I've been in the health industry since the early 1990's. Yes, more than two and a half decades! During that time I've made it my mission to create the healthiest food possible for my family. I've also created my own non-toxic household cleaning products and personal care products. That's because health and beauty are about so much more than what goes in your mouth.
Since our skin is our largest organ what we put on it is critical to our health. Because I have the MTHFR genetic mutation this is even more crucial for me. People with the MTHFR gene may have impaired detoxification, so avoiding products with toxic ingredients is of the utmost importance.
Growing up in California, my friends and I baked in the sun. By the time I was in my 20's I wasn't outside much, I spent my time indoors building my first company. Once I reached my 30's I started thinking about aging. My top beauty secrets? Sleep, diet, and moderate exercise. I also realized that applying a good sunscreen to my face might help prevent wrinkles. Since then I've used sunscreen on my face religiously. When I go out for a walk I also wear a baseball hat and sunglasses. It's great to use such items to protect the delicate skin on your face. It's also important to find a fantastic sunscreen that does not contain harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals and other toxins.
Here are just a few of the scary ingredients that may be hiding in your sunscreen!
I don't use chemical based sunscreens even though many people choose them, finding them lighter and easier to rub in. I prefer the healthier alternatives below that use zinc oxide to block out the sun!
Finding the right sunscreen isn't as easy as you'd think. I went through product after product years ago until I landed on my non-toxic sunscreen favorites. They're full of safe ingredients and work very well at blocking out the sun.
I use Loving Naturals SPF 30 because it's made with ingredients like coconut oil and beeswax. The main active ingredient is zinc oxide which is unique because it is a truly broad spectrum blocker that protects from UVA and UVB. Zinc oxide scores well with the Environmental Working Group because it provides “strong sun protection with few health concerns.” EWG also rates it highly because it doesn't break down in the sun.
This product is incredibly safe and effective and EWG gives it the highest rating possible. It's very easy to rub in and blend properly and doesn't leave a weird white residue on your face. With ingredients like coconut oil it is a bit oily. Given that I live in the high desert of Colorado this is great for me. I don't use it at the beach however because I think sand would stick to it. I keep this sunscreen by the door and in my car so that I can apply it as needed, i.e., prior to going out in the sun.
Think Baby SPF 50+ Sunscreen is another one of my favorite sun blocking products. Can I tell you a secret? Because my skin is so sensitive I like to use personal care products that are gentle enough for an infant to use. Beware though, not everything that's labeled “baby safe” actually is, so you'll still need to check ingredients even when using baby products. Still, just because it's for baby, doesn't mean you can't use it if you're an adult, and this product is amazing! Made with aloe, cranberry seed oil, castor oil, vitamin C, and magnesium, it feels great going on, rubs right into your skin and leaves no ghostly white residue. EWG gives this sunscreen its highest rating.
This product is great for your face, because it's moisturizing, leaves a little glow on your skin, and is incredibly effective. It's also light and versatile enough to use at a pool or the beach. Another plus? With real papaya and coconut oil this sunscreen has a very light tropical scent and reminds me of sitting under a palm tree by the ocean.
Juice Beauty's Tinted Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 (Sand) is another winner. It's non-toxic and safe, receiving the highest rating from EWG. It is basically a lightly tinted sunscreen that goes on very nicely. I use this when I'm going out for lunch and want to look a little more polished. I also keep this by the door. Because it is tinted with a slight beige coloring, you will want to wash your hands after applying, especially if you are wearing white, or light colored clothes, so that it doesn't get on them.
On a final note, although I wear sunscreen on my face religiously, I'm not afraid to get some good sun exposure every day! It helps with my vitamin D levels and feels great on my arms and legs when I go out for my daily walk in the warmer weather.
The sunscreen debate can be a heated one (pun intended), and I take the middle path, using it on my face, but not the rest of my body. What's your strategy when it comes to the sun? Do you use sunscreen or not?