That’s right! Sunscreen is the difference between maintaining awesome skin and looking like a grilled carrot. Contrary to what most believe, applying sunscreen should be part of our daily ritual and not just a summer thing.
Indeed, protecting our skin from this unforgivable heat is just one of the ways sunscreen benefits us. So let’s look at important reasons why we should wear it daily and the best natural sunscreen options available to us.
Important Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunscreen
There’s an alarming amount of people who go about their daily errands not wearing any sunscreen protect them from the sun. Even more concerning is how most don’t actually think it’s such a big deal.
Don’t wait until you regret not having worn sunscreen all these years only to end up with skin problems. Let’s treat it like the big deal that it is and read up on why sunscreen is so important.
Protection from harmful UV rays
If you haven’t heard, our climate isn’t exactly in very good shape these days. Other than the weather changes we’ve been experiencing like the latest storms in New York, the planet is also getting hotter by the minute. This is mostly because the heat we’re receiving from the sun is getting too much to handle. But this also puts us at a higher risk of being harmed by its UV rays.
What about our daily dose of vitamin D, you might ask.
You only need to be exposed to the sun for about 30 minutes twice a week to get your required dose. Including fish, liver, eggs, or dairy products in your diet, as well as taking vitamin D supplements are other alternatives in place of constant exposure to the sun.
Besides, prolonged exposure doesn’t exactly give you extra vitamin D, it just makes you vulnerable to the radiation that comes with the UV rays. Wearing sunscreen protects you from these and helps you prevent various skin ailments.
Reduces skin cancer risk
One of the more serious skin disorders you’ll get from long sun exposure is skin cancer. There are various types of skin cancer, but the worse of the lot is melanoma. It can be cured if treated in its early stages, but it can be life-threatening if left unattended. In fact, while melanoma starts on the skin, it can potentially spread to other parts of the body like the eyes or even the intestines. Once it has spread, there’s only a 20% chance of survival.
Helps avoid premature aging skin
Constant sun exposure is a slow process but its effects can last for years. First, the UV light will break down the elastin fibers which supports our skin, as well as the collagen that’s suppose to maintain its health. Then, our skin will age a few years older than we actually are when it starts showing fine lines on our face and dry looking wrinkles on our arms. Finally, our skin will lose its glow and make it look dull and boring.
Prevents sunburn and discolorations
Damage to our skin cells can cause severe sunburns. This includes redness, peeling, hives, and bruising which can all cause permanent damage, like scarring, on our skin. Not only that, but each sunburn we get increases our chances of getting lethal melanoma.
We’re also at risk of skin discoloration. Repeated sunburn causes the overproduction of melanin — a skin pigment which the body produces to protect our skin from too much UV light.
You can prevent these from happening to you by applying sunscreen in the morning before going about your daily errands, and in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest and hottest. But because we want to use only the best products for our skin, consider using natural sunscreen instead of highly commercial products.
Natural Sunscreen vs. Commercial Sunscreen
Natural sunscreens don’t use allergenic and harmful ingredients
The most glaring difference between natural sunscreen and commercial sunscreen is its content. The former makes use of organic ingredients that are processed chemical and cruelty-free. Because each extract and essential oil was able to keep its nutritional value, you’re not only protected from the sun’s rays, but you’re also maintaining your skin’s health.
Commercial sunscreens, on the other hand, have some of the harshest chemical ingredients that are harmful to your skin, such as Octinoxate, Benzophenone-3 or 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC). And you know what the rule is for food and health right? If you can’t read or understand it, then it’s probably bad for you.
No need to re-apply
Natural sunscreen isn’t absorbed by the skin, rather, it sits on the top layer. This means that all the natural minerals create a barrier between your skin and the harmful UV rays. On the other hand, because commercial sunscreens are absorbed by the skin, it takes 20 minutes before the sun protection is activated and you need to re-apply every 4 hours.
Actively nourishes the skin
The natural ingredients protect your skin by nourishing and soothing it upon use, which is perfect especially if you’re already following a strict skin care regimen. Using commercial sunscreen can possibly reverse the effects of your moisturizers and cleansers since it makes the pores of the skin prone to dirt clogging.
How to Choose the Best Natural Sunscreens
Now that you know why going “natural” is the best option, here are tips and tricks on choosing the right natural sunscreen for you.
