How To Choose A Safe Sunscreen This Summer (Both For Your Body And The Planet)
The warm summer days are finally here, which means lots of time outside enjoying this beautiful time of year. But with long days spent in the sun ahead, it is so important that you choose a safe sunscreen that will help protect your skin while you enjoy your time at the beach, by the pool, or wherever your summer activities may take you.
But when it comes to purchasing a safe sunscreen what should you be looking out for? And why is it so important that your sunscreen not only protects you from harmful sunrays, but also is healthy for your body and the environment?
First let’s start by breaking down what your options are when it comes to choosing a sunscreen – because these days there certainly are a lot of options, which can make choosing the best option for you a little more confusing.
This post was sponsored by Babo Botanicals, a B Corporation that was just named "Best In The World For The Environment" and is by far my favorite sunscreen for both safety, effectiveness, and environmental standards. It was wonderful getting to work with them on this important topic and I appreciate all your support for the partners that help make The Well Essentials possible.
What Is The Difference Between UVA, UVB, and Broad-Spectrum Protection?
When it comes to choosing a sunscreen you most likely are familiar with sunscreens that offer UVA and/or UVB protection. UVA and UVB are the two types of harmful rays that reach the earth from the sun, and can cause skin damage and skin cancer.
UVA rays are the kind of rays, which can prematurely age your skin leading to wrinkles, age spots, and are capable of passing through the glass of a window.
This is why it is so important to use a sunscreen that protects against UVA rays all year round since it truly is helping protect the health and appearance of your skin. UVB rays, on the other hand, are the kind of rays, which cause sunburns but would be blocked by the glass of a window.
When you look at a sunscreen and it says that it offers “broad-spectrum” protection such as Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion it means that it is protecting you from BOTH UVA and UVB rays.
What Is The Difference Between A Physical and Chemical Sunscreen?
When it comes to choosing a safe sunscreen there really are two different “camps” of sunscreen.
The first is a physical (sometimes referred to as mineral) sunscreen, which contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and works by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting the sun’s harmful rays.
Physical sunscreens used to get a bad reputation for being impossible to rub in, but today there are many options like Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion or Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen that are easy to apply and rub in clear on fair to medium skin tones.
Personally, when looking for a physical sunscreen I prefer to opt for a non-nano zinc oxide formulation as non-nano zinc oxide is naturally a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and is made up of particles that are too big to enter the bloodstream.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, are sunscreens that are absorbed by your skin, and usually contain a combination of ingredients to achieve that broad-spectrum protection. Chemical sunscreens generally speaking are more irritating to the skin, making them not ideal for babies, children, and those individuals with acne or other kinds of sensitive skin conditions.
Chemical sunscreens also contain nanoparticles, which as I mentioned are absorbed by the skin, and are small enough that they can pass into the bloodstream. Ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate are commonly found in chemical sunscreens and are endocrine disruptors, which are capable of causing DNA damage, in addition to contributing to coral bleaching.
With the information we currently have in regards to the potential negative effects of chemical sunscreens both for our bodies and the planet, I would recommend always opting for a physical sunscreen.
Some Of My Favorite Physical Sunscreens For A Healthy Body and Planet
Now that you know what you should be on the lookout for when it comes to choosing a sunscreen I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite mineral sunscreens from Babo Botanicals, which were recently rated #1 in safety by the Environmental Working Group in their most recent sun safety guide!
These are the sunscreens I use personally on myself, my husband, and my whole family and will help get you started safely protecting your skin (and supporting the health of the planet with their chemical free/reef safe formulations!) this summer.
For The Kids: Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 - Fragrance Free
For The Active Athlete: Super Shield Sport Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
For The Beach: Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
For Everyday Wear: Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 - Fragrance-Free
With these sunscreens, you can be sure to have all your bases covered and will know that you are protecting your body, your family, and your environment this summer with safe, non-toxic sunscreen. Now get outside and have some fun!
If you want to upgrade your sunscreen to a safe alternative for your body and the planet this summer, make sure to use the code BABOWELL25 to get 25% OFF your entire order at Babo Botanicals.