NATURAL SKINCARE + SUNSCREEN
Originally published: AUGUST 4, 2021
Without a doubt, one of the fastest growing trends in beauty is natural skincare. Some of it is for a very good reason: natural skincare can be both nourishing and effective while allowing us to stay true to our values. Natural skincare can be a great addition to an all around healthy-lifestyle, as mindful skincare routines can beautifully complement healthy nutritional choices and daily physical activity. Natural skincare, at its best, is about supporting our largest organ so that it may do its job effectively. The skin is a very real reflection of our overall health and wellness, so we aim to treat it well.
Natural Skincare and Sunscreen
You already know that too much sun exposure over time can cause wrinkles, age spots and even increase the risk of skin cancer. UVA rays prematurely age the skin while UVB rays burn the skin, but both can cause skin cancer over time. No need to rehash all that very well-known information- the takeaway is that daily sunscreen use is an absolute must.
But when we jump into the conversation about sunscreen, there is always a lot of confusion when it comes to active ingredients, effectiveness and of course natural versus chemical sunscreens. It is important to note that the term “natural” carries no legal definition nor do dermatologists use it when it comes to personal care products. Sunscreens that are labelled as “natural” are typically referring to the fact that their active ingredients are mineral-based, like titanium dioxide and/or zinc, though as we said there are no industry standards defining the term. These minerals work by physically deflecting or scattering the sun’s UV rays. Zinc oxide in particular is effective at protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. And while yes, both of these active ingredients are indeed minerals coming from the earth, they both need to be heavily processed and refined in order to be formulated into sunscreens.
Does Natural Sunscreen Work?
Natural sunscreen does work, but only if you use it correctly. The issue with most sunscreens - natural or otherwise - is that on the whole people are not using enough of them. Mineral filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to be thick and white in their consistency and application. This consistency plus the tell-tale white cast of mineral sunscreens leaves users typically using less instead of more, thus leaving them more vulnerable to sunburn and long term sun damage. Remember that the more sunscreen on the skin, the more protection you’ll have from the sun’s rays.
Safe Sun Exposure
We think that while natural sunscreen is important, we also want to have a healthy respect for, but not fear of, the sun. Studies have revealed that optimal Vitamin D levels may help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancers. And the best way to get your Vitamin D? Safe, smart sun exposure. The sun helps our bodies produce vitamin D in order to support strong bones and protect and strengthen the immune system.
You can (and should) still soak up all of the vitamin D you need while using sunscreen. When it comes down to it, sunscreen should be a non-negotiable in your skincare routine, everyday, even in the winter with zero exception. Opt for a SPF of 30 or higher for your face, and don’t forget the tops of your ears, eyelids and even your lips!
Some that I have been loving lately are:
Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine Zinc Lotion, although I do find it too heavy for my face, it's very effective on my body.
Green Beaver Spray + bottle lotion for my baby (1 year old now), and of course I use it too.
Cocoon Apothecary Reflector 30 SPF Facial Protector
And I always wear a hat!