With summer in full swing, now is as good a time as any to dive into—or at least dip your toes into—the natural sunscreen trend. Often a gentler answer to chemical-based sunscreens, the environmentally friendly option sits on the skin’s surface, scattering and reflecting UV rays. And now more common than ever, you’re no longer limited to the goopy, overly-thick organic versions that stay white on the skin.
Why Should You Use All Natural Sunscreens?
People are becoming more aware of what they are putting on their skin and because of this awareness the use of natural products are becoming more popular. This is also the case when it comes to sunscreens. Many people opt for natural sunscreens because they do not contain harmful chemicals. They have also been proven to reduce the effects of sun damage, preserve the skin keeping us looking younger, and helping in the fight against skin conditions and disease. There are countless reasons why you should consider making the change to natural sunscreens, read on to discover just how much better they are for you.
- Natural sunscreens contain the beneficial minerals titanium and zinc, these minerals act as a barrier blocking UV rays. Whereas chemical sunscreens actually absorb these rays and then neutralize once in the skin.
- Natural sunscreens do not require re-application as they sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed. However chemical sunscreens utilize chemical ingredients which need to be reapplied because these ingredients become dormant.
- Natural sunscreens contain less allergenic ingredients and therefore cause less irritation. Because of the toxic ingredients in chemical sunscreens irritation to the skin is more likely.
- Natural sunscreens help to protect the skin while soothing and nourishing at the same time whereas the pores of the skin are prone to clogging with the use of chemical sunscreens.
The natural minerals found in natural sunscreens contain beneficial properties which ultimately preserve and protect the skin. The UV ray blocking agent titanium acts as a shield without being absorbed into the skin. Zinc contains healing, anti viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties providing overall protection for all skin types including acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Chemical sunscreens contain many harmful ingredients which put our bodies at risk making them susceptible to permanent damage. The UV neutralising agents can ultimately become carcinogenic and therefore increase the risk of developing cancer as well as altering hormone levels by disrupting the endocrine system.
Look for Products that Contain…
There are a wide variety of natural sunscreens available which contain varying ingredients and natural beneficial products. Look for products that include the following natural ingredients:
- Avocado oil helps to protect and soothe the skin
- Sesame oil features a high UV ray resistance of 30%
- Cocoa butter keeps the skin from drying out while keeping it moisturised and soft
- Vitamin E prevents sun damage while fighting off free radicals
- Aloe Vera features soothing and healing qualities as well as promoting the growth of new cells by stimulating the skin
- Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic germicide providing damaged skin with essential nutrients and stimulating blood flow to the capillaries
- Green tea and grape seed oil are rich in antioxidants which help to protect skin cells
- Tocopheryl acetate is a source of vitamin E and is a natural alternative to harmful parabens. Parabens are preservatives which have been associated with breast cancer, skin allergies, and irritations.
Avoid Products that Contain…
The main chemicals you should try to avoid when choosing your sunscreen are as follows:
- 4-methy-benzyldencamphor (4-MBC)
- Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC)
- Octyl-dimethyl-para-amin-benzoic Acid (OD-PABA)
- Homosalate (HMS)
Here at B.R.I we had our team test out a few and here are our favorite picks:
SUNOLOGY NATURAL SUNSCREEN FACE LOTION SPF 50
When it comes to your face, you want to look for the most gentle, chemical-free formula. This option is so light it won’t even irritate sensitive or acne-prone skin.
COOLA SPF SPRAY
Yup, there are even natural spray formulas. This organic sunscreen is infused with antioxidants AND is manufactured in a solar-powered facility that uses the least amount of energy and waste possible.
SUNDAY RILEY CASHMERE SPF 30 SUN DEFENSE
This shea butter, mineral-based UV protectant may have a hefty price tag, but it doubles as an anti-aging product that repairs wrinkles and encourages healthy cell growth.
KIEHL’S SUPER FLUID UV DEFENSE SUNSCREEN SPF 50
Kiehl’s is one of our go-to natural skincare brands, and this sunscreen lives up to their well-earned reputation. We especially love it because it absorbs to a matte finish, making it an awesome primer for makeup on those hot and humid summer days.
BAREMINERALS SPF30 NATURAL SUNSCREEN
Applying thick, cake-y sunscreen can be a recipe for the icks, especially if there’s sand involved. This sheer and weightless natural sunscreen brushes on easily and adds a nice, even color.
JASON NATURAL SUN MINERAL SUNSCREEN
Though this formula from one of the original natural skincare brands is thick, it goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave any white residue.
ALBA BOTANICA VERY EMOLLIENT SUNSCREEN
If you’re planning an active day swimming or hanging out in the sun, this blend of shea butter, aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin E should be your pick. It’s water-resistant and smells delish.
As always, check with your dermatologist or skin care professional if you have any questions as to whether a certain product is right for you. And have a SUN SAFE + HEALTHY summer!
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