Facts about Natural Sunscreen

Fun in the sun can sometimes be a burden on your skin.  For those of us who love to spend time around our pools, at the beach, or in our gardens, we know that escaping the sun’s effects is not easy.  The sun can damage our skin, lead to cancer, and age us prematurely.  By avoiding the sun, we can also do harm to our bodies.  Sunscreen is always an option, but some studies indicate that the chemicals in sunscreen can also lead to cancer, cause problems with pregnancy, and more! So, what’s the solution for those of us who live in The Sunshine State?  It may be natural sunscreen.

What is “Natural” Sunscreen?

What we see commercially marketed as natural sunscreen may be a bit of a misnomer.  According to an article on consumerreports.org, natural sunscreen refers to the sunscreens that contain minerals instead of chemicals.  These minerals include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  They are also referred to as physical sunscreen.  These are natural minerals that came from the earth.  However, as pointed out by the article, by the time they reach the market as a natural product, they are hardly recognizable.  They have to be broken down into microparticles to ensure a more uniform coverage.  Chemical-based sunscreens create a uniform film over the skin for protection.  Minerals, on the other hand, are particles.  In their natural form, these particles are far too separate to provide adequate protection from the sun’s rays.

The Main Difference Between Chemical and Natural Sunscreen

The main difference between chemical and natural sunscreen is how they combat the effects of the sun.  Chemical sunscreens actually absorb the sun’s rays.  A natural sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays.  If you have ever seen a lifeguard sporting a white nose and cheeks, chances are they are using a natural sunscreen.  Don’t worry, though, newer natural sunscreens are able to go on with very little to no white film.

Using a Natural Sunscreen

If you have elected to use a natural sunscreen, you will want to take into account some of these tips.  First, you will need to reapply more frequently because the thicker consistency will cause you to sweat more.  Also, this consistency can cause you to develop blemishes.  You will want to thoroughly wash natural sunscreen off of your skin.  The thicker consistency of a natural sunscreen will also make you need to work harder to rub it into your skin.  Because these are particles, instead of a film, you will want to make sure you do this.  A consistent application will help to ensure that your skin is not damaged by the sun’s rays getting in-between the mineral particles.

What Else can Help?

Sunscreen alone isn’t going to win the battle against the sun.  Free radicals are the reason our skin is so damaged by the sun.  They immediately disrupt our skin and cause wrinkles, lines, and other issues.  They also cause cancer.  To help combat these effects, taking vitamins that help reduce free radicals is advised.  These vitamins include Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  Green tea is also considered a very powerful antioxidant.

Final Considerations

Using a natural sunscreen is a great choice for many, but it does come with a little more work.  Still, whether or not you choose to use a natural sunscreen, you want to make sure that you use sunscreen. Period.  The sun’s rays helps fuel our bodies, but this comes at the expense of our skin.  It needs to be in moderation, and sunscreen is vital to protecting yourself.