April showers bring May flowers and a whole lot of sun, so now's the time to take a good hard look at what's in your sunscreen. You would think that a product so widely used during the summer (hopefully all year round), which covers such a large area of our skin, would be free from harmful and irritating ingredients. The truth is that U.S. chemical sunscreen formulations are under much scrutiny due to potential long term effects of its hazardous active ingredients.
Conventional chemical sunscreens you've probably used all your life typically include a combination of two to six of the following active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate, many of which are hormone and endocrine disruptors. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), "lab studies show that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones. Physicians have reported sunscreen-related skin allergies, which raises important questions about unintended human health consequences from frequent sunscreen application." Critics argue that the exposures in studies were too short to be conclusive as well as a lack of sufficient data to determine safety.
Nonetheless, rather than compromising our health and wellness over time, we turn our attention to mineral sunscreen, also known as a physical sunscreen. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, commonly found in mineral options, are generally recognized as safe and effective by the EWG's Skin Deep database. These sunscreens sit on the skin to form a physical barrier blocking UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens formulated with zinc oxide have the added acne-soothing benefit.
We've curated a few lightweight suncare products that pack a protective punch and meet our strict clean beauty standards. Below is some more information on why these mineral sunscreens made the cut.
Stay protected and hydrated with a sunscreen that feels more like a moisturizer. Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion SPF 18 is a reef-safe, lightweight, unscented moisturizer that nourishes your skin. This sunscreen is formulated with 10% non-nano zinc oxide, offering year-round broad-spectrum protection while combating the visible signs of aging thanks to ingredients like Swiss apple stem cells.
Are you looking for more sun protection? This lightweight daily cream protects against UVA/UVB damage. Zinc oxide provides clean, broad-spectrum protection while antioxidant green tea extract and strengthening deep sea enzymes reinforce the skin's natural defenses. Micronized zinc oxide acts as a physical barrier to reflect UVA and UVB rays. At the same time, deep-sea enzymes replenish the skin's moisture barrier.
A nourishing moisturizer with micronized zinc oxide to help guard the skin against UVA/UVB damage. Turmeric root helps prevent sun spots, while lavender calms irritation and soothes the senses. It's a fantastic gluten-free and vegan suncare option for all skin types.