, it's the sun in the sense that without light you wouldn't know it exist, this whole thing is a light show, all of reality is the most intense, dramatic, psychedelic, exciting light show you could ever imagine and the light all comes from the sun. 


0:02:25.4 Ben: So not only is all the food we eat and the energy of all the food we eat come from the Sun, life itself, reality itself, our three-dimensional world we live in is a direct result of the sun. And this is why ancient people would tell you... If you've seen ancient people. [chuckle] They would tell you that the Sun is God. We wanna really honor the Sun, it is giving us life, everything we do, everything we interact with it, makes us alive, comes from the Sun, so when I... And I'm teasing, you guys a little bit 'cause you said with love-hate relationship, but really our culture does have a love-hate relationship with the Sun, we think the Sun is what gives us skin cancer. 


0:03:03.5 TD: Right. I mean people shunned us, I was just at the park yesterday and we were talking about... 


0:03:08.6 Ben: The sun gives you skin cancer. 


0:03:09.7 TD: The sun. Right. Yeah. 


0:03:10.1 Ben: They think the Sun gives you melasma. 


0:03:12.0 TD: Right. 


0:03:12.5 Ben: The sun is an activator, it's high energy. So melasma is the end result of our inability to handle energy, it's not the sun's fault, or skin cancer is the end result of things that cause cancer, not the sun, don't blame the sun. The sun is just high energy, so it triggers things like cancer, triggers things like melasma, it triggers cold sores but it doesn't cause them. None of those things can happen unless the body is destabilized, and again, we have this idea that health comes from outside of us, and so my main message and everything I do from the nutrition that I talk about to the skin care that I formulate to the inspirational stuff that I do is about being our own authority, handling our own business, don't blame the sun, blame your diet, blame your lack of nutrition, blame your stress levels, blame all the things that are in your life that make your body destabilized, that when the energy, neutral energy, just energy. There's no bad energy, good energy, there just energy. 


0:04:14.5 Ben: When that energy hits the body, your body can handle that energy, so our job is not to blame the sun, but our job is to protect ourselves and take care of ourselves, and the classic example by the way, is SPF, the classic example is topical sun protection, guess what, you know what the best topical sun protection is? Making sure you're eating oranges and cantaloupes, making sure you're getting enough Vitamin C, making sure that you're eating enough seeds and nuts so you're getting enough Vitamin E, making sure you're eating enough essential fatty acids, making sure you're staying away from bad fats, processed fats, in other words, taking care of our own business, being our own authority. 


0:04:52.1 TD: I don't think enough aestheticians or just people in general, really know that, and that can be something that as an aesthetician, you can be reminding your clients, you're not prescribing anything or telling them that to take a vitamin, you're telling them to ingest these good foods. 


0:05:09.4 Ben: You'll save your client's life, you can prevent your client from getting diabetes, you can prevent your client from getting cancer, you can prevent your client from getting heart disease when you tell them to take vitamin C for their skin. 


0:05:20.0 MS: Let me ask you something, Ben, so you're saying if I am as healthy as I could possibly be, taking in all of these nutrients, my cells only produce so many melanocytes. If I'm in the sun 24/7, I'm not using sun protection, am I not going to burn?  


0:05:35.3 Ben: No. Well, that's obviously not true. That's not the case. No. 


0:05:37.6 TD: Oh see, Maggie's always throwing up a wrench into things. 


0:05:40.0 Ben: No no that's not the case. That's not the case. Remember the Sun is high energy. The body doesn't want straight energy, it wants energy, and then no energy, it wants stress and then rest. Stress is not the problem, and the Sun is a stressor, stress is not the problem. In fact, evolution has set up a situation, we get better with stress, but that doesn't mean you wanna be stressed straight through, that means you have to balance that stress with rest so your body can recover because your body doesn't get better... Bigger and better and stronger under conditions of stress, it gets bigger and better and stronger under conditions of rest. 


0:06:13.5 TD: It's like when you're trying to build your bicep, you're gonna... 


0:06:16.0 Ben: Take days off. 


0:06:16.4 TD: Take a day off in between of working it out. 


