The importance of mineral sunscreen, especially those made from non-nano zinc oxide, for your health and that of the environment.
Hi friends. Warmer weather is here (for the most part) and while our neighborhood pool is open, the water’s still too cold to take a dip. But that hasn’t stopped us from enjoying being outside for a little bit of sunshine here and there. Not to mention, I walk the dogs twice a day, so I’m constantly in the sun. I thought today we’d talk about sunscreen and the importance of choosing a mineral sunscreen over the common “chemical” sunscreens.
I haven’t always been great about applying sunscreen. I admittedly have sometimes relied on my darker melanin to “protect me” and it’s gotten me sunburned on more than one occasion. However, all of that changed when my husband had to have a huge chunk of skin removed from his back due to melanoma.
Thankfully, his dermatologist caught it in time, and he’s doing great. But knowing that he developed melanoma despite using sunscreen with SPF factors of 50-100 was a huge wake-up call. I knew that I had to educate myself on
What is the difference between a chemical and mineral sunscreen?
A mineral sunscreen, or a “physical sunscreen,” creates a physical barrier between your skin and harmful UV rays. It physically bounces and reflects UV rays off your skin.
In contrast, traditional “chemical” sunscreens use SPF filters like
Chemical sunscreens have a high potential for skin irritation and contain ingredients whose long-term effects are untested. Additionally, many of these ingredients are contributing to the global collapse of our coral reefs.
Mineral sunscreen is safer?
The FDA recently ruled mineral sunscreens as safe (those containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide), while adding that chemical sunscreens need further testing to be deemed as safe. Yes, you read right. Chemical sunscreens have not been proven safe…by the FDA.
Since mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin, they are great for people with sensitive skin as well as babies and kids. However, not all mineral sunscreens are created equal
Always be sure to check the inactive ingredients! Even if the active ingredients are nontoxic (i.e., mineral), make sure that it’s not otherwise loaded with toxic ingredients. What to watch out for: anything ending in -paraben,
Where can I buy safer sunscreen?
I love all of the Countersun mineral sunscreens by Beautycounter because they adhere to their strict safety measures. They have three different forms of sunscreen – traditional cream sunscreen, a mini stick sunscreen (perfect for your purse), and a brand new mist sunscreen. (It works without all of the harmful chemicals in traditional aerosol sprays.)
My favorite for the pool and the beach is the mist sunscreen because it is so easy to apply. Beautycounter makes sure that the zinc oxide particles are large enough so there is no risk of inhaling them into your lungs when sprayed, and they do not enter your bloodstream.
The last thing we need is sunscreen causing harm to our lungs, amiright?
Wait, is SPF 30 enough?
Let’s chat about SPF numbers.
Did you know that a higher SPF doesn’t mean more protection? It’s true. SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98%. SPF 15 is okay for everyday activities, but if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, go with SPF 30 and always reapply as directed.
You should look for a mineral sunscreen that blocks both UVA + UVB rays. My little trick is to remember that A = aging/wrinkles and B = burning/cancer.
So many times we naively thought SPF 100 would protect us for longer. Not so, given the
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Have you switched to mineral sunscreen yet?
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