Beauty trends change every season and for the last few years the trend on natural, mineral-based sunscreens has been on the rise. Like every skincare product, choosing the right sunscreen can be super confusing and what makes it even worse, is the conflicting information available online. So, let’s try and decode the myths and truths behind natural and chemical sunscreens.
Natural vs Chemical Sunscreen: How they work?
In simple terms, natural sunscreen acts like a barrier on your skin that deflects harmful UVA and UVB rays, whereas, chemical sunscreen act like a sponge which absorb the rays. While both are effective in protecting against sunburn and reducing the risk of skin cancer, the later, because of its sponge-like behaviour penetrates the top layers of the skin, actually doing more damage than good.
Natural vs Chemical Sunscreen: Ingredients
Natural sunscreens use minerals such as, zinc oxide to protect the skin. The good thing about this FDA approved ingredient, is that it’s unable to be absorbed by the skin (as long as it’s non-nano). The sunscreens we carry here at Natural Society specifically use non-nano zinc oxide. This means that the particles are not nano (not super tiny) so they can’t penetrate your skin and make their way into the bloodstream the way chemical sunscreen ingredients do.
So what makes Chemical Sunscreens so bad?
Chemical sunscreens contain harsh synthetic chemicals such as, oxybenzone, octinoxate, , homosalate and parabens. These chemicals make the sunscreen thinner and easily spreadable, which allow it to be easily absorbed by the skin. Sounds ideal but the idea with sunscreen is to be protected by the sun, not to be absorbed into our systems where chemicals are distributed to our vital organs. These chemicals have also been associated with disorders like hormone disruption, cancer and more!
And what’s even worse is the chemical oxybenzone is known to damage beautiful marine life and coral by bleaching and slowing down their growth. This is the reason why sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone have been even banned in places such as Hawaii.
Benefits of Natural Sunscreen vs side-effects of Chemical Sunscreen:
Chemical sunscreen might irritate the skin or even cause a burning/stinging sensation for people with sensitive skin. Whereas, natural sunscreens use skin-friendly ingredients and are much less likely to aggravate eczema or other skin conditions. In fact most natural sunscreens can help to dramatically improve some skin conditions with regular use thanks to their main ingredient (zinc.)
When choosing a natural sunscreen, make sure to pick one that uses broad spectrum. Because, the sun emits both UVA and UVB rays only broad-spectrum sunscreens ensure protection from both rays.
So basically, to sum it up, natural sunscreens are non-toxic, cause no irritation, effective, healthy and are earth-friendly.
To make your search for natural sunscreens even easier, we have made a simple and helpful checklist that will help find just the right one:
- Contains NON-nano zinc oxide (stay away from nano particles)
- Broad spectrum – provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays
- Paraben free, non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals
- Water resistant – when you are out enjoying by the pool
Here at Natural Society we have a range of natural and toxic-free, non-nano, broad spectrum sunscreens to choose from and with summer just around the corner you might want to check out what’s best for you.
Click here to see our selection. Currently up to 40% off! (10.11.20)
Author: Reema Poojari