Does natural sunscreen work?

Does natural sunscreen work?

First of 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. 


Chemical Sunblock: 

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.

Click here for more in detail information 

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. 

by Jacqueline Parker
What is exfoliation?

What is exfoliation?

We love asking our clients if they exfoliate, mostly because we typically get the most confused looks from them. Many are quick to answer that they can barely wash their face and take off their makeup before rolling into bed at the end of the day.

Today we are going to explore the mysterious world of exfoliation and find out who it's for and if it is really all that necessary.

What is exfoliating?

Exfoliating is the process of using a chemical, or manual product to loosen and remove dead skin leaving the surface soft, smooth and perfect for makeup application.There are 2 different forms of exfoliation...being manual, or physical.

Manual exfoliation this is typically a gritty scrub or textured cloth or sponge to slough off dead, dry skin. A commonly used manual exfoliant would include ingredients such as almond meal, corn meal, ground oats.

Keep in mind, if your product says “microbeads” stay far away. Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic that enter our water systems and are never broken down. It is also important to avoid any type of hard shell such as “apricot scrub” as the rough edges scratch the skin, causing inflammation and redness.

Chemical exfoliation involves using a chemical AHA or BHA to release the dead skin. Chemical exfoliators can be used more often depending on the percentage of BHA or AHA.

AHA is a glycolic acid or lactic acid. AHAs are tiny molecules that penetrate the upper layer of your skin and help dislodge and dissolve dead skin cells.

BHA is a salicylic acid. BHA’s do the same thing, but it can also penetrate into your pores themselves (AHAs can’t do this). This means BHA treatments are often good for people with oily or breakout prone skin, as these are often symptoms of clogged pores.


So which type of exfoliation is better?

Well, this is totally up to a) the results you want for a certain skin issue b) how clean you want a product to be.

Technically speaking, BHA’s and AHA’s are synthetic chemicals made in a lab and can have irritating qualities to them, however, they are extremely effective especially for acne-prone skin and aging skin because they penetrate deeper into the skin’s surface and work on a deeper level.

We are huge fans of the Okoko Skin Brightening L'ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ with 5% alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), naturally sourced from blueberries, sugar cane, and citrus. This is a clean AHA product.

If you are more of a purist, you will be satisfied with a manual exfoliator such as the Viva Amaze Gel, Wild Hill Nootka Rose Cleansing Clay, or Wyld Konjac Sponges.

Who is exfoliation for?

We are believers that everyone should be exfoliating once a week, especially if your skin is maturing. As we age, our skin cell turnover process slows down, and we need a little bit of help. For this reason, we recommend those with dry and mature skin to ensure exfoliation is apart of their weekly skincare routine.

Anyone who wears makeup will notice that their face makeup sits much better after they have exfoliated their skin. It creates a smooth and beautiful base for any foundation or tinted moisturizer. Exfoliating also helps your skincare products to work to their highest potential by allowing them to dive deeper into the skin, rather than into the dead cells sitting on top of the skin.


How often should I exfoliate?

We recommend exfoliation 1-2x week. If you are just starting out with exfoliation and your skin is quite dry, try out 2-3x a week, and slow down to 1-2x a week once your skin has sloughed the skin and softened.

If you learned something from this blog, or feel inspired to share this information, please share the article on your facebook with your friends and family! We also encourage you to subscribe to our channel for weekly green beauty videos.


You can shop cruelty-free, eco-friendly and vegan exfoliation products at and if you have ANY questions, please comment below or shoot us an email at


Thank you for reading and we hope you tune in again next week.

by Jacqueline Parker
"Greenwashing": A term to keep in mind when shopping for natural beauty products

"Greenwashing": A term to keep in mind when shopping for natural beauty products

Did you know Natural doesn't always mean natural? Have you heard of the term Greenwashing before? Well, if you haven't we are going to break it down for you.

Greenwashing is more prominent than ever on the market because natural beauty has become very popular. We get questions all the time about what products are truly natural and which ones are simply jumping through legal hoops to say they are natural. Keep watching to learn what greenwashing is, what common signs to look out for and what brands are greenwashing! 

What is Greenwashing?

Green Washing is when a company makes misleading claims about the health or environmental benefits of a product or service or even technology to boost their sales.  Using words like "natural" or "eco" are very common, "plant extracts" 'derived from plants" are some other terms used within the beauty industry and it can be very confusing for the consumer. 

Other things to look out for are packaging, they may be using unbleached materials to make it appear more natural, or use colors like brown and green to emulate a more eco-friendly or healthier product. 

Why is Greenwashing bad?

Well, its misleading consumers into thinking they are living a more environmentally friendly, healthier life when in fact they are not so that they (the companies) can line their pockets with cash from the misled consumer. How is that ok??

Common Signs of Greenwashing

- "natural"
- plant-based
-"eco', "pure, "raw" "for sensitive skin", "hypoallergenic", "mineral", "herbal", "paraben-free", "chemical-free", "earth-friendly"
- "contains natural ingredients"
- visuals of plants on the packaging. 

Our tips to avoid greenwashing and know when your being mislead! 

First, Do your due diligence and research, flip the bottle over and look at the ingredients, have the dirty dozen to refer to. 

Buy from smaller, local companies where possible, know who is behind the brand,  reduce your carbon footprint by buying local and carry reusable and refillable containers. 

Reduce your single-use plastics and even single-use compostables. 

Look for legit logos and certifications like Leaping Bunny, Fairtrade Canada and Canadian Organics Standard (COS)

We realize that some smaller brands have been bought out by big brands, for example, Burts Bees is now owned by Clorox. While its great that larger companies want to get into the green game but we hope, (but unfortunately they haven't shown us so far, that they will keep the integrity of the brand) 

Brands that Greenwash

Tarte - ingredients like shea butter, licorice extracts, and Amazonian clay are highlighted but upon further investigation its easy to find ingredients that are known to cause eye and skin irritation and contain synthetic fragrance. There is talc in their eyeshadows, talc can contain asbestos and talc is strongly connected to cancer. Johnson and Johnson have paid out millions in lawsuits connected to cancer WTF?!?!

There is a vegan-friendly logo but remember that it doesn't mean free some harmful chemicals. 

Some other brands that use greenwashing:

The Body Shop (owned by L'oreal) - through imagery, words like "botanical ingredients"
LUSH - "cruelty-free" and vegan does not mean its natural. LUSH uses heavy fragrance and preservatives.
Burts Bees (owned by Clorox) - we wanted to mention Burts Bees because this is an example of a small company that was taken over by a large corporation. Some people may not have issues with this, however, we try to stay away from supporting brands owned by unethical corporations. 

Bare Minerals - mineral makeup does not mean the rest of the ingredients are natural. In fact, some people are actually sensitive to minerals!
Aveeno - Aveeno highly promotes the use of soothing oats in their products, an example of highlighting a few key ingredients to sweep all of the others under the rug

Alba Botanica
Covergirl Natureluxe
Herbal Essences
Johnson’s Natural
Josie Maran
Moroccan Oil
Neutrogena Pure & Free
Nivea Pure & Natural
Seventh Generation
St. Ives
Yes To

So you can see, it's very important to be aware and do your research, everyone is different when it comes to what is important to them. 

So you decide, what's important to you, we realize lifestyles, budgets and constitutions vary, we are hoping this video will spark some interest for you to take your power back as the consumer. 

Speak with your dollars and help spread the word about very misleading marketing such as greenwashing. Support brands you believe in. 

by Amanda Gangoso