Protect The Skin You’re In: Five Fab Sunscreens

 

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Summer’s here and the sun is (usually) shining, which means you’re probably reaching for your sunscreen to help protect your skin from sun burn, wrinkles and cancer. But did you know that some sunscreens can actually do more harm than good? That’s why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) annually produces a guide rating the safety and efficacy of sun protection products, enabling consumers to see exactly what they are buying.
Each product in the EWG’s guide is rated on both its level of UV protection and the safety of all the listed ingredients. Additional factors are taken into consideration when rating a product, such as sprays and powders that may pose inhalation risks or a misleading SPF. A product is also given a lower score if it contains potentially harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), which have been linked to hormone disruption and an increased skin cancer risk respectively. A data availability score is also given which measures how much is known about an ingredient and its safety data. Products with an overall score of 0-3 are regarded as low hazard, 4-6 medium hazard and 7-10 high hazard.
Over 700 products feature in EWG’s 2014 guide, but we’ve picked out the best (vegan) ones, so you don’t have to trawl through the entire list (and can enjoy the sunshine instead!).

 

Sunscreens
1. Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 45
EWG Overall Score: 1
Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in this product. It provides a high SPF and broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, making it ideal for people who burn easily. Shea butter and aloe vera are added to keep skin soft and hydrated, whilst Baobab oil provides a rich source of vitamin D. This sunscreen is also gluten free and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.

2. Elemental Herbs Sport Sunscreen, SPF 33
EWG Overall Score: 1
Hypoallergenic and gluten free, this sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection through the use of zinc oxide. It contains organic green tea and rosehip oil which are well known for their antioxidant effects. Organic jojoba and extra virgin olive oils are added for their excellent moisturising properties.

3. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
EWG Overall Score: 2
Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, this sunscreen contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It won’t cause harm to coral reefs as it contains no harmful chemical sunscreen ingredients. Fast absorbing and lightweight, this product contains sunflower oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera to soften and moisturise the skin, plus grapeseed oil and vitamin E to provide antioxidant protection.

4. Nature’s Gate Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 20
EWG Overall Score: 2
This sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It is easily absorbed and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. This product is ideal for children and people with sensitive skin as it is fragrance free and contains calendula, chamomile and marshmallow extracts to soothe and moisturise the skin.

5. Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40
EWG Overall Score: 2
This sunscreen blends in clear and provides a natural physical sunblock through the use of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It is free from gluten, parabens and phthalates and is water resistant. Hydresia – a substance found in safflower seeds – is added for its super-moisturising properties.

Header image by Pablo Fernandez

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Jessica Sjoholm

Wellness Editor

Jessica is a holistic beauty therapist from Cornwall, UK. She has her own business specialising in providing luxury, vegan and eco-friendly treatments. Jessica loves reading, writing, creating natural beauty products and going for long walks around the coast and countryside with her little dog Jack. www.tranquillarosa.co.uk

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