Safer sunscreen

It might feel a ways off yet, but summer is definitely coming! While it might be tempting to throw off those winter layers and let our skin soak up that warm golden sunlight, it’s more important than ever to make sure we’re protecting our skin from the potentially harmful UV rays. The UK Cancer Council reports that melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases, and this is on the rise. Since the early 1990s, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have more than doubled, and it is predicted to rise by another 7% by 2035.

Protecting ourselves from the sun used to be a case of simply nipping to the store, grabbing a tube of high SPF sunscreen and anchors away! But, more and more research is now showing that not all sunscreens are good for us, with many harbouring nasty chemicals that can be potentially harmful to our health.

Mineral vs Chemical
Most sunscreens use one of two ways to protect our skin: a mineral barrier, or a chemical barrier.  According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), chemical sunscreens get absorbed into our skin, and can even enter the bloodstream. Chemical sunscreens can include one or more chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These ingredients have been linked to a range of health concerns such as thyroid problems, testosterone reduction, low birth weight and more.

Mineral-based sunscreens, on the other hand, use two natural minerals — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — as active ingredients. These minerals simply sit on top of the skin and protect it by reflecting the sun’s rays.

The danger of chemical sunscreen is a contentious topic, and there is still a lot of research being carried out. But, we always prefer to play on the safe side and take a more natural approach whenever we can. So, this summer we’ll be reaching for mineral sunscreen to protect ourselves.

Here are just a few of our favourite mineral sunscreens: 

Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Body
Clinique’s lightweight formula is 100% fragrance-free and safe to use on children 6 months and up. It is oil free and forms a protective veil that is virtually invisible.

Avene Sun Care Very High Protection Mineral Cream 
This formula for face and body is enriched with patented Pre-Tocopheryl for powerful antioxidant protection. It’s also water resistant for up to 40 minutes.

John Masters Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen
John Masters sunscreen contains natural goodies like green tea, shea butter and jojoba oil to replenish moisture on those hot summer days. Yes, please!

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Sunscreen
Classic Neutrogena — a quality product at an affordable price! This face sunscreen is lightweight and leaves a non-greasy finish.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zic Sunscreen
This hypoallergenic sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy and contains organic oils to help keep that summer skin moisturised.

Organni Sun Milk
This sun milk has been carefully formulated for those who are prone to burning, especially children. It also has Argan and Jojoba to keep the skin nourished and hydrated.