The Best Natural Sunscreens by Flauntme on Jun 22, 2017

We all know by now that we’re suppose to put on sunscreen whenever we go outside whether it’s sunny or overcast. With that in mind and summer upon us, we’re on a mission to find the best natural sunscreens, aka physical sunblocks. That leads us to mineral sunscreens rather than chemical-based sunscreens. The benefit of a mineral sunscreen is that, like the name implies, it relies on minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium oxide, and not potentially harmful chemicals, to give you protection against UVA and UVB rays. Also, mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin creating a blocking barrier and reflect UV rays from the skin while chemical sunscreens get absorbed into the skin. According to the Environmental Working Group, chemical ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Homosalate and Avobenzone that are commonly found in chemical sunscreens can cause reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity and allergies. No thanks, right?

A common complaint with mineral sunscreens is that they oftentimes leave a white cast and have a thick, goopy feel. The latest crop of mineral sunscreens, however, are an improvement on its predecessors offering the necessary protection without the chalky white residue.

With so many sunscreens on the market it can be tough to figure out which are the best ones minus the harmful chemicals. So we’ve done the homework for you combing through user reviews, blogger picks and magazine recommendations to find the best natural sunscreens for face, body and sports that will keep you covered all year round.

Here are some other important factors to consider when choosing your sunscreen:

Active Ingredients: Mineral sunscreens contain only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Sunscreens described as “mineral-based” may be mixed with other active ingredients, so check the label to be sure that only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are listed. Oxybenzone, which is commonly found in chemical sunscreens, earns a rating of 8 (the lower the better on a scale of 1-10) from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

Inactive Ingredients: Even if the active ingredients consist of only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, check to make sure that it’s not otherwise loaded with inactive ingredients such as allergens like Methyldibromo Glutaronitrile, parabens and fragrance that have potentially harmful effects. A red flag inactive ingredient, Retinyl Palmitate, earns a rating of 9 from the EWG.

Broad Spectrum: It’s important to have a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays since they cause different types of damage. In general, UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin and cause sunburn, and UVA penetrates deeper into the skin’s thickest layer causing premature skin aging and wrinkles. Both UVA and UVB contribute to skin cancer, so it's important to have a sunscreen that can block both.

Water Resistant/ Waterproof: The FDA only allows a sunscreen to claim to be water resistant if it retains its stated SPF value after a certain time (either 40 or 80 minutes) in water or while sweating. There is really no such thing as a “waterproof” or “sweatproof” sunscreen.

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