We all know that sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15+ or higher is one of the most effective ways to reduce your chance of sunburn. Most of us are also aware that these sunscreens can also contain a number of toxic ingredients which can make choosing a sunscreen a difficult task. On the one hand you want to be protected from the sun & on the other hand you want to avoid harmful chemicals & toxins that may cause reactions.
Active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms: chemical & mineral filters. The most common & often the least expensive sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters. Sunscreen is applied all over our body, often several times a day & the ingredients can be soaked through the skin & can be detected in blood, urine and even mother’s breast milk. Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical UV filters may block or mimic hormones & can lead to skin allergies with frequent application (Environmental Working Group).
Australian Dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook says that today the main culprit seems to be chemicals in the benzophenone group, although there are numerous other nasties to avoid. These include:
- Salicylate, may be in the form of octyl salicylate, ethylhexyl salicylate, homomenthyl salicylate, triethanolamine salicylate
- Benzophenone and benzoate, common forms include amino benzoic acid, glyceryl amino benzoate, Ethyl-4-bis amino benzoate, avobenzone, butyl methoxyl-dibenzoylmethane
- PABA, including amyl dimethyl PABA, glyceryl PABA, ethyl dihydroxypropyl PABA, octyldimethyl PABA
- Cinnamate, & anything ending in this term
- Eusolex, helioplex, meradimate, parsol 1789, sunzerse OT
On the other hand most natural sunscreens use an active ingredients that acts as as a physical filter often with nanoparticle minerals such as Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide. These tiny particles sit on top of the skin, rather than sink in & deflect the sun's UV rays so they don't penetrate the skin. Dr Cook recommends a physical sunscreen saying they offer full spectrum protection, are non-irritating on the skin, and do not appear to have any effects on hormonal health.
Our favourite natural sunscreens that use physical filters are:
Naïf Sun Lotion Baby & Kids SPF50 - Perfume Free
An easy to apply & high spectrum SPF 50 sun lotion, with non-nano Zinc-oxide that deeply nourishes the delicate skin of babies & children while delivering optimal protection against UVA and UVB rays. Naïf Sun Lotion Baby & Kids is free of ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate or microplastics, so it won't harm our precious ocean(life) and has no perfume in it, which makes it gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types. Feel free to swim around with your little one whilst still being protected as this gentle sun lotion is water-resistant. Wrapped in a bioplastic tube based on sugarcane to save CO2!
Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF30
We are LOVING this new kid on the Natural Sunscreen block! Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF30 provides UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection from the sun’s harmful rays whilst also being water resistant for up to 3 hours protecting you and your family whilst swimming, playing sports, having fun in the sun or living daily life. Little Urchin have also created a Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF30 in a medium tint that not only protects you from the sun but also enhances your natural skin tone. This multi-functional sunscreen is also 3-hours water resistant, hydrates your skin thanks to its antioxidant rich formulation AND replaces your foundation by offering a gorgeous warm tinted tone to skin.
Little Urchin Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50+
Thanks to Little Urchin's innovative new squeaky clean formula, they've managed to create a broad spectrum UVA + UVB sunscreen that is both natural and vegan! This beautiful, easy to apply Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF50+ by Little Urchin won’t leave you looking white and includes Non-Nano Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient, it is completely free of any dangerous chemicals, UV absorbers, titanium dioxide, parabens, synthetic preservatives or synthetic fragrances, making it safe for you (6 months +) those with sensitive skin, the fishes, the reefs and the rest of the environment. Enjoy fun in the sun when swimming in the ocean or your neighbour's pool, as this sunscreen is up to 4 hours water-resistant! Available in both a 100 gr tube and (20gr) pocket-size stick to take with you everywhere you go.
LEKKER Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 - Eucalyptus
If you are looking for a pocket-size, zero waste sunscreen than this Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 by The Lekker Company is definitely your summer go-to. Enriched with the refreshing scent of Eucalyptus, vitamin E, C and made 100% natural, vegan and completely plastic free, this sunscreen works to block UVA & UVB rays for healthy skin during summer, whilst protecting our environment from any harmful chemicals or plastics. Good for you AND the planet! It's nourishing ingredients deliver a boost of hydrating benefits and makes this natural sun paste easy to apply for a soft & smooth complexion.
Exciting news? Nourished Daily, our own preferred brand has a sunscreen SPF50 and natural daily moisturizer SPF30 in development. STAY TUNED, available in the summer of 2023.
Explore all natural sunscreens at Nourished in our sunscreen collection.