0:06:16.9 Ben: Exactly, in fact one of the biggest mistakes people make when they start a workout program is they over-train, in fact, even some athletes over-train, your body doesn't grow when it's under duress, but like I said, the Sun triggers and the Sun activates, your body needs the activation and then it grows when you're sitting on the couch watching TV, or when you're sleeping at night, or when you're giving the body a chance to rest so that it can direct its energy to growing tissue or to making the skin stronger or more robust, so I know you're teasing a little bit with your question, but it's a good question because people say, "Oh, can I stay out in the Sun, I don't need to wear an SPF, etcetera," by the way, SPFs are toxic chemicals, let's be very clear about that right now, and that stuff that came out just a couple days ago, with Johnson & Johnson also, if you ask... That's not a surprise to me, okay? Because those are toxic chemicals. In fact, Hawaii banned sunscreens on the beach because it was killing the corals. That's not a surprise to me, because in my pharmacy when I had to fill... I used to have to fill prescriptions for sunscreens, and by the way, sunscreen is not a sunblock, it's a very important distinction. We've talked about that. 


0:07:16.0 TD: Yeah. 


0:07:16.2 Ben: When I used to have to fill prescriptions for sunscreens, they would have a skull and crossbones on them. 


0:07:20.6 TD: When you told me that before, that was what... I was like, "We need to really drive this home," I've been telling everybody that story. 


0:07:27.0 Ben: Yes, yes. They're regulated as drugs. 


0:07:28.7 TD: It's crazy. 


0:07:29.4 Ben: That's exactly right. And if you were to, God forbid, drink one? Drink one of those sunscreens, you'd either die or have to have your stomach pumped. 


0:07:35.4 TD: So the more you're putting it on... 


0:07:36.7 Ben: Hello. 


0:07:37.2 TD: The more toxic. 


0:07:38.6 Ben: Hello. They'll even tell you not to put it on your baby. They'll tell you never use a sunscreen on a baby cause baby's skin is very thin. It goes right into the blood and not only that, but these toxic chemicals which are very effective transdermal penetrants... Remember we talked about earlier about things that act as percutaneous or transdermal absorption aids?  


0:07:54.3 TD: Right. Yup. 


0:07:54.5 Ben: A sunscreen is a percutaneous absorption aid, so it pulls your preservatives in. It pulls your fragrances in. It pulls all the other stuff in from your skincare product. 


0:08:03.2 TD: Into your body. 


0:08:04.5 Ben: Into your body. Yes, ma'am. And not only that, but it itself is toxic, cytotoxic. And I'm not being rhetorical or metaphorical or poetic. I'm telling you that remember how we honored the cell moments ago, we were talking about how wonderful the cell was in the last Podcast?  


0:08:20.9 TD: First episode. Yeah. 


0:08:21.7 Ben: First episode. Right? If you put a sunscreen on that cell, what do you think is gonna happen to the cell? It's going to die as in death. 


0:08:29.9 TD: Okay. That just says it right there, right?  


0:08:31.2 Ben: Yes. And that's why any healthcare professional, you should be very careful before they tell somebody to wear a sunscreen. Remember I said there's a distinction now between a sunscreen and a sunblock. But back to Maggie's point, you don't wanna burn. Burning is not good. Okay, burning is never good and burning is never appropriate. A tan protects you from a burn. This is the way evolution designed you to be protected from the sun, is by darkening and melanin acts as a screening agent, as a sun-screening agent so a tan is protection, but if you don't wanna burn, if you don't have a tan and you're not gonna burn... And you're gonna burn if you're out in the sun, wear whatever you have to wear. Get your SPF on, but get an SPF that's as low as possible, and we'll talk about SPF here in a second if you like, wear an SPF that's as low as possible. If you need more, re-apply and as soon as you get home or out of the sun, get that stuff off of your skin as soon as possible. And stay away from products like eye creams and lotions that force you to interact with these chemicals, even if you're not out in the sun. 


0:09:35.0 TD: Okay, so I have a question, we have to back up just a little bit here, so small doses of getting your skin tan, because I think in some ways out there, there's a lot of people who are like, "Well, the whiter my skin is, the better it is. Oh, the whiter that my skin... " So Really, in a sense, they're not... If you had the capability to just expose your skin to sun and get a slight tan, just like, let's say you're working out, you're slowly ripping those muscles, but not to the point that they're being destroyed. That's better for you?  


0:10:09.1 Ben: Yeah, cause you don't wanna... You don't wanna over-expose the skin. But the best way to get a tan, if you wanna work on it, is get a base tan, is to go out in the sun for, like you say, for a little bit and then go out in the sun for a little bit longer and build on top of that tan rather than lay out in the sun and bake and that... 


