When it comes to living well, we know that eating a diet that is as natural, unprocessed and free of chemicals as possible is better for us. So why is it that when it comes to sunscreen, we sometimes think that natural solutions aren’t as effective as their chemically derived cousins?
In Sunscreen World, there are two kinds:
- Chemical sunscreen – the type most readily available, works by being absorbed by our skin and in turn, it absorbs and breaks down the UV rays that hit our skin.
- Mineral aka. natural sunscreen – is made of naturally occurring ingredients like zinc and titanium dioxides, blitzed into tiny particles, which sit on top of the skin and act like a shield, deflecting damage instead.
Chemical sunscreens use a combination of ingredients such as Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, OxyBenzone, and Homosalate and Helioplex to effectively protect our skin. While effective, they can cause irritations to sensitive skin and because it works by being absorbed by the largest organ in our body, these guys can wind up in places sunscreen chemicals have no business being, doing things like potentially disrupting hormone function, for starters.
Those with PTSD over the pasty white zinc streaks of their childhood and have as such steered clear of mineral sunscreens, will be relieved to know that while the same ingredients (zinc and titanium dioxide) are what drives natural sunscreen, technology has caught up (thankfully) and these days, mineral protection is invisible to the eye, though still tough on UV. Natural sunscreens are also just as effective, if not more so than chemical alternatives and are also less likely to cause skin irritation, which is another natural bonus.
Chemical sunscreens may prove cheaper and more readily available than natural options (and are still better than nothing), but given the fact that mineral sunscreens are not only friendlier to your body as well as just the outside of your skin, that old saying about ‘you get what you pay for’ is worth considering at the check out counter.