Chemical versus Mineral Sunscreens // Summer Essentials
The buzz around sun protection has become louder through the years. Summer is prime sunscreen time, even though your body and face, especially, should be protected all year round. Think of how many rays your left arm absorbs while driving — if you live in an English territory, it is your right arm!
In recent years, as ingredients in the beauty industry (well, in everything, really) are becoming crucial to a product’s toxicity, the type of sunscreen you use is important. Mineral sunscreens — think the white noses sported by lifeguards and swim coaches — should be your new go-to. They are made with active ingredients of zinc or titanium dioxide, which physically block UVA and UVB rays (making them broad-spectrum). Chemical sunscreens, like the sprays and crèmes we have been rubbing on ourselves and our children for years, “actually absorb the sun’s rays — which is about as terrifying as it sounds,” iterates Goop.
When selecting a sunscreen, make sure that the inactive ingredients are also non-toxic; watch for ones ending in -paraben, -pthalates, sodium laureate sulfate, and fragrance. Why is this so important? Because “chemical sunscreens employ a potent combination of chemicals like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate), Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Avobenzone, many of which are hormone and endocrine disruptors,” says Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop. These chemicals are most dangerous in small doses; they mimic the hormones our body produces, tricking it into reacting in ways it should not.
Do not hesitate to don a baby or child sunscreen. Embrace your jovial self and protect your skin with an even cleaner and more sensitive product. Additionally, if your skin is more sensitive, avoid putting non-face products on your face. While some creams cooperate with all areas, think twice about what you use where!
There is fantastic way to check how clean your sunscreen is (or any product — home or beauty): through the Environmental Working Group’s database. It rates products on a scale of 1-10; a lower score results in a safer, cleaner product.
All sunscreens selected by ALB have low EWG ratings and are easy to apply. They are neither too goopy nor so thick that you struggle to schmere them on.
Sunscreens to layer under your makeup or when you are going for a light (yet effective) coverage. // For your face.
Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 // EWG Score Unknown
Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 45 // EWG Score 3
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer Cream, Face Sunscreen SPF 15 with Mexoryl SX // EWG Score 2
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 // EWG Score 2
All clean sunscreens are suitable for sensitive skin. However, look for products targeted towards babies and children, as they have fewer (and even safer) ingredients. // For face and body.
Coola Suncare Suncare Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 // EWG Score 1
Honest Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ // EWG Score 1
Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ // EWG Score 1
Sunscreen that withstands a trying workout or a long tennis match is epic. However, it is frustrating when the product is so water-resistant that it does not even come off in the shower. Here are reliable and wearable sunscreens to try! // For face and body.
All Good Coconut Sunstick SPF 30 //EWG Score 1
Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 // EWG Score 3
Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 // EWG Score 1
Just as your lips chap in the winter, they burn in the summer. Regular lip balms actually attract the sun’s rays — think, shiny, reflective. Opt for a protective balm that hydrates, too. // For your lips.
Beautycounter Protect Lip Balm SPF 15 // EWG Score 2
All Good Coconut Lip Balm SPF 20 // EWG Score Unknown
Practice safe sun!
Header image, from left, down, Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 | All Good Coconut Sunstick SPF 30 | All Good Coconut Lip Balm SPF 20 | La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15 | Honest Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ | Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+ | Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 | Drunk Elephant Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 | Beautycounter Protect Lip Balm SPF 15 | Coola Suncare Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 | Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 45 | Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40
Please note that I have no relationship with any of the brands or products mentioned in this article. They are all products I use and support personally.