0:10:23.0 TD: Like we did in the '80s. 


0:10:24.4 Ben: Like we did in the '80s, right. 


0:10:25.4 TD: That's right. Yeah. 


0:10:25.8 Ben: But again, keep in mind, skin that doesn't have nutrients is going to burn more readily. And here's another very... Here's a little trick for you, remember we were talking about bio-hacks here, eye vitamins, they have things like Ocuvite and the Vision Fx, there's various eye vitamins you get to protect your eyes. 


0:10:44.1 TD: Right. 


0:10:44.2 Ben: Those eye vitamins have nutrients in them that protect your eyes from the sun. Well, guess what? Those same nutrients that will protect your eyes from your sun will protect your skin from the sun too. So if you want a quick hack, go get Ocuvite or some eye vitamin or... 


0:11:00.1 TD: Buying it today. 


0:11:00.2 Ben: Get it off the internet. Right?  


0:11:00.7 TD: Yeah. I am. 


0:11:00.9 Ben: Right? And start taking big doses of it. 


0:11:01.5 TD: Hello, Amazon. 


0:11:02.0 Ben: There's key nutrients that are important for the sun and they're also important for the eyes, N-acetylcysteine, vitamin C, taurine, and most importantly, pigments. The greens and the blues and the yellows, all those beautiful colors. Why did God make all these beautiful colors? He could have made everything black and white, He could have made everything grey, but there's all these beautiful pigments. Well, guess what? Pigments absorb photonic energy and then release it, and that's what we see as red, and that's what we see as green, that's what we see as yellow. What they're really doing is they act as sun absorption aids. And when you eat those pigments, when you eat the reds and the oranges and the greens and the blues, they go into your digestive system, into your intestine, into your blood and into your skin and they're so much so that there's actually a tanning ingredient called beta-carotene... 


0:11:47.9 TD: Right. 


0:11:48.0 Ben: Which you can eat and you can make your skin orange. Make your skin... Yeah, what does that tell you? You're eating the pigment, it goes into your bloodstream, it gets deposited in your skin. The way nature and God and the Divine force intended us to be protected from the sun was not by slathering octyl methoxycinnamate on our skin or octylcrylene on our skin or oxybenzone or parasol. It's by eating veggies. It's by making sure... 


0:12:09.3 TD: And that's why they're beautiful. They're the spectrum, so they're meant to entice you, right?  


0:12:14.1 Ben: Yes, yes but here's a problem, the pigments in veggies are very hard for the body to process. They're fatty and they're sticky, and as we age, especially women, we don't absorb our fats as effectively. And when you don't absorb your fats, you're not gonna absorb, not only the pigments, but also the fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E in particular, that are important for the skin so what you wanna do, especially as we get older and we wanna take care of our skin is eat lots of coloured veggies. 


0:12:41.1 TD: Okay. 


0:12:41.1 Ben: But braise them or steam them in butter so that you release the pigments out of the broccoli and out of the squash and out of the various things that you're ingesting. Mix them with a little butter, a little coconut oil, or some kind of fat, and steam them, and that will allow these nutrients to be released. Or use juices. Make veggie juices. Veggie juices are the best sun protection beverage you can ever enjoy. 


0:13:05.4 TD: I wanna get behind them so badly, but they're hard to make. 


0:13:08.1 Ben: No, get a Vitamix. 


0:13:09.2 TD: Really?  


0:13:09.3 Ben: They're easy. Don't get a juicer. Juicers are a pain. You know what?  


0:13:13.5 TD: Yeah, it's so much waste. 


0:13:14.3 Ben: Yeah, you don't want a juicer. Get a Vitamix. In fact, you should have one here. 


0:13:18.0 TD: Alright, I'm surprised we don't. 


0:13:19.8 Ben: You should get one here. You got that beautiful kitchen?  


0:13:21.3 TD: Yeah. 


0:13:22.3 Ben: Get a Vitamix. It cost about 400 bucks. It is the best help tool you'll ever buy, nothing better. And you make... Every day make carrots, and beets, and broccoli, and kale, and spinach, and onions, and salt in there also, a little cayenne. Cayenne is awesome. 


0:13:37.4 TD: But what kind of salt? 'Cause you told me that... Yes. Celtic sea salt. 


