After an amazing day-trip to Hastings on Sunday, I reached the end of my trusted Organii SPF 15 suncream. Time to restock. I thought of trying out another brand. Then I realised I had NO IDEA what makes a product good, or what should (and shouldn’t) be on the ingredients list? Maybe you’ve thought the same? Well, today I’ve got you covered.
Follow these top tips, think “1-2-3”, and you can confidently go forth to salute the sun!
What’s the difference between natural mineral suncreams and all the rest?
Sun cream is designed to protect your skin from UVA rays (the type which causes wrinkles and cancer) and UVB rays (the type which causes sun burn). Natural products often use minerals to reflect light, while others use chemicals which allow light rays to penetrate the skin before they’re absorbed and neutralised through a chemical reaction. That’s why natural mineral sunscreens are good to go as soon as they come out of the tube, instead of the normal 15-30 minute delay.
⛱ I recommend you pick a BROAD SPECTRUM mineral sunscreen which guarantees at least SPF 15 for both UVA and UVB.
Why switch to a natural product?
There are 2 types of natural sun cream – mineral and chemical. However, not all chemicals are equal, so it makes sense to be able to spot the duds. Some of the more dubious ones are believed to accumulate in fatty tissues and breast milk, and may be potential hormone disruptors. I believe there are enough of those in the environment without squirting them on your skin whenever you want to relax in the sun.
Whether you opt for a mineral or chemical natural sun protector, here’s what to do:
🌍 1. Keep an eye out for 100% ORGANIC or ORGANIC on the label, as only these products contain more than 95% of organic ingredients.
🥀 2. Check the ingredients list. You’ll want your cream to be free of synthetic colours, synthetic fragrance, parabens and mineral oils, petrolatum, sulphates, phthalates and artificial colours. OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE are the synthetic chemical filters you’ll want to AVOID.
🌺 3. Don’t be surprised to see ZINC OXIDE or TITANIUM DIOXIDE, these are natural mineral sunscreens which should be listed.
Why think “1-2-3” for sun safety?
How frequently do you apply your sunscreen, and how much do you actually use? I bet it’s nowhere near enough, either in time or quantity! I’ve developed this simple rule which guarantees you’ll be using enough sunscreen to properly protect your skin on the hottest of days.
☝🏾Just think “1-2-3” whenever you reach for your sunscreen.
Take 1 tube; squeeze out 2 tablespoons (this is the amount you should use to cover your body from head to toe); repeat every 3 hours (this is the maximum amount of time between each application). Simple.
How much time in the sun is actually safe?
Sun bathing has numerous benefits – people who gain sun exposure have longer life expectancies than sun-avoiders. Also, sun exposure lowers blood pressure – a benefit that lasts beyond your return indoors. And of course, you need sunlight on your skin to synthesise vitamin D. No doubt, you’re also aware of the negative consequences of too much sun. Over-exposure and repeated sunburn increases the risk of melanoma.
So how can you find a healthy balance?
Start by knowing the amount of time you can spend in the sun to meet your daily vit D requirements.
- When in the UK, you need midday summer sun to make vitamin D. A perfect reason to get out of the office.
- Those with fair skin can stay exposed for between 2 to 8 mins.
- Those with darker skin need between 25 to 35 mins.
When the time has passed it’s time to protect – either slap on some suncream, slip on a layer, or head into the shade.
That’s it – you’re ready to go forth and enjoy the sun!!