Sunscreen isn't just for full days outdoors anymore. The damage UV rays can cause even through minimal exposure like driving or on rainy days, is reason enough to incorporate SPF into your daily routine. It's not news that skin cancer is by far the most widely diagnosed form of cancer in America. When it comes to choosing clean formulas over conventional products, sunscreen should be one of the first items to make the switch. It seeps into the bloodstream faster than other types of products and has a detrimental effect on the oceans we love so much.
How to choose a safe sunscreen? Go with a mineral block instead of chemical. The majority of sunscreens have four especially harmful chemicals: avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. Oxybenzone has been banned in Hawaii because it causes coral bleaching and damage to underwater eco-systems. In the other 49 states, it's up to us to check the labels for this hazardous ingredient.
Beach-goers have generally preferred chemical sunscreens over mineral protectants because they don't want the white layer (cue white-nose lifeguard references). The chemicals we mentioned above have been linked to skin-irritants, allergies, and hormone disruption (lower sperm count and affected breast milk). The white film we get from mineral sunscreens is from zinc or titanium dioxide, which creates a natural block from UV-rays. These mineral blocks are a natural and powerful protectant and much safer for you and the environment.
By now, there's plenty of healthy sunscreens on the market that won't leave you white. We love the sun. I mean loooovee the sun (probably picked that up from the countless mentions of "sun-kissed" in product descriptions). As sun worshippers and clean beauty crusaders, it is our duty to advise the best natural beauty products for ultimate sun protection.
Sunscreen started as a treatment for sunburns. Fast forward to today, where the recommendation for sunscreen use is to apply in large amounts, all over the body several times a day. We know that our skin is our bodies largest organ...so the safety of these products are a concern to the FDA...and we know by now as brands and consumers we must take in upon ourselves to evaluate the true safety of a product rather than leave it to regulations.
A list of our favorite mineral all-over body sunscreens that have been tested by days at the pool, hours floating in the surf, long walks on the beach, and sweaty hikes at noon.
1. Coola Sunscreen Spray SPF 50 Guava Mango $36
Smells amazing, easy application continuous spray, and everything you'd expect in an organic sunscreen. Great for getting those loved ones to reapply because it takes two seconds and makes them feel fresher.
2. Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen $48
This big bottle is worth investing in for your summer supply. The non-scented lotion makes a great base to apply indoors before heading out for a day in the water. Great to have on hand for the whole fam.
3. EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 $35
If you've had any pre-cancerous sun spots, sensitivity, acne, rosacea or other concerns, you need to get serious with your SPF. This dermatologist approved, medical grade sunscreen is the prescription to protecting against serious damage and aging. If you use any clinical-grade skincare, you'll appreciate this sunscreen.
4. SunBum Original Sunscreen SPF 50 $16
You can trust the bum that this sunscreen has a place in every beach bag. Easy to find at your local grocery or drug store and well priced for a safe sun protectant. This is a grab and go summertime staple you can trust to cover the crew with protection.
If the question comes down to whether or not to use a chemical sunscreen? The answer is an absolute yes. It's better to be protected than susceptible to skin damage. Plan ahead, choose safe beauty products and live it up under the sun.