Now that summertime is officially here, it's time to slather on the sunscreen. Every. Day. You hear us? Every. Day. But how do you find the right formula that's going to keep you protected from that scorching summer sun? Look no further.
Return to Nature: When looking for your perfect formula, it's important to go natural. Not only are chemical sunscreens irritating to sensitive skin types, they've also been shown to cause endocrine disruption and even permeate the skin to cause build-up in your body. In fact according to the Environmental Working Group, Oxybenzone, a commonly used chemical sunscreen, can be found in nearly every American's body and even shows up in breast milk. And because it acts like estrogen in your body, it proves dangerous for both male and female fertility. No thank you! So instead of putting scary chemicals on your body, go natural with physical protectants like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These physical sunscreens have low toxicity risks (unless inhaled--so be careful of powder or aerosol sunscreens), and are much safer for sensitive skin types. If you have to choose between zinc and titanium, go with zinc. It provides the best protection.
Our Top Picks: If you're oily or prone to breakouts, pick something lightweight like Epicuren's Zinc Oxide Perfecting Sunscreen. It absorbs very quickly and leaves skin feeling moisturized, but not heavy. For dry and aging skin types, we like Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. It's a richer moisturizer that makes skin feel smooth and supple. The sun protection on this one is high, so you need to warm it in your hands a bit before pressing it into the skin.
A Word on Nano: If you're buying a natural sunscreen that doesn't leave you with a ghostly white cast, you can bet that it has nano particles. Nano particles are ultra-small sunscreen particles that some people worry are permeating the skin's protective layer. Each manufacturer's sunscreen particles can differ in size, so there's no clear way of knowing just how small the particles are in one sunscreen versus another. However, according to EWG, there has been no conclusive tests showing that natural sunscreen nano particles enter the bloodstream. So if you have to choose between a chemical sunscreen that has been proven to wreak havoc on your body or a physical sunscreen that probably has nano particles, always go with the physical protection. You can read more about nano particles here!