With summer right around the corner, I have to share what I think is the most important product for your skin. Sunscreen! Sunscreen is something that we should all be wearing, both in summer and winter. The sun emits UVA and UVB rays both of which have been shown to damage skin cells, which can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. So, finding a high quality, non-toxic sunscreen is very important.
Many sunscreens on the market today are full of toxic chemicals (which defeats the purpose of using them!). Some of these ingredients include:
These chemicals are hormone disruptors and can cause skin reactions. Remember, our skin is our largest organ, so whatever we put on it will makes its way into our bloodstream. And yes, that can be a small amount, but over time, it accumulates and those toxic chemicals can be stored in our fat cells (this is why they can eventually disrupt our hormone balance).
I would much rather err on the side of caution and use sunscreens with safer and healthier ingredients. According to the Environmental Working Group, the following ingredients are much safer. You’ll want to look for these when purchasing a sunscreen:
- Zinc Oxide
- Titanium Dioxide
- Mexoryl SX
Out of these, my further research shows that Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the safest. These two ingredients are effective at blocking the UVA/UVB rays of the sun, and studies show they do not cause skin reactions or disrupt hormones. Unlike the toxic chemicals listed above, these ingredients are labeled as ‘physical’ sunscreens, because very little is actually absorbed by the skin. Rather, they sit on top of the skin, providing a physical barrier from the sun. So, you don’t have to wait the typical 30 minutes after applying them to go out into the sun, because they provide immediate protection.
Here are some of my favorite sunscreen brands that include these safer ingredients. They are non-toxic and full of skin-soothing, organic ingredients which are actually good for your skin. I wear one of these products every day to protect my skin from the damaging effects of the sun:
Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer. This is a light, yet moisturizing sunscreen with an SPF of 30, that uses zinc oxide to protect from the sun’s rays. It also contains aloe vera gel and hyaluronic acid, which are wonderfully soothing and moisturizing. I wear this under my makeup, and it is not greasy or sticky and does a great job of protecting my skin. This is great for all skin types!
Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses CC Cream (Color + Correct) – This also uses zinc oxide to protect from the sun’s rays. It contains a number of soothing and moisturizing ingredients, including organic rose hip oil. I like the ‘Sheer Nude’ shade, as it imparts a subtle glow when mixed with a little bit of foundation. This is a great option if you want a little more color. This also has an SPF of 30, so it offers great coverage.
Devita Solar Body Moisturizer – This is the best sunscreen for the body that I have found! It glides on easily and smoothly, and it absorbs very quickly with no greasy residue. It also does not leave a white cast behind. I would not recommend this one if you’re going to be swimming as it’s not labeled ‘waterproof.’ But it’s great for wearing out and about.
Goddess Garden Organics Sunny Body Natural Sunscreen – This is a great option if you’re going to the pool or playing sports outside. It’s full of organic oils and uses the physical sun blocks of titanium and zinc oxide. It has a convenient spray nozzle, making it easy to apply. It also has an SPF of 30. This company has a whole line of products for the family!
Badger Sunscreens – Badger is also a company that uses zinc oxide in all their sunscreens to protect the skin. They have a number of great products from which to choose. You can usually find Badger products at health food stores or larger chains like Whole Foods and Earthfare. You can also order online at places like Vitacost and Amazon.
California Baby – This is a wonderful company that uses non-toxic, healthy ingredients in their skincare products. Their sunscreens work very well, and they use titanium dioxide as a physical barrier to the sun’s rays. And their products are great for the whole family (not just babies!). You can order online or find them at Target and Whole Foods.