We all know that using sunscreen is important to our skin health. Sunscreen helps prevent wrinkles, blemishes, and skin cancer that results from sun damage to our skin cells. As more and more research is done on chemical sunscreens, however, scientists are finding that the harmful ingredients in sunscreens can end up hurting us more than helping us in the long run.
Why Chemical Sunscreens Are Dangerous
Many of the chemical sunscreens we’re used to using contain harmful ingredients that put our health at risk. The same chemicals that are put in place to neutralize and block UV rays can actually increase our risk of developing cancer later on since many of those chemicals are carcinogenic.
Some of the chemicals in those sunscreens can also affect us on a hormonal level. These chemicals can change our hormone levels and disrupt our endocrine system as a result, putting important bodily functions at risk.
Natural Sunscreen Benefits
Natural sunscreens are free of harmful chemicals and often contain beneficial minerals that not only protect the skin but nourish it as well. Some of the benefits of natural sunscreens include:
- Natural sunscreens contain minerals like titanium and zinc, which block UV rays rather than absorb them and later neutralize them like chemical sunscreens do.
- Natural sunscreens don’t need to be continuously re-applied (if you’re not going in the water), as they sit on top of the skin rather than become absorbed.
- You’re less likely to experience any allergies or irritation with natural sunscreens because they don’t contain many of the harsh chemicals that cause these kinds of reactions.
- Your skin will be protected and nourished with natural sunscreens, whereas chemical sunscreens often cause dermatologic problems like clogged pores.
Shopping for Natural Sunscreens
When you’re shopping for natural sunscreens, you’ll want to avoid any sunscreens that contain: oxybenzone (the most prevalent), avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Instead, look for the following ingredients to get the most out of your sunscreen:
- Cocoa butter: keeps the skin moisturized and soft.
- Vitamin E: great for fighting off free radicals.
- Aloe vera: soothes the skin and promotes new cell growth.
- Tea tree oil: provides healing qualities to the skin.
- Sesame oil: has a high resistance to UV rays.
- Avocado oil: like aloe vera, it’s great for soothing the skin.
- Tocopheryl acetate: a natural alternative to dangerous parabens, which have been linked to cancers and used as preservatives for many skin care products.
Our 5 Picks for Natural Sunscreens
The following 5 sunscreens are all natural, non-toxic, organic sunscreens that we suggest giving a try:
1. Badger All Natural Sunscreen
This sunscreen has SPF 30+ and is formulated with certified organic ingredients, including cocoa butter, beeswax, and rosemary extract, to name a few. The sunscreen is also biodegradable and, although not waterproof, will stay water-resistant for 40 minutes while swimming or sweating.
2. Tropical Sands
This natural sunscreen is a great option for fair-skinned people as it has an SPF of 50. The sunscreen is thick, so it’s best to use when you’re looking to do extended outdoor activities rather than everyday use where visibility is a concern.
3. Beauty by Earth
If you’re looking for a protective, everyday moisturizer you can wear to prevent wrinkles and sun spots, this sunscreen is a fantastic option. It has an SPF of 20 and is made with natural ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera juice.
4. Kiss My Face
This natural sunscreen is a kid-friendly option, as it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It’s also good for people doing sports in which they’ll be sweating a lot or using water. The sunscreen also contains goji berry and pomegranate extracts to boost its anti-aging properties against the sun.
5. Suntegrity Skincare
If you’re looking for a sunscreen that can act as a makeup primer, moisturizer, and skincare treatment for acne and rosacea, look no further than this natural sunscreen. Suntegrity’s sunscreen comes tinted in various shades with SPF 30, so you can use it as a part of your daily makeup routine. It will also help you keep your skin blemish free while it protects you from sun damage.
What to Expect When Making the Switch to Natural Sunscreen
You’ll want to follow a couple of new sunscreen tips when you’re using natural sunscreen as opposed to chemical sunscreen. When you’re applying natural sunscreen onto the skin, you may notice that it’s hard to blend the sunscreen into the skin, and that’s because natural sunscreen does not get absorbed into the skin the way chemical sunscreen does.
To avoid visible streaks of sunscreen on your skin, apply a smaller amount of the cream than you typically do with chemical sunscreen. Instead of slathering the sunscreen on, briefly rub the sunscreen onto your skin in small, circular movements.
Making the switch to natural sunscreen can be one of the best things you do, not just for your skin health but your internal health as well. We recommend taking the time to try out some natural sunscreens before your next beach vacation and figure out what works best for your skin ahead of time.
Raybould, D. (2011, July 12). Why You Should Only Use All Natural Sunscreens. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-2753/Why-You-Should-Only-Use-All-Natural-Sunscreens.html
5 Best Natural, Organic & Non-Toxic Sunscreens. (2017, April 04). Retrieved March 08, 2018, from http://www.naturallivingideas.com/best-natural-organic-sunscreens/