Safe Sunscreen Guide - Face + Body

Staying safe in the sun is key, but to really protect your skin from sun damage, aging, and skin cancer, you have to know how to shop. Chemical sunscreens create a chemical reaction on the skin - they absorb UV rays into the skin and then release them as infrared rays - whereas mineral sunscreens block and deflect UV rays. When your skin absorbs chemical sunscreens, your body is absorbing those highly toxic ingredients, which have been linked to hormone disruption, skin allergies, and cancer. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are mineral sunscreens, or physical blockers, that are safe for humans and the environment. And while the zinc sunscreens of the past were impossible to rub in and left us looking ghostly white, that's no longer the case with new brands and better formulations popping up every day. Below, a simple shopping guide to keep you safe and sunkissed. Happy sunbathing!

Sunscreen Shopping Tutorial

 Diana Ross by Leroy Patton, 1970

Diana Ross by Leroy Patton, 1970

  1. Avoid chemical sunscreens: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. They will be listed on an ingredient label under "active ingredients."
  2. Choose mineral sunscreens: non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Look for these in the "active ingredients" list.
  3. Avoid anything with the word "fragrance" or "parfum" on an ingredient label, unless it says it's comprised only of essential oils. This is an all-encompassing term protected under trade secret laws that can contain hundreds to thousands of toxic ingredients. Unscented does not necessarily mean free of chemical fragrance, so beware. 
  4. Avoid methylisothiazolinone, a chemical preservative found in most sunscreens and a skin sensitizer and allergen. Look for it on the "inactive ingredients" list.
  5. Choose lotions and sticks over sprays. While easy to apply, aerosol sprays are easily inhaled and dangerous to us and the environment. A few mineral sunscreen brands now make sprays with air-powered pumps, which is much safer.

Favorite Tinted Face Sunscreens

  1. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizing Face Sunscreen
  2. Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage

Favorite Un-Tinted Face Sunscreens

  1. Luzern La Defense SPF 30 Urban Protect
  2. Keys SolarRx Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30
  3. Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

Favorite Body Sunscreens

  1. Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 
  2. Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 (air-powered)
  3. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 for Body
  4. Love Sun Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance-Free

 

Safe Sunscreen Guide for Kids + Babies

While most of us are aware of the need for sunscreen while in the sun, what's less widely known is that sunscreen needs to be safe and non-toxic - especially on kids and babies. Conventional sunscreens use chemical SPFs to filter out UVA and UVB rays, but all of these chemical SPFs are highly toxic and get absorbed through the skin. Children are at even great risk of this exposure, as their skin more easily absorbs products and their smaller, growing bodies are more impacted by toxins. So how to keep your little ones safe from the sun and chemicals? Below, an easy guide for shopping with confidence plus a list of my favorite sunscreens.

Sunscreen Shopping Tutorial

4cc04a114f4fab8fdee68ab7d2f11e96.jpg
  1. Avoid chemical sunscreens: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These are chemical filters, many of which are hormone disruptors, skin allergens, possible carcinogens, and harmful to oceans and aquatic life. They will be listed on an ingredient label under "active ingredients," so check the packaging and steer clear. 
  2. Choose mineral sunscreens: non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical blockers that literally create a barrier between UVA and UVB rays and skin. Look for these in the "active ingredients" list.
  3. Avoid anything with the word "fragrance" or "parfum" on an ingredient label, unless it says it's comprised only of essential oils. This is an all-encompassing term protected under trade secret laws that can contain hundreds to thousands of toxic ingredients. Unscented does not necessarily mean free of chemical fragrance, so beware. 
  4. Avoid methylisothiazolinone, a chemical preservative found in most sunscreens and a skin sensitizer and allergen. Look for it on the "inactive ingredients" list.
  5. Choose lotions and sticks over sprays. While easy to apply, aerosol sprays are easily inhaled and dangerous to us and the environment. A few mineral sunscreen brands now make  sprays with air-powered pumps, which is much safer.

Favorite Sunscreens

  1. Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 and Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 (air-powered)
  2. Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30 - Fragrance Free and Clear Zinc Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 - Fragrance Free
  3. Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 and Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
  4. Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion and Baby Natural Sunscreen

 

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

For you last-minute holiday shoppers and the remaining natural beauties on your gift list, a healthy yet luxe gift guide. All items available to shop in NYC now, no shipping required. Happy shopping!

 

CLEAN BEAUTY

 

 

Facial Gift Cards from SB Skin, CAP Beauty, and Carrie Lindsey Beauty

Acupuncture Session with Justine Wenger

GOOP Eau de Parfum and Candle: Edition 02 Shisoavailable at CAP Beauty in the West Village and Onda Beauty in Tribeca

RMS Magic Luminizeravailable at CAP Beauty, Onda Beauty, and Shen in Cobble Hill

Everyday Oilavailable at Otherwild in the East Village and Dimes Market in Chinatown

 

 

HEALTHY HOME

 

 

Walter Water Filter - available at CAP Beauty

The Sill House Plants - available at The Sill in Chinatown and the Upper West Side

Parachute Cashmere Blankets - available at the Parachute x Cuyana pop-up shop in Nolita

CAP Beauty The Coconut Butter and Pink Mountain Salt (makes a great duo)

Circle + Crescent Moon Calendarsavailable at Otherwild

 

All photos courtesy of CAP Beauty

Gift Cards Now Available for the Holidays

Now offering Take Good Care gift cards for the holidays! Give the gift of health and wellness with my clean living services. The perfect gift for new and expecting parents, brides-to-be, and anyone on your list who is hard to shop for. Check out my services page to choose your gift and email me at jenna@takegoodcarenyc.com to place your order. 

10% of all gift card sales will be donated to Healthy Child Healthy World and the Environmental Working Group, two non-profit organizations that aim to empower parents, promote solutions and influence policy to create a cleaner, greener, healthier world. 

 Christy Turlington Burns by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia

Christy Turlington Burns by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia