It’s not news that mineral sunscreens are more effective. Many mainstream sunscreen brands have even developed mineral formulas, but not all mineral sunscreens are created equally. Following are tips on choosing a safe natural sunscreen.
Why Mineral Sunscreens are Better than Synthetic
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two highly effective mineral sunscreens. Mineral sunscreen ingredients form a physical barrier on top of the skin, and are immediately effective upon application. Chemical sunscreens are not, requiring approximately 20-30 minutes after application to become effective.
This physical barrier created by mineral sunscreens is also an advantage in UV protection. The sun produces both UVA and UVB rays. UVB, the rays responsible for sunburn, affect mainly the top layers of skin. UVA rays travel to deeper layers of skin and are linked to premature aging and skin cancer. Chemical sunscreens are much less effective in protecting against UVA rays.
Another advantage to using mineral based sun protection is that they are nontoxic and do not accumulate in the body. Synthetic sunscreens have been found to hold estrogenic properties, causing hormonal disturbances in the body. The chemical compounds in synthetic sunscreens can accumulate in body fats and in mother’s breast milk, mimicking estrogen and causing such hormonal disturbances as uterine inflammation.
Synthetic sunscreen ingredients to avoid:
- 4-Methyl-Benzylidencamphor (4-MBC)
- Oxybenzone Benzophenone-3
- Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC)
- Octyl-Dimethyl-Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid (OD-PABA)
Choosing safe natural sunscreens also reduces your exposure to other harmful ingredients. Many sunscreens are made with synthetic oils and fragrance. Nontoxic sunscreen products contain pure plant oils, healthy vitamins, and beneficial antioxidants.
Facts on Nano-particle Free Sunscreen
You may have heard about the possible health risks associated with nanoparticle mineral sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens lend a white cast to skin, which many users find displeasing. In effort to eliminate the white after effect, many mineral sunscreen manufacturers began using nanoparticle ingredients, where the mineral is shrunken to under 100 nanometers(nm).
To get a better idea of this invisible-to-the-naked-eye size, a DNA strand is approximately 2nm wide and a human hair is a much larger 80,000 nm thick.
While this tiny size helps to rid mineral sunscreens of the unwanted ghostly glare, it has also brought about speculation on its safety. Many experts believe these shrunken minerals can penetrate to deeper layers of skin, and possibly enter our organs and bloodstream. This absorption could lead to cell damage and adverse health effects. While the safety of nanoparticles is as yet unfounded, many natural mineral sunscreen producers choose to forgo use of the shrunken variety until more definitive results are determined.
How to Choose the Best Mineral Sunscreen
Mineral, non-nano, nontoxic, organic…which sunscreens are the safest and most effective? True Natural Sunscreens are 100% mineral based and free from harmful ingredients. These all natural sunscreens are made with a blend of non-nano titanium and zinc, to reduce greasiness and white film. The entire line meets the new FDA Broad Spectrum guidelines and includes products safe for the whole family:
Face Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Unscented is super gentle, invisible protection for face. Leaves a smooth, powdery finish on skin, not at all greasy. This facial sunscreen is perfect worn under makeup. Gluten-free & vegan sunscreen. Broad Spectrum SPF 30 for Baby & Family is water resistant for a full 80 minutes and gentle enough for use on the whole family. This sunscreen absorbs quickly and leaves behind no slippery feel or stickiness. Gluten-free sunscreen. Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Neutral provides high powered protection for even the most sensitive skin. Goes on slightly whiter than the other True Natural Sunscreens, but has no sticky feel and is unscented. Provides the ultimate long-lasting sun protection. Gluten-free & vegan sunscreen.
Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Caribbean Coconut offers the same long lasting protection in a pleasant beach-y scent. This essential sunscreen is lightly hydrating and feels great on the skin. No added fragrance, the light beachy scent comes from pure coconut oil. Gluten-free & vegan sunscreen.
UV damage and chemical exposure are not an issue when using safe natural sunscreen. Be sure to check sunscreen labels for chemical sunscreen ingredients and other harmful synthetics. Then stock up and get ready to enjoy your summer.