0:13:39.6 Ben: Celtic sea salt. Celtic sea salt, not Morton's. You can do Himalayan salt. 


0:13:42.9 TD: Okay. 


0:13:43.3 Ben: And there's a few kind of gourmet salts that are full spectrum. You want a salt that has all of these wonderful elements in them, and then mix it in with your veggie juice, and if you want to, add just a little hint to coconut oil in there to release everything and make it easier for your body to absorb those pigments and those fatty nutrients. Not only do we get the pigments, but you also get the fiber, and you'll also get an unbelievable amount of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fatty... Not so much fatty acids, although interestingly green leafy vegetables are good sources of fatty acids. 


0:14:14.1 TD: Oh, I had no idea. 


0:14:15.1 Ben: Yeah, grass. The biggest animals in the world eat green leafy vegetables. 


0:14:18.7 TD: That makes sense, yeah. 


0:14:19.9 Ben: Grass, essential. 


0:14:20.6 MS: So we're talking a little bit about Fitzpatrick here without really saying it. For those people who don't burn, I'm sorry, who don't tan or can't tan as kind of like an evolutionary thing, right? Their ancestors were living up at the Poles. There's no sun so their skin is very white. The concept to say, "Take in your nutrients, taken in pigments and you'll be protected by the sun." Is that truth?  


0:14:45.9 Ben: Is that enough?  


0:14:47.6 MS: Yeah. 


0:14:48.0 Ben: Well, that's where sunblocks come in. Alright, so there's a distinction between a sunscreen and a sunblock. Sunscreens are the vast... The vast majority of products are sunscreen... Of sun protection products are sunscreens, right?  


0:15:00.5 TD: So like the ones that you go to Target. 


0:15:01.7 Ben: Walgreens and Target, oh yeah. The vast majority, if you're on a cruise and you have sun protection, it's gonna be a sunscreen. If you go on a golf course, you're playing tennis and you're in the country club, you go to the gift shop, they're gonna have a sunscreen. Okay, why is that? Because sunscreens are very cheap. They're basically industrial waste products. Sunscreen is basically an industrial waste product. 


0:15:19.4 TD: Think about that every time you spray that on people. 


0:15:21.7 Ben: Right. It's a by-product of processing of oil, processing of fossil fuels, like a lot of our materials are. So it's cheap. Not only that, but sunscreens are very easy to formulate with. You can take any cream you want, just dump in a sunscreen for the most part, you might have to tweak it a little bit. For the most part, you just mix the two together, they go right in. They're cheap, they're easy to formulate with, and nobody knows the difference. You guys do. Maybe you didn't even know. 


0:15:49.1 TD: Well, yeah. I know now, yeah. [chuckle] 


0:15:50.6 Ben: Most people don't know the difference, even physicians, and a lot of skin care professionals never make that distinction, although I have to say that's changing. 


0:15:58.8 TD: Sometimes I feel you could tell in the way that it goes on, right?  


0:16:03.4 Ben: Well, that's an interesting point. We'll talk about that here in a second. 


0:16:06.2 TD: Okay. Okay. I'm jumping ahead. 


0:16:07.1 Ben: So sunscreens, like you said... Like I said earlier, using as low an SPF is possible, by the way, SPF is not a measurement of strength, people think it's, "Oh, higher SPF, higher... It's stronger." No, it's a measurement of time. How much time you can stay out in the sun without burning. So an SPF of six is not stronger than an SPF of 15, it's just... It doesn't last as long as an SPF of 15. So use a low SPF and re-apply rather than forcing your skin to confront a huge amount of chemicals. The more higher the SPF, the more chemicals you're confronting. And by the way, an SPF of 50 and SP of 60 for most people means they can stay in the sun for 24 hours. That doesn't help. Who's out in the sun for 24 hours? But now you pounded all that chemical on your skin. So if you have to wear an SPF, wear an SPF, get it off your skin. 


0:16:54.7 Ben: But much better, use a sunblock, and there's two major sunblocks. There's two sunblocks actually. One is called titanium dioxide, another sunblock is called zinc oxide. Now, these sunblocks are much more difficult to formulate with. They're very difficult to formulate with. Not just much more difficult than a sunscreen, which is basically just added to the formulation. A sun block is a freaking nightmare to formulate with because you have to spread that mineral... Titanium's a mineral, zinc's a mineral, and these are called mineral sunblocks, and your formulation has to spread that mineral. Go out there and grab a couple of rocks and see how well they spread on your skin. 


