Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (BMBM) is a synthetic sunscreen that protects the skin, scalp and hair from sun damages by absorbing UVA and UVB. In hair products, it increases the stability of chemical hair colours, preventing natural or synthetic hair dyes from fading in the sun.
The sun is important for our health, helping us to produce vitamin D, which makes us feel happy among other benefits. However, like all good things, we must enjoy it in moderation and avoid extensive exposure as it has been linked with cancers and premature ageing. The best way to avoid it (and to reduce oily puddles of sunscreen floating through the sea during the summer holidays) will always be to cover yourself with clothes and hats - and to stay fresh in the shade during the warmest hours. If you can't avoid going out in the sun then reach for the sunscreen...
BMBM is a UVA and UVB absorber that has been safely and extensively used in cosmetics and sunscreens for decades. In Lush suncare products, it is often used in combination with octylmethoxycinnamate, a UVB screening compound, in order to have the highest protection possible. Its efficiency can also be boosted by natural ingredients like raspberry seed oil. It degrades after approximately two hours of light exposure (no one can absorb rays endlessly!), a good fact to keep in mind when you wonder if you should re-apply some protection!
Different frequencies of UV light can cause varying types of damage to the skin. UVA exposure penetrates the skin and causes degradation of collagen and elastin fibres, damaging the skin from the inside out, while UVB exposure causes burning and redness. It’s also important to protect the hair and scalp from sun damage. After all, the head is the part of the body that’s closest to the sun and it’s the easiest place to burn. Sun exposure can leave the scalp red, sore and itchy, and it can also result in dry, frizzy hair and colour fade.
Suncare products are tested for UVB to give the sun protection factor (SPF) and also for UVA by an independent laboratory in New York, which doesn't test on animals.