Does natural sunscreen work?
First of all...here is why should you wear sunscreen in the first place.
Protecting oneself from the sun’s harmful rays is something many regret not doing once they enter their 40’s and begin seeing their sunbathing years manifesting into age/dark spots sagging skin and wrinkles.
Sun damage is something we have control over. Wearing hats, protective clothing and sunscreen can indeed help our skin look healthier and younger.
We encourage a healthy 15 minutes in the sun without protection for a good dose of Vitamin D (or Vitamin D supplements), however, any longer in the sun can result in damaged skin cells, breakdown of collagen and elastin. UV damage has also been known to cause skin cancer.
Please consult a doctor or health professional if you have questions about unprotected sun exposure or proper Vitamin D doses.
Mineral "Natural" Sunblock:
What ingredients block the sun? Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
How does it block the sun? Zinc and/or titanium dioxide act as a physical block. They sit on the surface of the skin and deflect harmful rays from the skins surface.
How effective is it? Minerals protect from UVA & UVB rays, begin working instantly and last longer in direct sunlight. Mineral sunscreens are also the preferred type for sensitive skin and for those who are prone to redness.
Is it safe for the skin? Minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe for the skin as they do not enter the blood stream. Zinc oxide & Titanium dioxide may cause allergenic effects if airborne and inhaled.
Pros: Safer for the skin and blood stream. Less frequent re application.
Cons: Can be white, thick and difficult to rub in, may be more expensive.
What ingredients block the sun? Chemical sunscreens contain carbon based compounds such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone.
How does it block the sun? Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing rays and converting them to heat, then relating the heat from the skin.
How effective is it? Chemical sunscreens are effective and actually require a less precise application over mineral sunscreen. However, chemical sunscreens may not protect the skin as long, and must be applied often.
Is it safe for the skin? Chemical sunscreens tend to be irritating and drying. The chemical Oxybenzone is not safe for the body. Oxybenzone may cause photoallergic reaction, disrupt hormone system and effect the reproductive system.
Pros: Easier to rub in. No white cast, can get away with a less precise application.
Cons: Chemicals not safe for our system, More frequent application, not ideal for the health of our environment.
What to use?
You can find Mineral & Chemical sunscreen blocks at The Green Beauty Collective:
CyberDERM Simply Zinc SPF 30: slightly heavier in texture. For the purist. Zinc Oxide
CyberDERM Everyday Sun Whip SPF 25 (with encapsulated octinoxate): slightly lighter in texture and more easily absorbable Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate
*Octinoxate: This chemical is rated a 6 on EWG database, however CyberDERM's technology to encapsulated the octinoxate prevents skin permeation. This makes it a large particle that sits on the surface of the skin (but does not come into actual contact) while remaining in protective silica bead. Octinoxate will not enter the blood stream.