Natural sunscreens have become increasingly popular for those looking for a more natural and healthy alternative to traditional chemical-based sunscreens. Finding the right natural sunscreen for your lifestyle and needs can be a challenge. This guide provides helpful information to navigate natural sunscreens and find the right product for you.
1. Introduction to Natural Sunscreens
The purpose of this guide is to provide an and equip readers with the necessary information to make informed decisions when selecting the best product for their individual needs. This section covers the benefits of using natural sunscreens, the types of ingredients included in them, and the differences between natural and chemical sunscreens.
Benefits of Natural Sunscreens
- Non-toxic for people and the environment
- Moisturizing properties
- Non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging)
Ingredients Included in Natural Sunscreens
- Non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
- Coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter for moisturizing
- Natural waxes such as beeswax to form a protective barrier on the skin
- Essential oils for scent and healing properties
Differences between Natural and Chemical Sunscreens
- Natural sunscreens use minerals to filter out UV radiation whereas chemical sunscreens rely on synthetic chemicals to absorb and scatter UV radiation.
- Natural sunscreens take a few minutes to become effective after application whereas chemical sunscreens are immediately effective.
- Natural sunscreens don’t break down, meaning they keep their protection power all day, whereas chemical sunscreens must be reapplied throughout the day to remain effective.
2. Benefits of Using Natural Sunscreens
When you are looking for a sunscreen, you’d want to find one that is natural and free from toxins. Thankfully, natural sunscreens are available and provide a number of benefits:
- Gentle on skin: Natural sunscreens are less harsh and less likely to cause skin irritation than their chemical-based counterparts.
- Eco-friendly: Natural sunscreens are biodegradable and won’t harm our oceans or other aquatic life. They are also free of synthetic preservatives, mineral oils, and other chemicals that can be damaging to the environment.
- Safe for everyone: Natural sunscreens are gentler than their chemical-based counterparts and won’t cause as much skin irritation. They are also better for the environment, making them a safer choice for everyone.
Natural sunscreens also contain natural ingredients which may be beneficial for both skin and hair. These ingredients include vitamin E, aloe vera, and cocoa butter, which all provide nourishing effects.
Perhaps the most important benefit of natural sunscreen is the fact that it is non-toxic. It is free of harsh chemicals that can cause skin irritation, which makes it an ideal option for people with sensitive skin.
3. Natural Sunscreens Options
When it comes to natural sunscreen, many options exist to choose from. Pinpointing the perfect sunscreen depends on your individual needs and preferences.
1. Mineral Sunscreens
- Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients.
- They are typically a white or off-white cream but newer formulations cause less of a whitish cast.
- They are often Water Resistant (40 minutes).
- Most are noncomedogenic, meaning they are unlikely to cause clogged pores.
2. Non-Mineral Sunscreens
- Non-mineral sunscreens use chemical absorbers, such as avobenzone.
- They spread easily due to their lightweight formulations, reducing the “white cast” on the skin.
- They usually have a longer shelf life than mineral sunscreens.
- These sunscreens need to be applied more liberally (about 2-3 mg/cm2 of exposed skin) and may need to be reapplied more often
3. Sunscreen Formulations
- Most sunscreens on the market can be found in both lotions and sprays.
- Spray sunscreens are more convenient and travel friendly, but they are harder to apply evenly.
- Lotions are thicker and can provide more coverage but are messier to apply.
- Stick sunscreens are often preferred for small areas or areas with more intricate contours.
4. Considerations When Choosing a Natural Sunscreen
Natural sunscreen is an excellent option for skin health and environmental benefits. It’s important to carefully choose the natural sunscreen that suits the individual’s lifestyle and sun protection needs.
- Ingredients – Look for natural ingredients that are biodegradable and are free of preservatives, synthetic colors, and fragrances. Also, check active ingredients that offer broad spectrum protection from UV rays, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
- SPF Number – Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF, usually SPF 15 or higher. This can protect skin from harmful UVA rays along with UVB rays.
- Skin Type – Consider the individual’s skin type when selecting sunscreen. Most natural sunscreens are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. The person should also look for an oil-based sunscreen if they have dry skin.
- Sensitivities – People with sensitive skin should look for sunscreens that are hypoallergenic and free of ingredients like oxybenzone or PABA.
It’s also important to select a sunscreen with water resistance for prolonged outdoor activities in the sun. Consider the type of sport and the intensity of sun exposure when choosing a natural sunscreen. Many natural sunscreen formulas nowadays are also suitable for use on the face, but it’s important to make sure it won’t irritate the eyes.
5. Tips for Application and Maintenance of Natural Sunscreens
Natural sunscreens offer a low-toxin alternative to chemical sunscreens, making them much better for human and environmental health. Here are five tips to help you apply and maintain natural sunscreens correctly:
- Use Several Layers: Start with a layer of a zinc-based sunscreen. Then, if needed, layer a moisturizer on top. Natural sunscreens do not absorb as quickly as chemical sunscreens, but this layering technique can help apply it more easily.
- Monitor for Breakdown: The effectiveness of natural sunscreens degrades over time, so it is important to apply new layers throughout the day. Also, pay special attention to areas of the body exposed to water or sweat. These areas will need reapplication more frequently.
- Apply Generously: Natural sunscreens need to be applied adequately to be effective. A full teaspoon should be used on the face, neck, and ears. At least an ounce should be used on the body.
- Check the Expiration Date: Natural sunscreens do not have a long shelf-life. Look for expiration dates and only use sunscreen within the recommended time period. Do not use expired sunscreen.
- Use Caution Outdoors: Natural sunscreens need to be applied more frequently and in greater quantities than chemical sunscreens. Make sure you have a backup source of shade or protective clothing handy and reapply your sunscreen often.
Now that you know the basics of navigating natural sunscreens, it’s time to get out there and protect your skin. We’ve discussed:
- How to find a natural sunscreen
- The importance of wearing sunscreen every day
- The benefits of natural sunscreens
- The difference between UVA and UVB protection
- The active ingredients to look for
- Tips for avoiding sunburn and sun damage
Natural sunscreens are an important part of sun protection, but you also need to make sure to wear hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, and stay in the shade when possible. With some careful research and preparation, you will be ready to hit the beach, the pool, or just go out for a walk with added sun protection.
Also keep in mind that there is more to UVA and UVB protection than just sunscreen. Your lifestyle choices, such as limiting screen time and using protective clothing, can play a large role in protecting your skin from sun damage. By following these tips and being aware of the potential risks, you can enjoy being in the sun and protect your skin.
Before going out in the sun, remember to use a natural sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply it frequently for long-lasting protection. Following the advice in this guide can help you stay safe and get the most out of your sunscreen!
Karmen Grier is a versatile writer who effortlessly delves into diverse subjects, ranging from travel and lifestyle to health and wellness. With a warm and approachable tone, she invites readers to join her in exploring new experiences and finding balance in an ever-evolving world.