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Cancer centre backs natural sunscreen

Healthy sunblock: Nesi Armstrong, left, and Azuree Williams, with Raw Elements products brought to the island by Ms Armstrong (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

The Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre has thrown its support behind Raw Elements sunscreen which is also the official sunscreen for the 35th America’s Cup.

The organic, reef-safe product was last year sourced and brought to the island by Bermudian-based entrepreneur Nesi Armstrong and has been gaining traction ever since.

BCHC gave its official backing to the product and is using it as part of its SunSmart safety programme.

Azuree Williams, SunSmart coordinator at BCHC, said: “I was actually researching different sunscreens to look for a really clean, safe sunscreen that would not be harmful to the general public because people have sensitive skin. Some people are allergic to it and can’t even wear it.

“Then Nesi contacted me with this product so it was very timely. We wanted to make sure we were sharing a sunscreen that was one of the better products.

“There are several out there but this one, in particular, we focused on all the data and research that has been done on the product. We tested it on ourselves and even met with the gentleman who created the product and went into a whole slew of questions.

“It has a very high percentage of zinc oxide — 23 per cent. It is good because the key ingredients to look for are either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Those are the most effective UV ray blockers. They create a barrier on the skin and research has shown they are safe.

“The other ingredients are all natural so if you absorb it into your skin you are not going to have any chemical reactions, rashes. So far, I know of no one who has had a chemical reaction. It is not an allergen.

“We are encouraging people to read the labels of sunscreen and research the chemicals that are in there. Look for the top recommended sunscreens, which ones have been banned because of their ingredients and always consult your doctor especially if you have sensitive skin. This is the first named brand that we have supported.”

Ms Armstrong added: “I am delighted that the cancer centre has selected Raw Elements for the fact that it is a product that bears great transparency and it aims to prevent skin cancer. It has fostered a very healthy relationship for what I would call the betterment of Bermuda and Bermuda’s environment.

“It is a product that is very clean and the raw data was key to them selecting the product. It does not have certain toxins in it that are in many traditional sunscreens.”

Raw Elements is available island wide at pharmacies or via Island Organics.