Natural sunscreens are a hot topic at the moment - many people are choosing to opt for a natural solution to sun care. But as with anything in life - a surge of popularity always comes a bit of bad press with claims they don't work as well as chemical sunscreens or that they aren't nice to use. But with worries about what the use of chemical sunscreens are doing to us I'm hoping this post will inspire you to try my go to sunscreen or at least find your own natural sunscreen that works for you.
Healthcare has always been a bit of a minefield - studies are run by various people and we never quite get the full picture and the market is always changing with ingredients being banned. Getting a straight answer on whether chemical sunscreen is friend or foe is like finding a needle in a haystack. But here's a few factors to take into account:
- many chemical sunscreens (particularly sprays) contain Oxybenzone which is a hormone disruptor and allergen
- look out for retinyl palmitate which is a form of Vitamin A but has shown in tests to harm skin
- studies have shown that sunscreens are poisoning our coral reefs - a hugely important part of the environment. Some sunscreens are now claiming they are reef friendly but there is very little regulation over the claims
- chemical sunscreens contains parabens, synthetic fragrances, artificial colours and alcohol which dries the skin
- many sunscreens cause prickly heat and skin allergies
Recently, when in Greece, I underestimated how much my sisters would like my natural sunscreen and we ran out of it towards the end of the holiday - just after a day of using a chemical sunscreen I came out in hives on my arm sleeve tattoo and also in the insides of my elbows. Plus, on the days I used natural and they used the award winning chemical sunscreen they burned on a higher SPF even though we all reapplied at exactly the same points during the day and spent exactly the same amount of time on the sun.
It is so essential we protect ourselves from the damaging sun so where do we turn for a product we can trust and is actually nice to use? The key is to find a product that offers UVA AND UVB protection but also one that feels nice on the skin - as natural sunscreens sit on top of the skin they can be a bit tacky and leave white smears.
I've used a good selection of natural sunscreens - the Jason one was thick and tacky and I burned quite badly with it despite being SPF30, others have been insanely expensive and not over impressive. But the one I've found to come out absolute top is the Green People Edelweiss sun lotion. It smells divine and goes on like a moisturiser so using it feels luxurious.
It offers UVA and UVB protection, contains beeswax to repel water and also neutralises the suns rays with the use of the mountain flower edelweiss and a filter derived from cinnamon. On top of this, it works with your skins own melanin levels (the pigment in your skin that gives you a tan) to speed up the tanning process by 25% and reduces fading rate by 50%. It's clever stuff!
If I haven't convinced you try some of the brilliant articles Green People have written about it here:
You can buy it in either 100ml (perfect for travel) or 200ml and as with any Green People product they are completely cruelty free. See below for a discount code.
I also highly recommend their beautiful hydrating aftersun - it really is quite sublime and feels a lot more luxurious than the price tag. It contains moisturising aloe vera and soothing chamomile, plus offers a cooling sensation with the helming or myrrh and mint.
Green People offer readers of my blog 15% off any product that is in stock on their online store. Go to their online shop and use code RETREAT15.
Just a note to end this post - while Green People do occasionally send me products to try I feel it important to tell you I do not earn anything from featuring them nor do I feature them to receive free things - I do use and recommend a lot of their products because I trust them and love them!
Formally Emma Gutteridge