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 American Cancer Society reports that the incidence of melanoma skin cancer has been steadily on the rise for the past three decades, now affecting 20 people in every 100,000 here in the US. And, it’s one of the most common causes of cancer for young people.

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 favorite mineral sunscreens: 

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Sunscreen
Classic Neutrogena — quality product at an affordable price. This tried-and-true product is lightweight and offers a non-greasy finish.

Aveeno Baby Sunscreen
Specifically formulated for our little one’s sensitive skin, Aveeno had created this tear-free formula using oats to lock in moisture.

Babo Botanicals Sunscreen Stick
This handy sunscreen stick is great for the sensitive skin around the face and ears. It’s non-greasy and rubs in easily.

Avene Mineral Sunscreen Fluid
Avene has created this hypoallergenic formula specifically for sensitive skin. It’s lightweight and made with Avene Thermal Spring Water. With a mattifying finish, it’s a perfect compliment to summer skin.

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.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Mineral Sunscreen Spray

This water-resistant spray comes in a nifty bottle that’s been carefully created to make applying it a breeze at any angle. It also lasts through 2 hours of swimming or exercise. Perfect!