Beauty

Block it out: things to consider before buying sunscreen

Block it out: things to consider before buying sunscreen

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You’ve heard it a thousand times: wear sunscreen. Do you actually do it? No, really, do you?

You’ve heard it a thousand times: wear sunscreen. Do you actually do it? No, really, do you?

Block it out: things to consider before buying sunscreen
If you ask any beauty professional what their number one skincare tip is, it’ll be to wear sunscreen. All skin types need sun protection, so make sure you carry sunscreen with you and apply it anytime you are going to be outside. Be sure to reapply it every two hours or so. No matter the weather or season, sun damage can occur.

But it’s not only important to wear sunscreen, it’s also vital to check what ingredients are in it. So, before you rush to buy a new tube, let’s look into a few elements you should consider when purchasing sunscreen.

Ingredients to avoid

When you’re shopping for a sunscreen flip over the bottle (or stick, or whatever form it is in) and take a look at what it’s made of. Harmful chemicals don’t belong on your face, body, or in the environment. One study estimated that 4-6 thousand tons of sunscreen end up in the ocean each year, affecting up to 10% of the world’s reef. Here are some of the baddies to avoid.

Oxybenzone

Harmful to both your body and aquatic life, this chemical tops the list of ingredients to watch out for. According to Made Safe, “Oxybenzone is linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, contact allergies, and photo allergies”. Photo allergies are allergies associated with light exposure, meaning that you may become more sensitive to light.

Octinoxate

This chemical is also common in sunscreens as it absorbs quickly and protects against UVB/UVA rays. While there isn’t much evidence proving that it is dangerous, various studies that have been done show that it can cause hormone disruption. This chemical has also been found in breast milk which leads us to believe that it is absorbed into the blood stream.

Several studies have also concluded that octinoxate can cause reproductive issues in animals, you can read more about that here.

Homosalate

This chemical also is linked to disrupting reproductive hormones like estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. The breakdown of this chemical can be toxic to the body. The FDA found blood levels to be 37 times above the cutoff for systemic exposure…meaning that companies are not adhering to the FDA limits on certain chemicals. This can be concerning.

Octocrylene

Octocrylene not only poses a risk to you, but to marine life as well. This chemical can cause DNA damage and deformities in fish and other organisms. These fish end up on our plates for our consumption. Also, octocrylene actually makes you MORE sensitive to UV light! Seems counterproductive doesn’t it?

But what now?

Now that we’ve discovered which ingredients to avoid, you may be wondering which sunscreens you should buy. There are hundreds of products on the market and it can get overwhelming when you’re shopping. Here are some sunscreen brands that are doing it right. All of these are free of the harmful chemicals we talked about earlier.

As always, before testing a new product, be sure to patch test to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to it. Pick a spot like the inside of your elbow or wrist to determine if you are able to use it on your face and the rest of your body. You can learn more about patch testing skincare here.

Green People Organic Sun Lotion SPF 30 Scent Free

A holiday must-have! This beauty will not only be kind to your skin and the environment, it will also glide over your moisturiser or face serum without leaving your skin feeling heavy or clogged. Great for sensitive skin!

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

We now all know how difficult it is to formulate a sunscreen without using chemicals or silicones, but Drunk Elephant has done just that! It works beautifully on all skin types as it hydrates, super light and stays sheer on fair skin as well. Also a great little edition to your makeup routine as it leaves no white residue and works very well with any makeup products.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30

This is a great product for swim time as it’s proven to be amazing when it comes to water resistance and it even keeps your little one’s skin happy and well protected. Yes, even babies!

Odylique Natural Sun Screen SPF 30

What a wonderful little product. Vegan, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and reef safe - great for the whole family! It allows your skin to breathe and is immediately effective upon application, making it an absolute winner.

Dead Sea Spa Magic Sunsafe SPF 50

Great product for skin prone to pigmentation. It nourishes, protects and balances the skin and is great for the whole family - which is always great news, who wants to buy separate products for everyone? This cutie offers waterproof sun protection for up to eight hours - but make sure you reapply, particularly after swimming. Obvs…

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen Coconut Clear Spray SPF 50

This delicious smelling broad-spectrum air-powered clear spray applies like a dream and is earth-friendly too. This water-resistant formulation is biodegradable and gluten free while still protecting against sunburn and damage from photoaging.

REN Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Protect your face without the gooey mess. This is packed with the ingredients you want without harming the environment. The non-greasy formula contains rice starch to help soak up excess oil. Protect your beautiful face!

Heliocare 360º Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50+

Part of the revamped Helio 360º range that doesn’t contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate,  this ultra-lightweight water gel formulation absorbs instantly without any residue or film left on the skin. Though it is a little more on the pricey side it is probably one of the best protective sunscreens you’ll find.

