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  • Your Guide to Sunscreens and Sun Protection

May 29, 2020

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again- sunscreen is essential! Not only does sunscreen help you fight the effects of sun exposure, but it’s also an important prevention against premature skin aging, not to mention risks related to skin cancer. For us the best sunscreens are natural and free of hard to pronounce chemicals! With the word natural nowadays loosely used (very loosely!) how do you make sure the sunscreen you are buying is truly free from harmful ingredients? Our team has put together a small guide to help you decode through the buzzwords when it comes to sunscreen. Natural, mineral, broad spectrum; learn the basics before you start slathering your SPF!

Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens soak into your skin. They absorb and dissipate damaging UV rays. On the other hand, mineral (also referred to as physical) sunscreens sit on top of your skin and deflect UV rays away from your skin. Natural sunscreens use mineral protection under the form of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. So chemical free sunscreen normally use only these two minerals (or a combination of both) as their active ingredients, which should be non-nano so that they are not absorbed into your pores. When checking the label make sure they are not mixed with other chemicals. Another reason to prefer mineral sunscreens is that they are less likely to wreck your skin and make you breakout as they just sit on the surface and do not soak in. When they are from a high performance clean beauty brand they are usually infused with other 'good for you' natural ingredients that will also nourish and hydrate your skin. If you are set into digging deeper into the composition of your products, check out our blog post on toxic ingredients to find out which ingredients have health concerns associated with them.  

A final note; chemical sunscreen usually include oxybenzone and octinoxate which in addition to being harmful for your skin (they are associated with serious skin allergies and hormone disruptions), are damaging for the coral reefs, they pollute the oceans and make the corals more prone to becoming bleached and vulnerable.

Broad Spectrum

You should always choose a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum”, which guarantees you that the product will protect your skin against both UVB (what causes sunburn and plays a key role in developing most of skin cancers) and UVA (aging rays and also thought to increase skin cancer risk).

The SPF

Stands for Sun Protection Factor, SPF usually comes with a number indicating the ability of sunscreen to deflect UVB rays. Use a broad spectrum SPF of 30 as a minimum. An SPF 30 blocks 97 % of UVB radiation while an SPF 50 is estimated to block 98 % of UVB radiation. In natural sunscreen that are completely free from chemicals the norm is an SPF of 30. Whatever the SPF you use, if you are exposed to the sun it is very important to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you are sweating or have been into the water. This is key to get a true protection. It is very important not to get under the impression that if you are wearing a 50+ SPF that you are 100% protected through the day. Physical protection such as a hat or a beach umbrella as well as UV blocking sunglasses, are as important as your sunscreen. Finally, needless to say avoid sun exposure during peak hours!

Lynn’s Suncare Tips

During the hot and humid summer months, your skin needs less hydration during the day. So chose a clean lightweight moisturizer that has SPF. It is much better than to layer 2 separate products (unless you have very dry skin and you feel the hydration of your SPF cream is not enough).

To avoid breakouts and blackheads, wash your face as soon as you get home to remove the sunscreen. Chose a powerful purifying cleanser for the days you are wearing SPF. You need to up your cleansing game in summer to purge all the sunscreen, but also the sweat and pollution effect. It’s a good practice to top up your cleanser in summer with a deep cleansing, detoxifying mask once a week.

Check out Our Products Selection

Natural Sunscreen by Josh RosebrookHydrating Nectar Natural Sunscreen by de MamielCleansing Gel by Susanne KaufmannMask and Wash by Max and MePurifying Mask by Tata Harper