With summer practically right around the corner, it’s finally time to start thinking about sunscreen. As a former sun worshiper, I know all too well the negative effects of too much sun. That instant gratification feels so warm and wonderful, but the after-effects are terrible and can range from simple sunspots, discoloration and unwanted freckles, to more severe problems like skin cancer. I have learned to embrace my pale skin, realizing that natural-looking skin is way prettier than the leathery look. I have also put in time and effort, being diligent with facials and lasers, getting my skin back into shape. So at this point, sun isn’t a good thing. Yes – I am that girl that literally doesn’t go in the sun. I slather on zinc that I get from my facialist, Dangene, wear sunglasses, a big hat and call it a day.
That being said, I am realistic and realize that most people, (including most of my friends) LOVE the sun and wouldn’t be so happy sitting under an umbrella all day at the beach. So if people are going to be out in the sun, they need proper protection!
Sunscreen is a touchy subject, and there seems to be some major confusion when it comes to choosing sunscreens. For those who need a little clarification, there are two main types of sun blockers — the physical kind, like zinc and titanium dioxide, and the chemical kind, like oxybenzone and its many relatives. They work in different ways, the former blocking or “scattering” the sun’s rays, and the latter causing a chemical reaction. Many sunscreens use chemical sun blockers, like oxybenzone, which trigger allergic skin reactions, and may be hormone disruptors.
My facialist Dangene has always recommended zinc (a physical blocker), and agrees that we should all avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. This is what the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has to say, “Commonly used in sunscreens, the chemical oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic reactions. Data are preliminary, but studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health harms. One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters. More than 40 percent of all beach and sport sunscreens in this year’s guide contain oxybenzone.”
Now who would want to put something like this on their skin? NOT ME! Fortunately, there are some amazing and super chic brands out there that have created safe, non-toxic and chemical (oxybenzone) free sunscreens that actually work.
These are my six oxybenzone-free favorites. FINALLY, chic sun protection that we can feel safe in.
You forget that Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen is actually protecting your skin. It honestly feels like a really good foundation or tinted moisturizer. This is an all in one miracle worker – “UV Chemical-Free” tinted sunscreen and beauty benefit (BB) cream that treats, hydrates, protects, primes and covers the skin. It’s also supercharged with youth promoting antioxidants that help to scavenge surface free radicals.
The SPF Stick:
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 40 is oil-free and leaves a matte finish. It’s also packed with antioxidants like green tea, cranberry and pomegranate extracts. There’s even Vitamin C to ensure your skin stays healthy. It’s good for touchups throughout a long day at the beach and easy enough to keep with you at all times.
The French Pharmacy Find:
Never leave Paris without La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream. This Parisian favorite is a staple among the European set.
The Daily Face Moisturizer (with SPF):
You almost forget that you are wearing sunscreen with Soleil Toujours SPF 20 Daily Moisturizer. It’s organic, non-greasy and super lightweight. It even contains ingredients to minimize fine lines and improve elasticity!
The Head to Toe SPF:
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 includes Marula Oil that hydrates skin and leaves a glowing, iridescent finish. Sunflower Shoot Extract and raspberry seed oil supply antioxidants, which are major skin-boosters. It’s safe to use on babies too. My full review on this need to know brand is here.
The Antioxidant-Infused SPF:
Tarte Tarteguart 30 Sunscreen Lotion is infused with maracuja, red algae, soybean, apple and honeysuckle extracts to nourish, tone and retain moisture while helping to combat signs of aging for a firmer, brighter, smoother appearance. The fresh, ocean’s lily scent is amaaaazing and it absorbs quickly, never leaving behind that white sunscreen residue.