In case you woke up thinking today was Monday, it’s actually Tuesday.
My Monday looked like this…
I couldn’t have asked for better weather. My son and my friend Meaghan’s daughter had a blast in the ocean as well as coating themselves so much in sand that the beach came home with us.
I am happy to report that no sunburns came home with us though. Not on my watch is my son’s skin allowed to burn.
Did you know that today is National Sunscreen Awareness Day?
I know I know, it’s always National Something day but I figured now is as good a time as any to discuss all things sunscreen in honor of the “holiday”.
Last year I talked all about the importance of understanding the ingredients in your sunscreen- it’s not just about the SPF number anymore.
I wish that it was that simple just like I wish I didn’t need to care about what lurks in my cosmetics (pesky parabans) or what’s in our food supply.
Sunscreen is necessary for protecting our skin from the damage that can occur within minutes of the sun’s harmful rays.
No matter how many berries we eat or antioxidant packed powerful plant-based foods we consume that fight off the damage from free radicals which can age our skin, the sun is so crazy strong that we must take our topical skincare and sunscreen seriously.
Unfortunately, not all suncare products are created equal. There are way too many sunscreens on the market which contain harmful ingredients which can cause serious health-related conditions beyond just the occasional allergic reaction and rash.
In fact, many of the ingredients used in traditional sunscreens you often see (and buy) contain ingredients which are banned in other countries yet somehow allowed here in the United States.
I know, right? You thought Aveeno and Neutrogena were the safe ones.
My source for all things educational on the topic of sunscreen is Food Babe.
We really owe it all to her for doing the dirty work, putting in the time to seek out which sunscreens are the best and which to avoid.
Rather than repost every single detail that she already covers beautifully, I hope you will click here to read her full sunscreen review and guide.
I did put together a quick little cheat sheet for you which lists the ingredients you want in your sunscreen and which to avoid:
Don’t hate me about the spray bottles – it’s not my fault!
The spray bottles tend to have added chemicals which are not good for your skin and can be toxic to your lungs. And really, using the spray can be hard to cover each area of your skin effectively, not to mention, the smell (avoid the fragrance!) is horrendous to breathe in and hard to avoid when you create the sunscreen spray cloud around you.
My personal recommendations:
SkinCeuticals makes a full line of fabulous skincare products. Their sunscreens are terrific and meet all of Food Babe’s requirements.
SkinCeuticals may cost a little bit more than your traditional sunscreens (this bottle in particular is $34.00) but a drop goes a long way. One bottle easily lasts me a full summer season which includes daily applications for both running and then sitting out by the pool and beach.
I have loved this sunscreen for a couple of summer seasons now. It is completely safe for your face (no clogged pores or breakouts!) and can be used on your body, especially the delicate skin on your neck. It is also terrific because it is tinted which is nice when you aren’t wearing makeup and aren’t tan.
I actually went to buy a new bottle of this Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen the other day at Blue Mercury when the sales girl informed me that SkinCeuticals came out with a Sports UV Defense Sunscreen.
I wasn’t quite sure of the main differences (aside from the six dollar difference in price) so she made me up some samples to take home to try the product as well as go home to do my research.
I love shopping at Blue Mercury because they are really kind about giving you samples of any product they carry. I took home a bunch of shampoo/hair care product samples too.
The Sports UV Defense sunscreen is specifically marathon-runner tested to hold up against the most extreme of activities. It is light-weight on the skin and offers resistance to UV rays as well as heat stress while protecting collagen from sun damage.
I have used the sample of the Sports sunscreen over the past few days and love how nongreasy it is as well as odorless. You don’t even realize you put it on and it offers terrific protection. It isn’t tinted though.
The sales girl at Blue Mercury also introduced me to SkinCeuticals sunscreen for the eyelids!
I think I am in love with this product. Not only is it allergy friendly (I don’t even know I applied it which is a big deal for someone like me sensitive to everything especially around my eyes), it offers our delicate eye area (including the lid!) SPF 50 protection while also evening out your skin tone and acting as an eye shadow base.
I never wear make up to the beach so what I love about this product is that it evens out my skin tone and removes the redness on the lid as well as blends the dark undertones under the eye.
If you are looking to spend a little bit less money, I also like babyganics mineral-based sunscreen which can be found at Target.
I use this sunscreen for my son and for myself as well.
I tend to use the SkinCeuticals products for my face, shoulders, arms and chest area and then use the Baby Ganics for my legs and back while at the beach.
Babyganics is reasonably priced comparable to the conventional brands you find in Target (I think around eight dollars?).
It also meets all of Food Babe’s requirements and receives a good ranking the EWG.org database.
Definitely check out EWG.org. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group. The website is an amazing resource for seeking out the health/allergy related details on all of your household products, skincare/makeup products as well as tons of information regarding our food supply.
Try not to overwhelm yourself perusing the site though – there is so much information that you can make yourself a bit crazy.
Which sunscreens do you use?
Were you aware of the harmful ingredients in so many of the products?
Do you burn easily like me?