Summer Series Pt. 1: Cruelty-Free and Nontoxic Facial Sunscreen
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Whelp. It's here. It was spring for like .5 seconds and now it's summer. We are set to break the 100's this week in Dallas! Although the official first day of summer isn't until late June, go ahead and grab your sunscreen, because the pool is the only way you're going to cool off. My apartment can't even stay cool right now! I'm sure our electric bill is going to be L O V E L Y this month.
Anyway, let's talk about sunscreen. For the past 6 months, I have been religious about applying sunscreen daily, because my skin is so pale and I'm beginning to care about anti-aging practices. It's funny, er, well ironic really, because sunscreen is the thing that is *supposed* to be good for you and in essence, most aren't good for you. That's right. SUNSCREEN ISN'T GOOD FOR YOU. Nick if you're reading this, don't worry. This isn't a way to let me let you go into the wild without sunscreen, because I'm going to be talking about safe sunscreen today. So there!
The majority of sunscreens are filled with toxins and chemicals that are keeping you from getting burned, but are also absorbing into your blood stream. I think of it the same way I think of deodorant these days...Something that was intended to be good, but most are bad for you. Read my post on natural deodorants here.
If you lead any kind of active life, adding a facial sunscreen to your beauty regimen is a necessity if you aren't already incorporating one. Heck, you can get sunburned driving on your way to work!! Did you read my post on skincare tips for the traveler, because sunscreen is on the list. HELLO AIRPLANE WINDOWS. I digress.
When I first started using sunscreen everyday, I looked to Supergoop! They are a cruelty-free brand and I really like their marketing. They had just come out with Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 (around $30ish)- a matte, clear sunscreen that goes on so easily and works as a makeup primer. Honestly, I still love the product, but when I bought it, I assumed that all cruelty-free brands were nontoxic (not the case) and I had no idea that most sunscreens were toxic. My friend Jourdan turned me onto EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic's Database, which rates products based on toxicity level. Unseen Sunscreen rates a 3, which is the bottom rung of the moderate/yellow rating. EWG verified is the best rating, 1-2 (Green rating) is low hazard, 3-6 is moderate hazard (yellow rating), and 7-10 are high hazard (red rating). I explained this rating system to one of my friends and they were like "a 5 isn't that bad then is it? 5 out of 10?" I was like I mean...I guess? You have to decide what is best for you. But to me a 5 seems like a pretty crappy job of making a product. In my opinion, if I have a choice to choose something better, especially if it is getting absorbed into my blood stream, I'm going to do better. Heck, I think the FDA can do better, but that's another rant for another day.
After I realized my current facial sunscreen rated a 3, I wanted to do better. Recently, Supgergoop! came out with a new mineral facial sunscreen. At the time, EWG hadn't rated it yet, so I tried to ask the company via chat if it was better than unseen sunscreen on the toxicity scale and THEY SAID YES. But guess what? The rating is out now and it's STILL A 3. Honestly, I'd stick with the amazingness of Unseen Sunscreen if I could, so why would I switch to mineral if it has the same rating?!
As far as good facial sunscreens, I've only found two - Biossance and Suntegrity, so if you have one you love, holla at me in the comments below. These two are cruelty-free and nontoxic, so here ya go, frans:
Rating: EWG Verified (1+)
Thoughts: First of all, if you're wondering what squalane is, check out my post on What is Squalane and Why Use it In Skincare post. It was kind of a shock to go from Unseen Sunscreen to this, because Unseen Sunscreen's formula is clear and matte -not at all sunscreen like. Biossance's formula is white and kind of sticky, aka more so how you remember sunscreen. The color does rub out/fades into your skin though, so no worries there. And for what it's worth, once it dries, it's pretty lightweight and manageable. I use this everyday on my face, as the last step in my skincare routine, before I put on makeup. The reviews talk about some shimmer glitter specs, and I honestly don't notice them. I can see the gleam on my hands after I massage the formula into my face, but I don't notice it on my actual face, especially after I put on my makeup and everything. I don't have a problem with it at all and highly recommend it!
Size: 1.7 oz (same as 50mL)
Thoughts: To be honest, I haven't tried this one, but my friend Jourdan has and I trust her opinion more than anyone's on this topic - it's the one she uses. Honestly I love the brand message, as it was created to honor those who have lost their lives to skin cancer. It's supposed to be a pretty lightweight formula and workable under makeup as well. From the reviews I have read, it is similar to Biossance in the fact that you have to work it into your skin for the color to fade.
In my opinion, it's pretty sad that those are the only two facial sunscreens I can find that aren't toxic. Like what?! Most people don't even realize the toxins that are in their products, let alone their sunscreen. We've got to do better, people. And speaking of doing better, if you can't find yourself applying actual sunscreen on your face on the regular, then at least get you some tinted moisturizer or something! Here are two great options.
Size: 1.7 oz
Thoughts: I've been using this for almost 2 years now - I love it! It has sunscreen in it and primes my face for makeup, in addition to helping me cover up any blemishes easier. From what I have read, if you are really going out in the sun, the amount of sunscreen in a cream won't do and you should at least wear a sunscreen only product, but if you're just walking to your car everyday, this could probably work. I was born with skin like Snow White so I'll keep applying my sunscreen and CC cream, thank you!
Size: 1.7 oz
Thoughts: Like I mentioned above, I haven't used this brand, but it's one I hold in high regard. The reviews and ratings only share good things! It doesn't call it a CC cream, but it does basically what a CC cream does - treat, hydrate, prime, protect, cover. I also really like how they share celeb's skin tones to help you decide which tint you need!
What do you think? Are you practicing safe sun?! Back in 2016 I did a post on tips for sunscreen wearing and application. The information is still valid, but as if this summer, I will no longer be using the sunscreen I mention in that post. Stay tuned for my next post on cruelty-free and nontoxic body sunscreen that is also coral reef safe! (side note, the 4 products I mention here are reef safe!)
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