As we have left the winter chill behind us and flow into spring, the sun is finally here for some much needed warm weather, Yay! As we forge into the months ahead, it’s important to take care of our skin. Even when the sun is hiding away behind those pesky clouds, exposure to UV rays is still a threat to our skin. With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right sunscreen for your skin type. We’ve arranged some tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your sun protection this summer.
Ingredients to avoid for sensitive skin
The UV protection technology that goes into sunscreen can be overly technical. There are two types of sunscreen filters: chemical and physical. The chemical formula absorbs the UV rays and transforms it into infrared heat, while the physical barrier contains minerals and reflects the sun’s rays away from the skin. Most sunscreens use the chemical solution, which is a minefield of skin irritants. The biggest culprit of them all is called oxybenzone and is found in 96% of sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group has declared oxybenzone to be one of the most toxic ingredients and is especially harmful to pregnant women and children.
One of the worst irritants in sunscreen for sensitive skin is perfume. Synthetic scents are a nasty smokescreen for chemicals and other nasty toxins to get under your skin and cause damage. Another of the troublesome ingredients are parabens, a preservative that keeps sunscreen from expiring. Other common chemicals commonly found in sunscreens is Octinoxate, which disrupts hormonal activity and affects the reproductive system. This is the second most toxic ingredient found in sunscreens according to the EWG.
How much sunscreen is enough?
In order to get the most sun protection, using the correct amount of sunscreen is vital. An insufficient amount of sunscreen can reduce the level of SPF protection you are getting out of your sunscreen. The recommended amount of sunscreen is one teaspoon for the face and neck, two teaspoons for each limb and torso. Apply the sunscreen at least at least twenty minutes before going out into the sun for the best overall protection.
Make sure to be regularly reapplying sunscreen if you are spending time out in the sun. At least once every two hours is sufficient, and immediately after swimming or exercising. Don’t be fooled by waterproof labels – toweling off after swimming will remove all sunscreen regardless.
What are the alternatives?
Unfortunately, most commercial sunscreens are chemical cocktails. Non-chemical mineral formulas are announced on the packaging, with the most common ingredients being zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Other natural sun protection ingredients include mulberry leaf extract and vitamin E. Ensure that the mineral sunscreen you’re looking at doesn’t also include a chemical formula before adding it to your cart, however.
When shopping for sunscreen, be on the lookout for sun protection that is broad spectrum. This means that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, giving you fuller protection from the sun. Finally, you may have used aloe vera cream to soothe the soreness and redness from a nasty sunburn. Did you know that aloe vera is also an effective preventative for skin damage? Like coconut oil, aloe vera gel blocks 20% of sunlight, which makes it effective for brief trips into the sunshine. Many essential oils including sesame, red raspberry seed, carrot seed and wheat germ oil are also powerful sun protective agents with reapplications every hour.
Before stepping out into the sparkling sun, make sure to correctly apply sunscreen, wear sun protective clothing and sunglasses, and seek shade if possible. Remember to stay sun smart while enjoying the warmer weather, ONNEderful ones!