Natural sunscreen is also known as mineral or physical. It uses zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or a combination of the two to block and reflect the sun’s harmful rays from your skin.
Sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide also offer instant protection, unlike chemical sunscreens that need to absorb into your skin for 15 to 30 minutes before they can provide full protection.
Should I Be Using a Natural Sunscreen?
Dermatologists recommend using mineral sunscreen for sensitive or acne-prone skin types. Natural sunscreens also tend to be less irritating and infrequent sources of allergic reactions.
Some ingredients in traditional sunscreens have come under question in recent years.
Among those are Oxybenzone, a chemical sunscreen ingredient that’s made from petroleum and used in 70 percent of commercial sunscreens, and octinoxate, both believed to be endocrine disruptors. Meaning they may mimic and interfere with your hormones.
According to the FDA, chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream.
So what are the sunscreen ingredients to avoid?
- PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid).
- Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, or retinol.
- Mineral oil.
Here’s what to look for when buying natural sunscreen:
- Zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the only active ingredients Mineral oil.
- Broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.
The main benefit of mineral sunscreen is that its natural ingredients (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) are safe and don’t absorb into your skin.
The ingredients are also better for the environment, meaning they don’t harm wildlife when you swim in the ocean or when you wash the sunscreen off at home.
Add in the fact that natural sunscreens also tended to be less irritating to sensitive skin, and the benefits seem to swing the decision toward the natural.
Are Natural Sunscreens Effective
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