0:17:33.5 Ben: It is an art form, and it's very difficult to create these kinds of products. They're way more expensive, they're not waste products. They actually have to be made intentionally, and they don't mix in well with other chemicals because they are a rock basically. So they have to spread, they're expensive, they're hard to formulate with, they destabilize formulations. Skin care companies, they don't really... If nobody knows the difference one just might as well sell you as a sunscreen, but there are now and there were... They started maybe in the early 1990s, sunblocks started to come out and there are now more and more sunblock ingredients. Titanium dioxide is okay, but zinc oxide is awesome. Why? Because zinc oxide not only blocks the sun, but it heals the skin. So you can use a zinc... Remember, we talked about healing. Well, you can use a zinc oxide sunblocks to heal your baby's diaper rash, to heal burns, to heal abrasions and cuts. Now, the formulation has to be kind and gentle, it's not just the zinc oxide, when you buy a product, you're getting an entire formulation, and unfortunately, most formulations are not kind and gentle, so it's not as easy as, "I'm just gonna put my zinc oxide product on my baby's diaper rash," but theoretically, the zinc oxide itself is a healing agent, in addition to being a blocking agent. Now these days, there are companies because zinc oxide's expensive, they'll... And they know now the mineral sunblocks... 


0:18:56.1 TD: Is a buzzword. 


0:18:56.9 Ben: This is kind of a very nasty business we're in, you guys, [laughter] so they'll take advantage and what they'll do is they'll make products that are zinc oxide, with a little bit of zinc oxide and a whole bunch of sunscreen chemical. 


0:19:10.5 TD: So how would you... How can you discern that?  


0:19:12.3 Ben: Good question. Yeah, that's a very good question. Okay, so sunblocks and sunscreens, sun protection products are regulated as drugs, okay? And the labeling on a drug, an over-the-counter drug, and OTC drug is different from the labeling on a non-drug, and if you look at the labeling on a drug, you'll always see active ingredients and then you'll see inactive ingredients. Ordinary products, they just have all the ingredients together, but a topical or a product that's regulated as a drug, be at a burn cream, or hemorrhoid cream, or an eczema cream, or an inhaler, or a sun protection product is gonna say... They'll be a box on the ingredients and I encourage everybody to be ingredient deck readers by the way. We all wanna be. 


0:19:51.0 TD: Well, I think our audience is but, keep on, keeping on. 


0:19:54.2 Ben: You wanna know your ingredients. Absolutely. So there'll be a little box and it'll say active ingredients, and you wanna look for one that says zinc oxide as the active ingredient. You don't wanna see zinc oxide, octyl methoxycinnamate, octylcrylene, octyl salicylate, all the... Homosalate. 


0:20:11.6 TD: So you wanna just see the zinc oxide?  


0:20:13.5 Ben: Correct, correct. Now, they're gonna be expensive, they're more expensive. 


0:20:17.1 TD: But they work and they're not killing your cells. 


0:20:19.2 TD: Well, not only do they work, not only do they work, but check this out, there are three main rays that emanate from the sun, UVA, UVB and UVC. And these different rays vary by their size and by their frequency, by their speed, if you will. And in order to have protection, you've gotta have UVA block, UVB blocked or screened, if you were using a screen, and UVC. Now, UVC is not a significant... We don't really talk about UVC as much, although the ozone layer supposed to protect us from UVC, although now we got a problem with the ozone layer [chuckle] among other issues. But for the most part it's the UVA and UVB there are the big problems with the skin. Sunscreen chemicals, the vast majority of them block UVB. That's your burning ray. There are a couple that will block UVA, but those tend to be extremely toxic, but they're in there, and sometimes you'll see something called a broad spectrum. Right?  


0:21:12.8 TD: Right, I see that all the time, yeah. 


