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Picking out the best sunscreen for real protection from the sun and to prevent sun damage can be confusing. Trying to find one that is not akin to slathering a toxic waste dump all over your body then baking it in on a hot summer day is CraZy-making.
Its a marketing gold mine for manufacturers and the choices are overwhelming once you’re at the drug store. The one and only thing you can think of is picking something out based upon some SPF number and getting down to the beach before one million other people are there to claim a spot (and while the ice for the margaritas is still frozen or below from my trip to Cuba drinking Coco Locos!)
Today, we’re cutting through the goop to make this easier for you. First, there are some important basics to wade through though so bear with me.
More popular than ever and highly effective these guys block both UVA and UVB (which is what you’re going for here. In and of themselves, in their purest form they are excellent and provide quick protection.
So, whats the catch? Well, the marketing geniuses have caught on and now add minerals to their already toxic blends. Duping lots of people, myself included, into thinking they were buying something both safe and effective but all it does is add something good to something already bad.
Read the fine print.
So whats the problem with chemical sunscreens?
Unfortunately, lots. They leach into the skin settle into fat deposits, lymph system and breast milk. They have been linked to a whole host of bad things like hormonal imbalances and cancers. Even worse, they get hyper activated by the sun- uh, ok.
To keep this simple avoid products with:
So what’s a sun lover to do? Keep reading.
Lets keep this simple. Only go for “100% Organic” or “Organic”. Both classifications allow for the USDA Organic Seal so look for that.
Beware of “Made with organic ingredients”. Again, more marketing BS.
So why do we so often apply sunscreen but still get burned?
1. Its not “broad spectrum”
2. Sorry, but plain old user error
3. Wrong SPF for your skin type (we will crack this code in a second)
If you plan for more than just incidental sun exposure, you need a product that is labeled “broad spectrum”. This will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends nothing less than 30.
Yep. Its on you. Apply at least a palm full to all exposed skin every 2 hours and reapply after swimming or excessive sweating. You can really lose a lot by sweating by the pool in the sun even if you don’t get into the water!
Cracking the SPF and skin type code:
I love this…..
· Fair skin — can stay in the sun 10 minutes before burning
· Olive skin — can stay in the sun 15 minutes before burning
· Dark skin — can stay in the sun 20 minutes before burning
Multiply the SPF by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun before burning.
For example: (SPF) 20 x 10 (Fair skin) = 200 minutes (amount of time you can stay in the sun before burning if you have Fair skin and use an SPF of 20).
Botta boom botta bing. Move on with your life…..
So, lets get to the good stuff. Since not everyone has the same needs (ie are you going to go out and do 15 miles of trail running or are you just in the sun shopping away at an outdoor mall) and different areas of the body require different types of protection lets break it down differently.
Badger Damascus Rose SPF 25
A weightless formula that smooths easily onto skin, Badger sunscreen for face leaves behind no whiteness or greasy feel. A lightly hydrating moisturizer that gives a matte finish and carries a mild, floral scent. This one makes a great daily go-to.
$19.99, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016
Protection: SP 25, Broad Spectrum
Features & Certifications: 100% NPA Certified Natural, Certified NSF Non-GMO, Non-Nano, Cruelty-free,
Made with 95% certified organic ingredients
Look & Feel: light on skin, absorbs easily, non-greasy, non-whitening
Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30
Repair, moisturizer, protect, and glow in one step. Think of this as your anti-aging sunscreen product. Aloe-based and includes lightly hydrating natural oils to be mild on skin. It brightens and firms skin, reduces the appearance of dark spots, helps to control acne, and adds a look of luminescence. Goes on like a lightweight facial moisturizer and sinks into skin with a nice, smooth, scentless finish.
Protection: SPF 30
Features & Certifications: Wild crafted, Non-GMO, No Animal Testing, Made with organic ingredients
Look & Feel: not tacky or greasy, smooth finish, non-whitening
DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+
Includes some of the same anti-aging ingredients as the facial sunscreen, which means it works as a body lotion too. Softens, moisturizes and protects all at once. Plus, it is super easy to apply and smooths skin as you wear it. Light and non-greasy.
$19.18, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016
Protection: SPF 30, Broad Spectrum
Certifications: Cruelty-free, Gluten-free, Nano-free, Made with organic ingredients
Suntegrity Skincare Natural Mineral Sunscreen For Body SPF 30
Provides optimal sun protection, plus a healthy dose of antioxidants. $24, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016
Protection: SPF 30, Broad Spectrum
Certifications: Vegan, Gluten-free, Nano-free, GMO-free, Made with organic ingredients
Look & Feel: fresh citrus scent, not greasy or sticky, white cast fades when rubbed into skin
Babies and Children
All Good Sunscreen Butter SPF 50+
A tin of super rich SPF that works well on little bodies. The ultra-mild coconut oil formula contains soothing calendula. Beeswax gives this product staying power for long lasting protection, making it a great choice for face when you’ll be spending a lot of time under the sun. Scentless and easy to apply.
$9.99, EWG Sunscreen Guide 2016
Protection: SPF 50+, Water Resistant (80 minutes), Broad Spectrum, Coral Reef Safe
Features & Certifications: Non-Nano, Gluten-free, Made with 95% certified organic ingredients
Look & Feel: remains slightly greasy on skin, very slight white tint