Chryso’s Eco-Friendly Beauty Buys: Sunscreen by Chryso D'Angelo, June 23 2016, 0 Comments

 

Photo courtesy: pixabay.com

When the heat index goes up, everyone's bound to spend more time outdoors. And while it’s sort of a drag to apply and reapply sunscreen (the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends every two hours or after swimming or sweating), it can be a matter of life or death.

According to the AAD, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

“I can't stress enough how important daily application of SPF 30+ sunscreen is,” says Dr. Ted Lain, an Austin-based dermatologist.

“Skin cancer occurs because of cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime, therefore daily protection is absolutely imperative to save your skin in later life.”

“Remember that sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes prior to sun exposure," adds Dr. Julia Tzu, medical director and founder of Wall Street Dermatology. And don't forget your lips, where skin cancer can also form.

When it comes to the type of sunscreen to purchase, keep in mind that there are basically two “formulas”:

Chemical sunscreens have ingredients that act as filters to reduce penetration to the skin, according to the American Melanoma Foundation (AMF). However, critics worry that these chemicals seep within the skin, which is alarming since some chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that have been identified as endocrine disruptors.

Also, many chemical sunscreens contain nanoparticles that wind up in marine systems and negatively impact the environment. One of these chemical additives, oxybenzone, is used as a product stabilizer and UV protectant. According to a 2015 report published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, oxybenzone may be gradually bleaching and killing the world’s coral reefs.

These chemical sunscreens are often colorless and maintain a thin visible film on the skin (making them a more popular choice of sun protection).

Physical Sunscreens contain mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which physically block ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The con? Because they often leave white marks and can be tough to wash off, they’re not as user-friendly. However, in the end, these mineral sunscreens are better for the environment—and may be better for our bodies.

Here are some of my family’s favorite sunscreens. We've tested them and they've shown to work for us over extended periods of time:

1. Elemental Herbs All Good Lips 4 pack, SPF 18

Safety
•       Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys Champion Status
•       Ranked 1 out of 10 in safety on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (low hazard)

Environmental responsiveness: Elemental Herbs runs a solar-powered production facility and donates 1% of their profits to For the Planet, Save Our Snow and United Plant Savers. Leaping Bunny, PETA Cruelty-Free company.

Results: These oxybenzone-free lip balms contain wonderfully-scented essential oils (like tangerine and spearmint) and are SPF 12. Made with pure zinc oxide to protect your lips from the sun’s rays, they leave lips super moisturized. Another thing I love about these glosses is most are tinted. I rarely do a dark lip during the warm weather months and these add the perfect pinch of color for my pucker (the best for my olive-toned skin is "Red Rocks").

Ingredients from packaging: Organic Calendula*, Organic Comfrey*, Organic Lavender*, Organic Plantain* and Organic Yarrow* Infused in Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil* with Organic Beeswax*, Organic Essential Oils* and Vitamin E. Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Zinc Oxide 2%.

Practicality: $12.50

2. Elemental Herbs All Good Sport Sunscreen


Safety
•       Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys Champion Status
•       Ranked 1 out of 10 in safety on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (low hazard)

Environmental responsiveness: Elemental Herbs runs a solar-powered production facility and donates 1% of their profits to For the Planet, Save Our Snow and United Plant Savers. Leaping Bunny, PETA Cruelty-Free company.

Results: This GMO-free, hypo-allergenic, gluten-free, vegan, PABA- and paraben-free sunscreen contains 22.5% zinc oxide and blends into the skin fairly easily—plus it doesn't leave that pesky white residue and it keeps skin from toasting. In other words, it's "All Good". The best part? Feeling guilt-free while swimming in the ocean because the product's non-nano formula will not plague coral reefs. My husband and I were lucky enough to do some snorkeling above the lovely coral in the beautiful island of Turks & Caicos in May and this was our go-to formula.

Ingredients from packaging: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 22.5% (Non-nanoparticle), Inactive Ingredients: Organic Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Juice*, Water (Aqua), Organic Camelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract*, Glycerin, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil*, Organic Mauritia Vinifera (Buriti) Fruit Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Methylcellulose, Stearic Acid, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyhexyl Glycerin.

