Look, I’ll start this article by saying I’m no dermatologist. In fact, I’m like, the opposite—just a girl with a career in fashion and a degree in Communications. Credible, I know. But, regardless, I love me some good research and staying up-to-date on the latest in wellness. (With my greatest claim to “health extraordinaire” being that I switched my whole family over to almond milk before it was a mainstream thing to do so. Am I like, Dr.Oz??? ) That being said, I’ve come across a lot of articles recently about the potentially harmful effects of sunscreen, particularly chemical sunscreens. And, considering as a generation we’re becoming hyper-aware of not only what we’re putting into our bodies, but also on our bodies, I had to dig further into the matter. Especially since I’m like, v into skin care, too. A girl who works in fashion AND also happens to be into skin care?! Who would have thought!?! Did I mention I was in a sorority, too??? But like, believe it or not, I’m actually smart, and in my quest to better my own life and yours, I’m here to share my findings. Here are some suncreens that are not as harmful for you as some of the ones you might see at a drugstore near you.
Okay, so to put it into the most simplistic terms, there are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. One uses chemical ingredients that actually absorb the sun’s rays to protect the skin, while the other creates a physical barrier to reflect them. And, as you can probably guess, the better-for-you option here is the one that creates the physical barrier. This is because, with a physical barrier, you’re not absorbing all those potentially harmful chemicals into your skin. There are ingredients in chemical sunscreens that are thought to be endocrine disruptors, which may interfere with thyroid and hormone function. Unfortunately, physical sunscreens, typically mineral sunscreens, tend to be thicker and more pasty, which is a huge deterrent for most people. Fortunately though, nowadays, there are plenty of high quality and more sheer options. You know, so you don’t have to look like Casper the friendly ghost strutting around the beach in your best bikini.
I know I’m going to crush a lot of souls here, particularly that of middle aged dads everywhere, but spray sunscreens are the worst culprits of the chemical sunscreens. Again, not only do you have to worry about the chemicals soaking into your skin, you also need to worry about breathing them in as well. *Sigh* Must everything in life we love be so bad??? Well, fortunately, no. Switch to a different type of spray sunscreen, such as the one above from BeautyCounter, which is a non-aerosol mineral mist, to help prevent a lot of those potential health risks while still protecting your skin.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve trusted Neutrogena with my life. And apparently, quite literally. I’ve been using Neutrogena for my go-to face sunscreen, because if I’m going to put anything on this stunning face of mine, it should be a dermatologist approved skin care brand, right??? Wrong. Apparently, according to the EWG, Neutrogena is one of the top sunscreen brands to avoid because they use high concentrations of hormone disrupting chemicals. What else in my life has been a lie?? Of course, no one wants to be walking around with a white chalky face like a mime, which can be the case with some mineral sunscreens. So, try this one from Drunk Elephant, which is not only sheer, but also protective and even simultaneously addresses other skincare concerns as well.
I know this isn’t what you guys want to hear, but, at the end of the day, the best way to protect your skin and overall health is to minimize the time spent in the sun. Or, if you must go in the sun, primarily protect yourself with clothing and beach accessories. Then, also follow with a mineral sunscreen, applied every hour or so. I mean, I definitely don’t want to be an old wrinkly hag, and I certainly don’t want skin cancer either. (#Priorities.) So, personally, I’ll just be sticking with my trusty self-tanner. Sure, my hands may be orange, but that sure beats the health risks associated with too much sun exposure, or now even with my sunscreens. Thank you, next.
Images: @tomasalas / Unsplash; Attitude Living; BeautyCounter; Sephora
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