Look for mineral sunscreens
The most important minerals the best natural sunscreen has are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are what ensures your sunscreen stays on the top layer of your skin to reflect UV rays, rather than getting absorbed in the bloodstream and therefore making you vulnerable to carcinogenic toxins.
These mineral ingredients are also gentle on sensitive skin, so you won’t experience redness or irritations.
Choose the right SPF
SPF or Sun Protection Factor is a measurement used to determine how well your sunscreen can protect you from sun radiation. The misconception is that the higher the SPF, the better it can protect you from the sun.
The extra protection is actually negligible. People tend to be complacent when they use high SPF sunscreen so they tend to extend their time in the sun. But this false sense of security is what’s going to get them in trouble.
Remember that the number indicated on a tube of sunscreen only tells you the length of time you can stay under the sun before you’re at risk of sunburn. The good news is you can determine which SPF works best for you.
According to the Nature Beauty Blog, different skin types are allowed a certain amount of time of sun exposure:
- Fair Skin – 10 minutes
- Olive Skin – 15 minutes
- Dark skin – 20 minutes
To find out how long you an SPF 50 can protect you from the sun, just multiply it to the minutes corresponding to your skin type. For instance, an olive skinned person can stay 15 minutes without protection, multiply it with 50, then you’ll get 750 minutes of protection (which is about 12 and a half hours).
You didn’t want to apply sunscreen before because it makes your face oily, so why would you wear one now just because it’s natural? Well, the simple answer is that natural sunscreens are mostly non-greasy. The oily sunscreen look is almost non-existent, even if the best natural sunscreen does use essential oils to maintain your face’s moisture levels.
Applicable to your skin type
Just like with face wash, you need to make sure the natural sunscreen you’re using is appropriate for your skin type. While all natural sunscreens have nutritional value, it’s best to ones that can also treat dire skin types like oily, dry, or sensitive; as well as maintain the health of normal type skin.
Buy sunscreen from healthy option stores
The best place to start looking for natural sunscreens is a store dedicated to selling natural and organic products. You’d still have to do some label reading though, but at least you have staff that can help you find what you’re looking for.
This sunscreen from Cleure is perfect for all skin types, but it does focus on providing optimum protection for combination and sensitive type skins. Other than providing a layer of protection from the sun, it also moisturizes the skin to prevent dryness and irritation.
One of the best features of the SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense is its ability to minimize the appearance of pores as well as oil on the face. So you won’t have to worry about the “oily sunscreen look” on your face and body. Its matte finish can withstand any weather conditions, as well as provide broad-spectrum protection from the sun.
Most makeup foundation comes with sun protection factor. But this isn’t enough to prevent getting face blotches and discoloration. This is why facial sunscreen can give you an extra layer of defense against UV damage. Kari Gran Three Sixty Five is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can UVA rays and UVB rays that can age and burn the skin, respectively. Apply the sunscreen on your face, neck, and chest after washing and moisturizing.
Do-It-Yourself Natural Sunscreen
If you want to try creating your own natural sunscreen, you can definitely do so at home. You can even ask the whole family to help out and turn it into another project you can do together.
You can start by preparing the following ingredients:
- Shea butter – 2 tablespoons
- Jojoba oil or Almond oil – 1/2 a cup
- Coconut oil – 1/4 cup
- Preferred essential oil (e.g. vanilla extract)
- Beeswax – 1/4 cup
- Zinc Oxide – 2 tablespoons
- Get a mason and combine all the ingredients except for zinc oxide. Close each jar with a lid, but make sure it isn’t too tight.
- FIll a pot with 2-3 inches of water and place on medium heat.
- Place the mason jars inside the pot and wait for the ingredients in the jar to melt. Stir occasionally.
- Once the contents of the jar are melted, add the zinc oxide and stir.
- Get your preferred sunscreen storage and transfer all the ingredients. Stir again to make sure all the ingredients have combined nicely.
And voila! You’ve just made your very own sunscreen.
We’ve been talking about using organic face wash and using Ancient Greek beauty routines, but that will all be useless if we don’t wear sunscreen. So let’s allow ourselves to be vain and focus on how we can take better care of our skin and keep it looking radiant.
Add these natural sunscreens in your daily skincare routine and experience the difference that extra layer of protection gives you.