0:21:13.7 Ben: That means it covers UVA. There's some UVA chemical, UVA screening chemicals, and there's some UVB screen chemicals, but zinc oxide blocks everything, it blocks UVA, it blocks UVB, it blocks UVC. And sunscreen chemicals are photo sensitive, which means they react with the sun, that's how they're protecting you. Well, what does reaction mean? It means it's breaking down, it means it's changing. So your sunscreen chemical, while it may have an SPF of 15 in the bottle, over time, it no longer has an SPF because it's breaking down, and not only that, as if that weren't... All this stuff weren't bad enough, one of the worst things you could ever put on your skin is a chemical that conducts electrical energy in a chaotic fashion, like a sunscreen. So while there's no definitive proof that there's a relationship between sunscreens and cancer, there's a biochemical logic to the fact that the sunscreen chemicals can induce carcinogenesis and it's never been disproven that they wouldn't. In other words, it makes biochemical sense that would happen, it's never been disproven, although I don't know that it's ever been proven, but the logic is there. Zinc oxide, you've got none of those problems. 


0:22:24.4 TD: That would probably blow everybody's mind. 


0:22:27.7 Ben: Right. Exactly. 


0:22:28.3 TD: If a study was to prove it. 


0:22:30.1 Ben: Yes. 


0:22:30.3 TD: Yeah, I mean... 


0:22:30.9 Ben: Heck yeah. Well, you probably won't see one. 


0:22:32.3 TD: Yeah. [chuckle] 


0:22:32.5 Ben: They're not gonna release a study like that, but the biochemistry is such, if you understand biochemistry, and really, if we're aestheticians, we gotta understand a little biochemistry. Okay, right?  


0:22:42.6 TD: Absolutely. I know our aestheticians love it, they cannot get enough of it. 


0:22:45.9 Ben: Right, right you got it. I know that's exactly right, they can't get enough of it, because there's a very important relationship to how effective you're gonna be as a therapist, as a skin care therapist or as an aesthetician, and your understanding of biochemistry. 


0:22:57.5 MS: Sometimes I see on bottles micronized zinc. What is that?  


0:23:01.1 TD: Well, remember I said it's a rock? Zinc is a rock, right? You can't put a rock on your skin, you gotta crush it up into little particles. Micronization crushes those zinc particles up into a form that will spread, if it's in the correct formulation that will spread in your skin. And nowadays, I'm hearing people say to me, "How much zinc oxide is in there?" And what's this... 'Cause some... I think there's somebody put an article out or something that said, "You have to have this much zinc oxide if you want this much... " No, it doesn't work that way. It's the spreading that counts, so you can have a 15% zinc oxide formulation that doesn't have anywhere near the kind of protection that a 5% zinc oxide formulation does, if it doesn't spread. And the spreading is what accounts for... It's an end result of formulation artistry. 


0:23:43.0 TD: Well then I think too, to get people to use products, it has to have that right feel and touch. 


0:23:49.3 Ben: All of it. 


0:23:50.8 TD: And that physical thing. And if it doesn't, it could be the best product in the world, and they're not gonna use it, I know I won't if it's... 


0:23:56.4 Ben: A lot of that is I've formulated myself and I've been formulating for many years, is like, Do you guys bake or cook?  


0:24:01.9 TD: Yeah. 


0:24:02.8 Ben: Do you know how you just know how much cumin you gotta put in. 


0:24:05.0 TD: Oh yeah. 


0:24:05.4 Ben: You just, you just know. 


0:24:07.5 TD: Salt, yeah. 


0:24:07.6 Ben: How much of this, you just know, it's not... You don't see a book, you didn't see the recipe, you just know, you have a feel for it. And that comes from experience, when you were two years old and three years old, you didn't know, but over time, you develop a feel for how certain ingredients work, and how they interact, and what adding this will do to it, or adding that will do to it, or adding the combination of the two will do to it, and that's what makes a good formulator. And sometimes you'll hear people say, "Oh, I made this in my kitchen and I started this up or that... " Yeah, you could do that, but that's like saying, "Oh, I made a hamburger compared to I made this Crème Brûlée," or something that required a lot of understanding, a lot of formulation artistry, and that's where, like you say, you want it to feel good and you want it to... In the case of zinc oxide, you want it to be able to spread. And there are these criteria that make a skincare product valuable that you can't really quantify because it's feel, it's art, it's instinct, it's intuition. There's just a Je ne sais quoi. 




0:24:58.8 TD: Well, and I think that's why so many aestheticians, you need to go out there, and explore the lots of different SPFs that... Or sunblocks... 


0:25:07.0 Ben: And products. 


0:25:08.6 TD: And products... 


0:25:09.2 Ben: And products, yeah. 


0:25:10.2 TD: To really know what you feel good about recommending. 


0:25:13.3 Ben: Absolutely. 


