Sun Protection; a vital step in anyone’s skin care routine, especially when it comes to prevention and preservation. We’re constantly flooded with information on how important SPF is, but as consumers it’s important to also know how important the type of sunscreen you choose to use is and that comes down to two choices; physical vs. chemical. Physical sunscreens are usually made up of zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or a blend of the two. These minerals physically deflect the sun’s rays to prevent damage and slow the appearance of aging.
Synthetic chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone and homosalate, to name a few, absorb the sun’s rays. Most chemical sunscreens are linked to hormone disruption and cause allergic reactions for many skin types. Sunscreen is supposed to be applied multiple times a day in order to maintain proper protection which can lead to a higher risk of irritation and exposure to unwanted synthetics. According to an article in the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens, “The Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention has detected oxybenzone in more than 96% of the American population (Calafat 2008).” This means that the chemical sunscreens used to absorb the sun’s rays are also absorbing into your bloodstream and potentially causing harm. The EWG recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and most other synthetic chemical SPF ingredients.
Tricia Trimble, owner and founder of the EWG Award Winning and Reef Safe Suntegrity believes that “chemical sunscreens cause more allergic reactions in users and there is strong evidence suggesting many of them can enter the bloodstream and mimic estrogen in the body, thus disrupting the endocrine system.” Oxybenzone and Octinoxate were just recently banned in Hawaii because they “leach the coral reefs of their nutrients, bleaching them white, as well as disrupting the development of fish and other wildlife,” said Trimble. According to an NPR article featuring the ban, the two chemicals “are used in more than 3500 of the world’s most popular sunscreen products, including Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone and Banana Boat.”
Researching and knowing your products are safe for you and the environment is becoming more and more important. Below we have listed a few of our favorite SPF options that will keep your skin happy, healthy and safely protected all summer long.
For Sensitive Skin
This little pot of sunscreen is not only beautiful on your bathroom counter, it also does wonders for the complexion. It offers UVA and UVB protection with non nano, non-irritating sustainably sourced zinc. With other amazing ingredients like, Sweet Iris Stem Cells, Tamanu, Chaparral, Probiotics and Sea Algae your skin will become more calm, plump, smooth, luminous and hydrated while also being protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
A hydrating, light, unscented cream that is packed with aloe vera and vitamins to treat sensitive skin while fighting signs of aging. If you’re looking for something that sinks in very well and is better for everyday use rather than your upcoming beach vacation, this is a great option.
For Oily/Breakout-Prone Skin
Designed for oily, combination and blemish-prone skin types this formula blends and absorbs quickly with an aloe vera base that moisturizes and prevents pore clogging. Lemon Balm Leaf helps to clarify and soothe the skin while organic grape juice and cucumber extract provide hydration, vitamins and antioxidants.
This silky formula easily blends and can be used as a primer under foundation or worn alone to create a matte finish on the skin. Bentonite clay absorbs excess oil to keep skin balanced throughout the day. This is a great option for those who want a good amount of protection throughout the day while still having the option to wear makeup over the top without the skin becoming greasy.
For Dry/Dehydrated Skin
A top rated face sunscreen by the EWG/Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, this formula is great for all skin types, but we particularly love it for those who are dry/dehydrated because it functions as a moisturizer, sunscreen and make-up primer all in one. Hyaluronic Acid, cucumber, pomegranate and green tea (to name a few) help to provide additional sun protection, moisture and hydration.
This dual-action day cream and natural, broad spectrum sunscreen has a blend of distinct herbal actives and plant oils to moisturize and protect skin. Josh’s unique blend of herbs offer anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties that work to soothe redness and regenerate the skin.
A great option for babies, kids and adults who are sensitive to scent, this vegan, broad spectrum sunscreen is easy to apply and packed full of antioxidants to keep delicate skin healthy and sunburn free all year long.
Another great unscented option, this formula rubs clear and has a soothing blend of organic oils to nourish skin while it protects.