Wearing sunscreen during the summer is like wearing a Versace gown or an Armani suit to the Oscars—it’s a no brainer. The question of which sunscreen to choose, however, is often a more difficult decision.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will have skin cancer in his or her lifetime. Applying sunscreen is the first defense against developing the disease, and AAD recommends reaching for screens with broad-spectrum protection (which block both UVA and UVB rays) that have an SPF of 30 or higher and are water resistant.
SPFs and broad-spectrum classifications are easy enough to understand, but what about sunscreens that claim to be natural, organic, or both?
Natural sunscreen products rely on mineral-based active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Also known as physical sunscreens, these compounds sit on top of the skin and deflect rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, bind to the skin and absorb rays. When picking a natural sunscreen, opt for zinc oxide, as it provides better broad-spectrum protection.
When picking a natural sunscreen, opt for zinc oxide, as it provides better broad-spectrum protection. Derma E’s Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen boasts clear zinc oxide, is fortified with vitamin C and green tea, and is 100-percent vegan.
Sunscreen or makeup? With Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen, you can have the best of both worlds. The loose powder comes in an easy-to-use tube with a self-dispensing brush, contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and is available in five different shades and matte or shimmer finishes. Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, this powder sunscreen keeps your skin safe while lending a soft focus finish.
For a sunscreen to be labeled organic, it must comply with the standard known as NSF/ANSI 305, which specifies body products with an “organic” or “contains organic ingredients” label must have an organic content of 70 percent or higher. Goddess Garden Organics’ Everyday Natural Sunscreen is both natural (made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and organic, featuring plant-based ingredients like raspberry, coconut oil, and green tea.
If you’re in need of an organic sunscreen brand with many options to suit you and your family, check out Coola. Made from more than 70-percent certified organic ingredients such as cucumber, algae, strawberry extracts and red raspberry seed oil, the Coola collection includes sprays like the Eco-Lux Body Fresh Cucumber Sunscreen Spray and an SPF-enriched Makeup Setting Spray.
Coola‘s SPF-enriched Makeup Setting Spray is the perfect finishing touch to your everyday makeup routine, ensuring a final layer of sun protection while the cucumber and aloe vera extracts help soothe and refresh your face, leaving you with a clean, natural green tea scent.
Impatient to get off the sand and into the waves? Try Hampton Sun’s Broad Spectrum Continuous Mist Sunscreen, a dermatologist-endorsed, hypoallergenic formula that stays water resistant for up to 80 minutes. The non-aerosol dispenser is free of chemical propellants, leaving misted skin feeling light and silky.
If you’re not planning on spending an entire day at the beach but still want to keep your skin protected during your daily activities, try Big Cloud’s Daily Face Moisturizer, a lightweight formula rich in grape stem cells, Vitamin E, and green tea extract that absorbs quickly, leaving skin refreshed with a crisp, watery fig scent.
For the sophisticated sunbather, La Prairie’s Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil Sunscreen is sure to please. Designed to be used over your moisturizer and under your foundation, this lightweight but powerful veil offers daily protection against exposure to UVA and UBV rays and the environment.
For more sunscreen guidance, consult the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens, which rates sunscreens, moisturizers, and lip products and provides insight into the best and worst ones on the market.