Well Summer seems to be upon us, although I’m sat here snuggled up in a cardigan it’s suddenly freezing. As someone who suffered with heat rash as a child (literally every school photo I’m a red prickly heat mess) The combination of heat and humidity my body was not a fan of. Over the years luckily I’ve grown out of it. That is other than when I use a sunscreen with oxybenzone in and to top that off it majorly flares my perioral dermatitis, Ive had a lot of fellow sufferers reach out and ask how I cope with the sun and what do I use as a sunscreen, so I thought I would share my findings.
Over the years Ive tried many a natural sunscreen luckily they have definitely improved and no longer do you have to look like you’re a cricket player (unless you want to that is) The sun can be a catch 22, it helps to clear up a lot of skin conditions but with perioral dermatitis it can make it worse and too much is obviously a no no.
How do ‘chemical’ based sunscreens work?
If you have sensitive skin avoid sunscreens that claim to be ‘waterproof’ the waterproofing agents acts as a barrier not allowing your skin to breathe, imagine wrapping your skin in cling film thats basically whats happening. Sunscreen actives to look out for are normally one of the following : oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. The way a chemical based sunscreen works is to instead of blocking the suns rays the active chemical absorbs the rays and turns them to heat which in turn is transferred from the skin to the air which are hormone disrupters. The other down side of this is they have a high absorption rate and produce free radicals which cause skin damage and ageing.
How do ‘natural’ based sunscreens work?
Natural sunscreens use naturally ground up minerals and they work by reflecting the suns rays rather than absorbing, they also offer broad spectrum protection. You wont look like a glitter ball promise! AND they start working straight away, no more holding the kids down waiting for sunscreen to activate before they can go play.
So what do the grown ups say?
Well The EWG recommends avoiding Oxybenzone which is a known allergen and endocrine disrupter(Hormones). Octinate is also an endocrine disrupter as it mimics oestrogen, were exposed to so much in our day to day lives ideally its best not to load up in areas we can control. For sure go natural if your sensitive, pregnant & breastfeeding, using on children or are concerned about your environmental impact.
What about the coral reefs?
Talking of the environment : You may have seen in the news that Hawaii banned the use of sunscreen containing chemicals that we harming the reefs and sea life those being oxybenzone and oxtinoxate. One study found that one single drop of oxybenzone in enough water to fill six and a half Olympic sized swimming pools was enough to cause harm which is alarming considering around 14,000 tonnes of sustain lotion is washed off into the ocean each year.
Now when do you apply your sunscreen in your routine..do your whole routine however you normally do, after your moisture of choice whether thats a Kyushi face oil or something else wait 5-10 mins for the product to sink into the skin, then go on with your sunscreen. Easy peasy.
Products I love..
Whether you’re looking to lower your toxic burden, you have sensitive skin or you’re looking to protect the environment there are so many wonderful options on the market now.
Mad Hippie I have mad hippie on hand if I want to double down on the suntegrity normally on my nose and top of my cheeks where I know I’m sensitive. Note is does go on white initially and does need rubbing in