When it comes to sunscreen, it can be tempting just to buy the cheapest or most convenient option. However, not all sunscreens are created equally – even if they may seem like it. Many sunscreens use chemicals that have potentially harmful long-term effects for both you and the planet as a whole. Luckily, many natural sunscreens are just as effective for protecting your skin but aren’t as potentially harmful to your skin or the planet. Here’s what you need to look for when choosing a sunscreen.
There are two different types of sunscreens on the market – physical and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens create a layer on your skin that reflects the sun’s rays, while chemical sunscreens absorb into your body to disperse them, preventing sunburn. However, these chemicals can be very detrimental to your overall health in the long term. The most common chemicals found in sunscreen include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, and octocrylene. These chemicals act as hormone disrupters and can cause a variety of issues and even lead to infertility or endometriosis in some of the worst cases. They can also cause skin allergies, which is the last thing you want from a product you need to apply to large areas of your body. Additionally, chemical sunscreens can be detrimental for the planet and have been linked to the destruction of coral reefs.
Instead of chemical sunscreens, look for natural sunscreens that reflect the sun’s UV rays. These sunscreens are typically made from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are natural minerals that are entirely safe to use. These sunscreens have a much thicker consistency, so they take longer to apply, but they work right away, unlike chemical sunscreens. They aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream, so there’s no risk of long-term medical problems. Since these minerals are naturally occurring, they don’t cause any environmental issues either. They’re broad spectrum and protect against all types of UV rays, and are safe to use on children and those with sensitive skin.
Some sunscreens combine physical and chemical protection, so it’s imperative to read the label thoroughly before making a purchase. Most of the sunscreen brands you’d find at the drugstore contain these chemicals, but luckily many natural brands are releasing products that are safe for the planet and your body. Kiss My Face and Supergoop are popular natural brands that make a soothing sunscreen, and Suntegrity is an excellent brand if you like to wear tinted sunscreen on your face. In terms of higher-end brands, Drunk Elephant and Ren are both natural skincare brands that have chemical free sunscreens in their collections.
This summer, don’t skimp on quality when it comes to sun protection. Investing in products with safe, non-toxic ingredients is a must because it will protect your body from hormonal damage and protect the planet around us as well. With a good quality sunscreen, you’ll be able to enjoy the weather guilt-free.