Practicality: $14.39

3. Sunology Natural Sunscreen Kids, SPF 50 


Safety
•       Not applicable
•       Ranked 1 out of 10 in safety on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (low hazard)

Environmental Responsiveness: This sunscreen is oxybenzone-free and doesn't contain other chemical active ingredients. It's also paraben-free and fragrance-free. Combined, these exclusions make Sunology reef-friendly.

Results: I love to use this product on my 5-year-old because it works (and she's got super-fair skin) and it contains natural active ingredients. Plus, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes, which is perfect since my girl loves the pool and the ocean. Note: you have to take time to rub this in well—it’s white.

Ingredients from packaging: Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 7.5% Zinc Oxide 10% Inactive ingredeints: Aluminum Hydroxide, BIS-PEG-12 Dimethicone Candelillate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Feruloyl Soy Glycerides, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrated Silica, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Tocopherol.

Practicality: $14.99

4. Badger Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 with Chamomile & Calendula


Safety:
• Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys Champion Status
• Ranked 1 out of 10 in safety on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (low hazard)

Environmental responsiveness: PETA Cruelty-Free Company, Leaping Bunny certified. A USDA Certified Organic company, most products contain 100% Certified Organic ingredients that are ecologically harvested, wild-crafted, and/or fairly traded. In 2015, the company created an Environmental Management System (EMS) to track and improve their environmental impact. The system is now the basis for future environmental monitoring and goal setting at Badger. The company purchases carbon offsets for 100% of their business air travel through a fellow B Corp. Tins are made from 25-60% post-consumer recycled tin-plated steel, the same as soup cans, and are 100% recyclable; 100% of food scraps are composted on site and used in Badger’s gardens. In addition, a Badger rep reports: “With growing concerns about the impact of soil management on global climate change, how we work with soil becomes an ever-more important issue. The land where the Badger building now sits began as a sandpit, with sparse vegetation and little soil fertility, but with a lot of love (and compost!), what once was a barren site is now a thriving landscape with organic, biodynamic vegetable and medicinal herb gardens. Fed in part by the organic compost of food scraps diverted from our waste stream, the health and beauty of the soil and land is slowly coming back to life. While this transformation from sandpit to thriving biome is good for our local environment, on a broader scale we feel it is ecologically responsible and important for our global ecosystem.”

Results: I began using this cream on my first child four years ago and it’s still a staple in my house. These days, I use it on my 2-year-old when we go to the park or for a walk, and especially at the shore and the pool. Some reviews call this product “greasy”, but I don’t find that to be the case. It’s water- and sweat-resistant and must be reapplied every 40 minutes.

Ingredients from packaging: 
Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%


Other Sunscreen Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), CO2 Extracts of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Organic Seabuckthorn), and *Calenduls Officinalis (Organic Calendula), *Anthemis Nobilis (Organic Chamomile) Essential Oil.

Practicality: $15.99 (2.9 oz.)



AFTER THE SUN

5. Zosimos Botanicals Cooling Mist Sun Spray


Safety
•       Has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and enjoys full Champion status
•       This product has not been ranked on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

Environmental responsiveness: The ZB studio reduces its carbon footprint by using 100% wind power and reports that it only patronizes suppliers that use sustainable harvesting practices, grow pesticide-free plants and produce Certified Organic and/or natural ingredients. Some of the groups ZB studio supports include the Denali Citizens Council and Reef Check Australia. This company does not test on animals.

Results: I’ve been using this wonderful blend for a couple of years and I don’t leave home without it if we’re going on an extended trip to the shore. Since I spend too much time making sure the kids are protected, I'm guilty of neglecting my own "re-apply" process from time to time. This spray is a wonderful, soothing sensation that helps those spots that are a bit sensitive from a day in the sun. The cucumber and aloe vera juice help soothe my skin, adding beneficial moisturizing properties. Plus, the spearmint and peppermint essential oils smell terrific!

Ingredients from packaging: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Juice; Cucumber Hydrosol; Organic Mentha Arvensis (Peppermint) Essential Oil; Organic Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) Essential Oil; Organic Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile, Roman) Essential Oil; Tea Tree Essential Oil.

Label directions: Shake well before using. Requires no refrigeration. Apply liberally to affected areas.

Practicality: $10