0:25:13.7 TD: So question for you. If you're wearing a sunblock and it's a mineral-based like we've talked about. Is your body still gonna be able to synthesize Vitamin D?  


0:25:23.4 Ben: Good question, Vitamin D it's super cool story. And the answer to your question is no. And by the way, if you have... The darker your skin tone, again, you're gonna have a problem with Vitamin D. And African-Americans and people of dark skin tones tend to have higher rates of Vitamin D diseases, vitamin... I'm sorry Vitamin D deficiency diseases, or Vitamin C deficiency symptoms, prostate issues, cancer issues, immune system issues, all these are regulated by this super amazing, amazing substance that we call Vitamin D, which is a hormone as much as it's a vitamin, so you do... This is why, going back to what Maggie was saying, you wanna be out in the sun without your sunscreen and without your sunblock. And you wanna be out in the sun in your bathing suit or less. You know? Don't freak out your neighbours. 


0:26:08.0 TD: Yeah, do that French thing. 


0:26:08.1 Ben: That's right, that's right. Because some people say, "Oh, I was walking the dog and I got sun, I get sun... " Yeah. No. Head to toe. You wanna contact the sun as much, you want as much skin as possible, contact in the sun without sun protection, with nutrients though, making sure you're doing the internal nutrients, and the best sun for making Vitamin D is between 10:00 and 2:00 in the middle of summer. 


0:26:31.9 TD: Interesting. 


0:26:32.8 Ben: Right? The exact sun that they tell you to stay away from, that's the sun for getting Vitamin D. And now people say, "Oh, you can take Vitamin D orally." Not the same. "Oh, you can take Vitamin D through foods." Not the same. Vitamin D from the sun is the most exquisite Vitamin D because it allows your body to spread that Vitamin D in a sustained release fashion as it's needed. When you take Vitamin D in terms of food, you get... Or supplement, you get a spike in Vitamin D, and body doesn't like spikes and it will pull it out real quick. The Vitamin D is sustained released just the way the body likes it, slow release into the bloodstream and by the way, Vitamin D that comes from the sun, or Vitamin D that comes from food, or Vitamin D that's supplemented, is Pre-vitamin D, or actually it's Pro-vitamin D, which means it has to be converted into Pre-vitamin D, which then has to be converted into Vitamin D that's active. 


0:27:28.6 Ben: In other words, you're not getting active Vitamin D when you eat Vitamin D or supplement Vitamin D, or Vitamin D from the sun, it has to be activated by the body, and there's a very important reason for this, the activation occurs in the liver first and then in the kidneys, liver and the kidneys are the two major organs for turning Vitamin D on. Many people have fatty liver disease, 100 million Americans have fatty liver disease, right?  


0:27:50.0 TD: I believe it, yep. 


0:27:50.5 Ben: Many people have kidney disease, and they don't even know they have kidney disease because the kidneys are so amazing that you could have like 90% of your kidneys broken down before you even know you have kidney problems. So, many people are walking around with sub-clinical, or non-diagnosed kidney disease, all of that means you're not gonna be turning on your Vitamin D effectively, and that means you're running higher risks for prostate and breast cancer, and higher risk for psoriasis and skin issues, and higher risk for immune problems, and a higher risk for digestive issues, because Vitamin D is awesome. It's not even a vitamin, it's a hormone and it's so powerful, it has to be activated in steps. 


0:28:28.8 TD: So what I'm hearing, it sounds like you could go down the Vitamin D train like pretty deep. 


0:28:32.9 Ben: Yes, yes. 


0:28:33.7 TD: But what I'm hearing is, we shouldn't hate the sun. 


0:28:37.1 Ben: No. 


0:28:37.4 TD: Stop hating the sun. 


0:28:38.4 Ben: Love the sun. 


0:28:39.0 TD: Love the sun. 


0:28:39.6 Ben: He loves us, Mr. Sun. 


0:28:41.4 TD: I wanted to thank you so much again Ben, you're amazing, we love all your passion and insights. This wraps today show, and as always, if you're not an ASCP member, join today at ascpskincare.com/join. If you like this episode, and how could you not? Make sure that you subscribe today so that you don't miss a single one, and details from what we discussed today will be in the show notes. If you just can't get enough of Ben, The Rogue Pharmacist, you could listen to his syndicated program and check him out at pharmacistben.com. Thank you everybody. And enjoy the sun. 



Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...