Huxley Stay Sun Safe SPF50+ PA++++

Dive into luxury with this beautiful moisturising and antioxidant-rich sunscreen. Designed for everyday use, this tube is packed with moisture boosting prickly pear seed oil and cactus extract to support and protect your skin without the feeling of having product on your skin.

If you ask any beauty professional what their number one skincare tip is, it’ll be to wear sunscreen. All skin types need sun protection, so make sure you carry sunscreen with you and apply it anytime you are going to be outside. Be sure to reapply it every two hours or so. No matter the weather or season, sun damage can occur.

But it’s not only important to wear sunscreen, it’s also vital to check what ingredients are in it. So, before you rush to buy a new tube, let’s look into a few elements you should consider when purchasing sunscreen.

Ingredients to avoid

When you’re shopping for a sunscreen flip over the bottle (or stick, or whatever form it is in) and take a look at what it’s made of. Harmful chemicals don’t belong on your face, body, or in the environment. One study estimated that 4-6 thousand tons of sunscreen end up in the ocean each year, affecting up to 10% of the world’s reef. Here are some of the baddies to avoid.

Oxybenzone

Harmful to both your body and aquatic life, this chemical tops the list of ingredients to watch out for. According to Made Safe, “Oxybenzone is linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, contact allergies, and photo allergies”. Photo allergies are allergies associated with light exposure, meaning that you may become more sensitive to light.

Octinoxate

This chemical is also common in sunscreens as it absorbs quickly and protects against UVB/UVA rays. While there isn’t much evidence proving that it is dangerous, various studies that have been done show that it can cause hormone disruption. This chemical has also been found in breast milk which leads us to believe that it is absorbed into the blood stream.

Several studies have also concluded that octinoxate can cause reproductive issues in animals, you can read more about that here.

Homosalate

This chemical also is linked to disrupting reproductive hormones like estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. The breakdown of this chemical can be toxic to the body. The FDA found blood levels to be 37 times above the cutoff for systemic exposure…meaning that companies are not adhering to the FDA limits on certain chemicals. This can be concerning.

Octocrylene

Octocrylene not only poses a risk to you, but to marine life as well. This chemical can cause DNA damage and deformities in fish and other organisms. These fish end up on our plates for our consumption. Also, octocrylene actually makes you MORE sensitive to UV light! Seems counterproductive doesn’t it?

But what now?

Now that we’ve discovered which ingredients to avoid, you may be wondering which sunscreens you should buy. There are hundreds of products on the market and it can get overwhelming when you’re shopping. Here are some sunscreen brands that are doing it right. All of these are free of the harmful chemicals we talked about earlier.

As always, before testing a new product, be sure to patch test to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction to it. Pick a spot like the inside of your elbow or wrist to determine if you are able to use it on your face and the rest of your body. You can learn more about patch testing skincare here.

Green People Organic Sun Lotion SPF 30 Scent Free

A holiday must-have! This beauty will not only be kind to your skin and the environment, it will also glide over your moisturiser or face serum without leaving your skin feeling heavy or clogged. Great for sensitive skin!

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

We now all know how difficult it is to formulate a sunscreen without using chemicals or silicones, but Drunk Elephant has done just that! It works beautifully on all skin types as it hydrates, super light and stays sheer on fair skin as well. Also a great little edition to your makeup routine as it leaves no white residue and works very well with any makeup products.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30

This is a great product for swim time as it’s proven to be amazing when it comes to water resistance and it even keeps your little one’s skin happy and well protected. Yes, even babies!

Odylique Natural Sun Screen SPF 30

What a wonderful little product. Vegan, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and reef safe - great for the whole family! It allows your skin to breathe and is immediately effective upon application, making it an absolute winner.

Dead Sea Spa Magic Sunsafe SPF 50

Great product for skin prone to pigmentation. It nourishes, protects and balances the skin and is great for the whole family - which is always great news, who wants to buy separate products for everyone? This cutie offers waterproof sun protection for up to eight hours - but make sure you reapply, particularly after swimming. Obvs…

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen Coconut Clear Spray SPF 50

This delicious smelling broad-spectrum air-powered clear spray applies like a dream and is earth-friendly too. This water-resistant formulation is biodegradable and gluten free while still protecting against sunburn and damage from photoaging.

REN Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Protect your face without the gooey mess. This is packed with the ingredients you want without harming the environment. The non-greasy formula contains rice starch to help soak up excess oil. Protect your beautiful face!

Heliocare 360º Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50+

Part of the revamped Helio 360º range that doesn’t contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate,  this ultra-lightweight water gel formulation absorbs instantly without any residue or film left on the skin. Though it is a little more on the pricey side it is probably one of the best protective sunscreens you’ll find.

Huxley Stay Sun Safe SPF50+ PA++++

Dive into luxury with this beautiful moisturising and antioxidant-rich sunscreen. Designed for everyday use, this tube is packed with moisture boosting prickly pear seed oil and cactus extract to support and protect your skin without the feeling of having product on your skin.

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