Natural sunscreens are a growing trend in the sun care industry and represent the perfect alternative for those concerned about the potentially harmful chemical active ingredients, fragrances, colors, and synthetic preservatives traditional sunscreens contain.
Although the increasing number of natural sunscreens available is a good thing, determining the right one for you is still an issue. The best natural sunscreens have: Natural active ingredients, verified Broad Spectrum UV protection, bio-active antioxidants for free radical protection, and additional ingredients that nourish, condition, hydrate, and rejuvenate your skin. Let’s examine each one.
The active ingredients: the FDA approved ultraviolet light filters that either absorb or reflect ultraviolet light (UVA/UBV/UVC). They can be found on the back label. Natural sunscreens should only show zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as natural ingredients–they are the only ones available in a natural form. Unlike chemical active ingredients go into your skin and absorb UV light, natural active ingredients lay on top of your skin to reflect or scatter UV light.
The inactive ingredients: the additional sunscreen ingredients. The best natural sunscreens should contain inactive ingredients that additionally protect, condition, nourish, hydrate, rejuvenate, and help skin repair. Examples would be benonite clay, vegetable glycerin (attracts moisture to the skin), eucalyptus oil (opens pores for antioxidants to enter more easily), and aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder.
Thanks to new 2013-2014 FDA rules, finding sunscreen with Broad Spectrum protection (protects from both UVA & UVB) is much easier. Under the new FDA rules, a sunscreen can be labeled Broad Spectrum if it’s passed the FDA’s new Broad Spectrum test. If so, the words Broad Spectrum and the SPF number will be the same font size on the sunscreens front label, as in Broad Spectrum SPF 30.
Natural Antioxidants–The latest natural sunscreens contain bio-active antioxidant technology that protects skin cells from free radicals, the root cause of sunburn and cellular damage that can lead to skin aging and non-melanoma skin cancer. Look for antioxidants like Bio-melanin (Melanin extracted from date fruit), green tea extract (Camellia Sinensis), mixed d-tochopherol (natural vitamin E) that boost UV protection.
Natural antioxidants are crucial because active ingredients do not protect against free radicals. Only antioxidants are capable of preventing free radical damage. When natural active ingredients are combined with bio-active (continuously working) natural antioxidants, your skin receives the most complete overall sun protection.
About The Author: Michael J. Russ is a sun care expert who has helped thousands make the switch from chemical to natural sunscreens and moisturizers. He founded www.PureSunscreen.com in 2007 to further enlighten people about the safety and wonder of natural Sunscreen. His new e-book, “Decoding the Secrect World of Sun Care”, will be out in August.