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Natural Sunscreens - our favourites!

Posted on June 06 2017

You may recall a few weeks back we wrote a blog on the dangers of using sun creams containing toxic chemicals, which, in all fairness, are readily and easily available from high street chemists and local supermarkets. We should not however, make the mistake of thinking that convenience is ok. As we are finding out now, many areas of convenience in our life are not necessarily best for our well being and making a little extra effort will pay off in the long run.

If you were paying attention to the last blog (!) you will know that such sun creams have many ingredients which do more damage than good when it comes to sun protection. Just two of the chemical filters contained in sun cream and thought to produce free radicals in the skin include oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Oxybenzone converts UV light to heat and is believed to cause hormonal disruption and cell damage, which can lead to cancer, while retinyl palmitate has been shown to speed up malignant cell growth and the spread of skin cancer. Unlike physical filters, which sit on the surface of the skin deflecting rays, these chemical filters absorb UV rays and partially penetrate the skin, which is where the damage occurs.

As if that wasn't enough, frequent use of sunscreen over the last few decades has caused more cases of contact allergic dermatitis, thanks to strong active chemicals that some brands use, as well as added fragrances, preservatives and lanolin. It is tragic that these chemicals do not stop at adversely affecting us, but also our environment too. The chemicals often run off us and back into our oceans where they cause greater harm to marine life. (Katie Young, Telegraph, 2015)

Using mineral sunscreens which contain zinc and titanium dioxide are far better as they sit on the skin and reflect UVA & UVB rays upon application, as opposed to the sunscreens which are absorbed by the skin and require at least 30 minutes to become effective.

Anyhow, enough of the ‘science part’, let’s get down to business - here are our top picks for natural alternatives to your sun creams!
1) The Organic Pharmacy Cellular protection Sunscreen SPF50              £38.50 (100ml)
This natural mineral sunscreen provides UVA & UVB protection with a high SPF. Due to its wonderful list of plant based ingredients, such as rosehip oil, aloe, shea butter and calendula oil, it protects against sun damage and is anti-aging too! 
2) Jason Family Sunscreen SPF45                                                            £12.99 (113g) 
Great for the whole family this sunscreen is highly effective and
very reasonably priced. It is enriched with vitamin E, Shea Butter & anti-oxidant Green Tea extract, to put back lost moisture and calm the skin.
• UVA & UVB Protection    
• Tear Free formula
• Paraben free-no nano particles
3) John Masters Organic Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF30                     £28.50 (50ml)
A little more pricey than our last choice but highly recommended, this sunscreen is SLS, Paraben, petrolatum, colour and phthalate free. It’s also super nourishing as it contains shea butter, green tea extract and jojoba oil to leave skin cool calm and totally collected!
4) Green People Sun Lotion with Tan Accelerator                                    £21.00 (200ml)
No chalky residue left on application and was very easily absorbed.
Again very soothing, this time with extract of Avocado & Aloe Vera among other gorgeous ingredients your skin will really thank you for!
• Broad spectrum UVA & UVB
• Contains anti oxidants
• Water resistant without being cloggy on the skin
5) Neal Yard Remedies Wild Rose Moisturising SPF 30                             £25.00 (50ml)
This Light effective anti oxidant rich cream is very effective against harmful UVA & UVB rays. The easily absorbed formula is great for nourishing and moisturising skin too. Wild rose is soothing and calming on skins that are easily irritated.
• Suitable for all skin types
• UVA & UVB protection
• 12 hour moisture protection
• No nasties!
6) Yaoh Suncare Organic Hemp Seed Oil Sunblock SPF30                    £11.43 (240ml)
Although we have yet to try this cream (and trust me I intend to buy it) it has rave reviews on Amazon. Particularly for those with sensitive and uber sensitive skins this cream is definitely for you. It has a slightly think texture, but is easily absorbed and leaves a pleasing fragrance!
• UVA and UVB Protection - SPF 30
• Rich in Anti-Oxidants
• Treats Eczema & Psoriasis
• Free from Parabens, Harmful Substances and Unnecessary Chemical Additives.
• Vegan Society approved. Not tested on animals.

There is clearly a huge choice of natural alternatives on the market, some at very reasonable prices and for the whole family. Natural sunscreens, from our research, not only protect skin from the sun, but keep the skin nourished and moisturised, which is a precious combination when skin is irritated and inflamed. Many of the ingredients in the creams above are suitable for most skin types, although it is always best to carry out a patch test first. Omitting ingredients such as perfumes, alcohol and parabens allows your skin to breath more naturally and leaves you safe in the knowledge that you are protected from harmful rays without side effects.

We hope the above guide will be handy for you all this summer. Please remember that no cream can substitute being sensible and spending just the right amount of time in the sun. This will be of greater benefit in the long run and allow you to have much more fun during our precious and short-lived summers!
And if looking for natural after sun care don't forget to take a look at our very own moisture rich body butters. They contain a calming nourishing combination of shea, mango & cocoa butters to name but a few of the goodies inside our little pots!

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