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by Andrea Sellner

Finding the Best Possible Sunscreen

 

SUNSCREEN IS CONFUSING! Here are our TOP 5 safe and chemical free options...

There are thousands of articles and studies being done to understand how to protect our skin from too much sun exposure. We've recently found that most sunscreens are full of chemicals and  are adding toxicity to our bodies, causing more issues and leaving us confused about what we should be putting on our skin before heading outdoors.

If you're anything like us, you want to take care of your skin, but you just don't know what the BEST option is. We decided to look into this further; as skin advisors we believe we should know all the answers when it comes to finding the right sunscreen, that not only protects us from the sun, but also has healthy ingredients that will enhance the health of our skin inside and out. 

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends to look for these three things when selecting a sunscreen: 

1. Broad spectrum protection- protects agains UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. 
2. Sun protection factor (SPF)
3. Water resistant. 

We, here at Organic Escape, want to add one more number to that list of things to look for:

4. Skin beneficial ingredients

There are two types of sunscreens on the market; physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens reflect the sun's rays and chemical sunscreens absorb them. Knowing which sunscreen to choose comes with education on what is out there. Below is some need-to-know information when it comes to sunscreen shopping.

Physical Sunscreens have active ingredients in them such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, they sit on top of the skin rather than absorb, and literally block the sun. 

Chemical Sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. 

"What SPF should I use?"

Though, sunscreen cannot protect us 100% against skin cancer, it can only aid in blocking out some of the skin damaging UV rays, and help avoid premature aging of the skin. The FDA recommends using an SPF of 30 of higher to block out 97% of the UV rays, but no sunscreen, even 100 SPF can block out 100% of UV rays, so using an SPF of between 30-50 is all that is truly necessary.

The surest way to protect our skin is to not expose ourselves to sun for extended periods of time, wear sleeves, pants, hats, sunglasses, bring an umbrella, etc. Getting out in the sunshine is necessary and rewarding for our internal happiness, while wearing sunscreen every time you are outdoors, even when it's cloudy, is even more necessary and rewarding in the long run when it comes to our external health. 

"How do I use sunscreen properly?"

Sunscreen should be applied to our entire body; ears, lips (YES, wear sunscreen based chapstick on your lips- 30SPF or higher), nose, face, shoulders, chest, and back seem to be the most exposed, but applying a layer over the entire surface of the skin is mandatory for UV ray protection. It works best when applied to dry skin at least 15 minutes before sun exposure. Apply every two hours, and even more if you are swimming or sweating it off.

"What ingredients do I need to avoid?"

We are exposed to millions of different toxins and chemicals on a daily basis, let's not purposely apply anymore onto our skin. Both physical and chemical sunscreens can contain chemicals that should not be used on or near the body. They may help in avoiding sunburn- but they do not protect us against skin irritation, skin cancers, and hormonal imbalances, in fact, they can add to the cause. Since putting lotion on penetrates the skin, it has direct access to our blood stream, therefore whatever you're putting on your skin, is also getting into your blood. 

Some of the most common chemicals used in sunscreen are oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate, these are known to mimic hormones in our bodies and causing disruption to our hormone systems. Oxybenzone is the most studied chemical of the three, and has many articles linking it to the cause of hormonal imbalances and increased amounts of estrogen, endometriosis, and lower birth weight.

Not to mention the environmental as well as topical affects these chemicals have on our earth and skin. When these chemicals wash off of our skin and go into the water, they cause pollution. And when these chemicals go onto our skin they can cause; irritation, rashes, blisters and swelling. Our skin, like our earth, is not meant for these harsh chemicals so it tends to fight back and have allergic reactions to these ingredients. There are even studies of sunscreen disturbing coral and hormone balances in fish. Other ingredients, in particular to watch for are methylisothiazolinone, or MI, avobenzone, and octocrylene.

 

WHAT SUNSCREENS DO WORK:

From our research, these are the top 5 sunscreens in the market today, that we would and do personally use for the BEST possible option that includes 30+ SPF, safe ingredients, and are designed by quality and trustworthy companies. 

1. Suntegrity

We chose Suntegrity as our favorite brand- we like it so much that we have it available for sale at our online and in-store shops! ) 

Suntegrity is a Natural Mineral Sunscreen for the body, it offers broad spectrum protection and is free of harsh chemicals like parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, synthetic dyes, sulfates, nanoparticles, and chemical UV absorbers. 

Cruelty free, Vegan.

It contains 20% non-nano zinc-oxide for therapeutic broads spectrum protection against both UVA & UVB rays. 

30 SPF.

Contains organic ingredients such as: Green Tea Extract, Cucumber Extract, and Pomegranate Seed Oil for added protection.

This sunscreen formula is easy to apply, has antioxidants for healthy protection all year round, and has a light uplifting citrus scent. Made in the USA. 

 

2. Badger

This brand also covers all the bases when it comes to a safe and healthy sunscreen. It offers full broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays using zinc oxide as the only active ingredient.

SPF 30

It is certified natural and organic with ingredients based of plant oils, aloe, and beeswax that provide valuable antioxidants that help moisturize the skin. 

Cruelty Free, safe for the environment. 

Water resistant. 

 

3. Hynt sun prep

Hynt Beauty's Sun Prep is one of our favorite facial sunscreens that also doubles as a primer. It offers broad spectrum protection agains UVA and UVB rays. 

SPF 30

Anti-oxidant and anti-inflamatory rich organic plant extracts are used to formulate this product, such as; hatany root, green tea leaf, wild pansy and licorice that soothe and protect the skin.

Cruelty free, vegan, all natural ingredients.

 

4. Mad hippie

Click here to find Mad Hippie's Facial SPF

Click here to find Mad Hippie's Facial SPF

Mad Hippie has another great facial SPF of 30+. This line is all natural and chemical free. Also using zinc oxide as the only active ingredient. 

Broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. 

Plant based ingredients such as red raspberry seed oil, avocado oil & carrot seed oil, plus vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic acid

Mad Hippie is dedicated to preservation of the environment and uses recyclable airless pumps, and print solely with soy inks. 

USA made. Cruelty free, all products are Vegan, except the SPF which has some beeswax in it. 

 

5. Jane Iredale's Glow Time Mineral BB Cream Foundation

This BB cream has full coverage//covers blemishes, minimizes the appearance of pores, disgusies wrinkles and smooths out the overall look of the skin. 

Vegan, Cruelty Free, and Gluten Free

Contains SPF 20 or 17 with broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. 

Water resistant up to 40 minutes.

Quality ingredients and backed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

 

It is so important to protect ourselves in all ways possible when it comes to our skin and body. Skin is the largest organ, therefore it needs massive amounts of attention paid to it, to keep it in the best possible condition. We highly recommend grabbing one or more of these AMAZING sunscreens and start paying attention to ingredients as well as quality companies. We would put our money behind each and every one of these companies because of what they stand for, you should too!