Mineral-based, natural sunscreen has been around for quite some time but it has dramatically risen in popularity in recent years. The reasons are manifold. There is growing consumer awareness of the potential dangers of chemicals present in conventional sunscreens and the subsequent rising demand for natural skincare to growing. There is also more and more scientific evidence how these chemicals damage fragile coral systems and endanger our lakes and rivers.
How does mineral sunscreen work?
Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide as the active ingredient to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. The zinc oxide is a natural mineral from the earth. When applied to the skin, it sits on top of your skin and acts as a physical barrier. It blocks the sun’s rays before the damaging radiation can reach your skin. Chemical sunscreens in comparison are absorbed by your skin and then absorb UV rays beneath the skin’s surface. This means that chemical sunscreens protect you from burns but not from UV exposure. They may also contain potentially harmful chemical ingredients that are able to enter your bloodstream.
How and when to apply your sunscreen
Apply liberally to exposed skin and reapply at least every 2 hours. Reapply after swimming or sweating and reapply immediately after towel drying. Mineral sunscreens will often leave a white residue. This white residue is the active zinc oxide, which acts as a reflector to the sun’s rays. To reduce the whitening effect, rub in until the whiteness dissipates.
Three natural sunscreen brands to try this summer
1 | Boo Bamboo
Boo Bamboo offers a whole range of adult and kid sunscreen and after sun products. Boo Bamboo’s formula offers broad spectrum UVA / UVB protection and is enriched with bamboo extract to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Unlike many other mineral sunscreens, this one does not leave a white residue and is absorbed very fast into your skin. It is also water and sweat resistant for up to 40 minutes.
2 | Matter Company
Simple yet effective, Matter Company’s chemical-free sun care line keeps the skin protected by creating a natural physical barrier to protect against the elements. They offer three suncare products, both creams are vegan while the sunscreen stick is not. Natural oils of shea butter, sesame seed, and jojoba offer added sun protection, while moisturizing and soothing sensitive skin. Their botanical blend of organic calendula, grapeseed, and green tea extract cool and soothe over-exposed skin. Water resistant, their formula is safe for the entire family.
3 | Green Beaver
Green Beaver’s suncare line contains vegan and non-vegan products. While the sunscreen lotion contains beeswax, this spray is completely vegan. They’ve also added holistic ingredients like raspberry extract from Canadian-grown raspberries and sunflower oil. Chock-full of fatty acids and moisturizing components, this natural sunscreen will protect and enliven your skin while you spend time in the sun.