Natural Sun Care Guide

by | Jun 11, 2018 | Green Beauty

A complete guide to safe sun care. Rest assured, all products mentioned are 100% cruelty-free and reef safe. Before we get to the sunscreens, after sun care products, and self tanners, lets learn a little more about staying safe in the sun, the ingredients found in formulas, and protecting our oceans.

WHY DO WE NEED PROTECTION FROM THE SUN?

The sun radiates light to the earth, and some of that light consists of invisible UV rays. Two dangerous types of UV rays are:

UVA RAYS have more long-term damaging effects on the skin causing skin aging and wrinkling, and they can contribute to skin cancer. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. UVA rays make up the majority of our skin exposure because they easily pass through the ozone layer.

UVB RAYS cause sunburns, cataracts (clouding of the eye lens), and effects on the immune system. They also contribute to skin cancer, and melanoma is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns before age 20.

WHAT IS SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UVB) rays. In order to find this measure, testers (people) are measured on how long it takes them to burn without any sun protection. The test is then redone with sunscreen. They divide the number of how long it takes without sunscreen by the number of how long it takes with sunscreen and round it down. This will give the sunscreen its SPF number. It’s not an exact science because the amount of UV light that reaches us depends on a few factors, such as cloud cover, time of day, and the reflection of UV rays off the ground. It’s generally recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours.

GETTING YOUR VITAMIN D INTAKE

We do need some sun exposure. When we are exposed our bodies make vitamin D which helps us absorb calcium for stronger bones. It only takes a short time to get our daily vitamin D intake (and most vitamin D needs should be met with a healthy diet and/or supplements). Experts say, 10 minutes midday for those with fair skin is all that’s needed. If you’re already tan or of Hispanic origin, you need maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Darker/black skin may require six times the sun exposure to make the same vitamin D levels as a very fair-skinned person. After that, it’s time to get your sunscreen out if you plan on staying outdoors.

WHAT DOES BROAD SPECTRUM MEAN?

Broad spectrum sunscreen means that it protects against BOTH UVB and UVA radiation, which is exactly what you need in a sunscreen.

PROPER SUNSCREEN APPLICATION

Like stated above, it’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours. It is also important to choose a water resistant sunscreen to make sure you are covered when it comes to sweating and swimming if needed. Apply sunscreen in an even coat and don’t forget common missed areas including the ears, top of the feet, and back of the neck.

DON’T BOTHER WITH SPF ABOVE 50

Experts say sunscreens with an SPF above 50 aren’t worth buying. They only offer marginally better protection. They also might encourage people to stay out in the sun longer because they believe they’re getting extra protection. Stick with SPFs between 15-50.

Not so safe Ingredients to watch for

Oxybenzone also known as methanone, 2-hydroxy 4 methodoxydenzophenone and benzophenone-3, could disrupt the human endocrine system and pose cardiovascular challenges.
Octinoxate can be absorbed rapidly through skin. It is a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function.
Retinyl Palmitate research indicates when incorporated into sunscreen and exposed to sun the ingredient elevates one’s risk to skin cancer.
Benzophenone-3 (B-3) a preservative and UV ray deactivator can potentially trigger DNA damage. Just two days after application on the skin it is detectable in urine.
Amino Benzoic Acid also called para-aminobenzoic acid, PABA, Vitamin Bx, or padimate O has been found to amplify cellular damage.

About Zinc and Titanium Dioxide

ZINC OXIDE provides the greatest protection against UVA rays. It is a powered mineral that sits on top of the skin. It can stand alone as a sunblock because it is truly effective against UVA, UVB and even UVC rays. A big concern with nano particles in cosmetics is the threat of inhalation when they are used in zinc oxide powder and sprays.
TITANIUM DIOXIDE is an inert mineral found in the earth that is valued in cosmetics for its opacifying and UV protection properties. Though it is naturally ocurring, it undergoes synthetic processing to remove impurities or contaminants, such as heavy metals found in the earth. Titanium dioxide is used in cream formulas only, as it can be carcinogenic when inhaled in powdered form. Please note, Titanium Dioxide does not protect from UVB rays in the same way zinc does. Preliminary scientific research has not shown any evidence that zinc or titanium can soak in below the dermal layer. A report from the German Federal Health Institute concluded zinc stayed on the skin’s surface and was not absorbed. A study released in January of 2017 from the Australian TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) also concluded the zinc does not get absorbed beyond the surface of the skin or the outer dead layer of the skin.

PROTECTING OUR OCEANS – REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN

You might already know that Hawaii has signed a bill that prohibits the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing chemicals that are contributing to the destruction of the state’s coral reefs and other ocean life. This will go into effect on Jan 1, 2021. This is big because researchers estimate about 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions end up in coral reefs around the world each year. Reef-damaging substances such as oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor have been shown to cause coral bleaching (a process that causes coral to turn white and kill it) even at low levels.

SAFE SUNSCREENS

packaged with minimal or no plastic

100% PURE

YERBA MATE SPF 30 tea leaf contains antioxidants that help to protect against free radicals and environmental pollutants. Water-resistant 80 min. 100% vegan.

MANDA

MANDA SUN PASTE SPF 50 Specially designed for surfers, climbers, hikers, athletes, adventurers, or anyone who loves to be outside or in the water. Unique packaging made from bamboo and the tin is recyclable or can be reused to store any favorite small goodies.

ALL GOOD

ALL GOOD SUNSCREEN BUTTER made with only 5 simple ingredients plus zonc oxide. It is designed for extreme environments like high elevation or water sports. It is water resistant.

RAW ELEMENTS

FACE + BODY SUNSCREEN extremely versatile, large coverage area sunscreen safe for the face and body, gentle enough for children. Soy, gluten and nut free.

DAILY LIFESTYLE PUMP SPF 30 A lightweight version of the face + body sunscreen. It’s water resistant, gentle and moisturizing – perfect for kids.

TINTED FACIAL MOISTURIZER SPF 30  High performance and face formula with ultra moisturizing properties.

MARIE VERONIQUE

EVERYDAY FACIAL COVERAGE TINTED SUNSCREEN SPF 30 Demi-matte finish and has been designed as a light layer to wear over your face oil. It provides sheer to light coverage and diffuses redness.

AFTER SUN CARE

HERBIVORE BOTANICALS

AFTER SUN Soothe away burns with aloe,  cooling mint, & therapeutic lavender. Certified cruelty-free by PETA & Leaping Bunny + vegan.

LAUREL WHOLE PLANT

SUN DAMAGE REPAIR Works as a treatment serum, moisturizer, and strengthens skin’s response to the sun’s rays. Gluten-free.

IREMIA SKINCARE

RESTORATIVE FACIAL OIL Regenerative daily multivitamin for skin. Packed with Omega 6 fatty acids. Vegan.

NATURAL SELF TANNER

CHOCOLATE SUN

SELF TANNER  Enhanced with shea butter, coconut oil and aloe, it leaves skin with a golden brown, natural looking tan. Color develops in 6 – 8 hours.

ECO TAN

INVISIBLE TAN obtains its  golden color from the cacao plant so it does not contain orange or green tones. In just one application, color is developed in over eight hours. It will not stain your clothes or sheets.

CACAO FIRMING MOUSSE Lightweight Self Tanning Mousse For Face + Body that delivers a deep-bronze tan in one application. It is suitable for all skin types.

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