Natural SPF Beauty Oil - Protecting Your Skin and Marine Wildlife
Sunscreen is one of the most important parts of a skincare routine. Whether you’re looking for sunscreen for acne prone skin, or even sunscreen for babies, it’s important to know how to choose an effective, and safe sun-protectant. However, with so many different sunscreen brands on the market, it can be confusing to know what to look for. In today’s blog, I’ll be explaining exactly what you should aim for in a sunscreen, and what you should avoid. I’ll also be talking about the environmental impact of toxic sunscreen chemicals, and sharing my personal favorite natural sun protection with you guys. Let’s get started!
The Basics Of Protecting Your Skin
Sunscreen refers to anything you put on your body, that is designed to protect your skin from radiation that the sun produces. While adequate sun exposure is actually a vital part of maintaining health, too much direct sun exposure has been linked to skin cancer. In one of her videos, Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreens influencer Christine Chun explains some important aspects of sun damage. Christine notes that exposure to the sun also means exposure to UVA and UVB radiation. UVA radiation is the radiation that can cause the skin to age, while UVB radiation causes the skin to burn. To protect your skin from this radiation, you should be wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, of at least SPF 50 or higher. Cool tip: SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor,” as explained by the American Cancer Society in their article Choose the Right Sunscreen. Any SPF lower than 50, is not going to sufficiently block out the sun’s radiation, and should be avoided. However, the difference between SPF 50, and anything higher than that, is minimal. Most importantly, you should remember that even a good sunscreen needs to be re-applied during the day. Finally, using sunscreen doesn’t mean that you should be outside, without shade, during peak hours of the sun’s strength.
Sunscreen Toxicity and Marine Life
One of the more serious issues associated with modern chemical sunscreens, is the fact that they destroy marine life, and particularly coral reefs. Sunscreen comes in 2 forms, physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens directly block, or reflect, the sun’s rays. Zinc Oxide, which is a preferable and safer natural mineral sunscreen ingredient, will make a sunscreen white, and reflects the sun’s radiation. But your typical chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, actually absorb the sun’s radiation. The issue is that, over the day, the chemicals in chemical sunscreens break down in the sun’s heat. If you wear a typical convenience store kind of sunscreen at the beach, that sunscreen on your skin will leach into the ocean water, causing “coral bleaching”, which means coral reefs die, and become uninhabitable for other marine life, which make their homes in- or find shelter from predators- in living coral reefs. These bad chemical sunscreens can simultaneously leach into the bloodstreams of humans and marine animals. This causes an array of different issues. The infographic above demonstrates precisely the way that sunscreen impacts the environment.
Safe v.s. Unsafe Sunscreen Ingredients
It is important to know exactly what sunscreen ingredients are safe for you and the environment, and what ingredients are not. You can follow the simple table below, to determine whether the sunscreen you are using contains safe ingredients. In the article The Trouble With Ingredients In Sunscreens
, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), dives into the nature of each of the ingredients on this list. Furthermore, the informative blog post 5 Dangerous Chemicals in Sunscreen,
by Dr. Edward Group, provides more information about some of these ingredients as well.
The EWG emphasizes that just because sunscreen ingredients have been FDA approved, it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily healthy, or stable in intense heat. Many FDA approved sunscreen ingredients, listed in the Unsafe portion of this table, are found widely in your big box stores and local convenience stores, but have been known to break down in the sun’s heat, seeping into the bloodstream and remaining there for weeks. Some research suggests that many of these chemicals not only cause allergic reactions, but could also be related to hormone disruption. If you don’t want to wear sunscreen at all, another option is using clothing as protection. However, this isn’t always entirely effective.
Why This SPF Beauty Oil is different
Now, onto my favorite alternative— The Devoted Things Natural SPF 50 Beauty Oil! As you guys know from reading my previous blogs, I have very acne prone skin, and I still deal with acne scarring and hyperpigmentation from my high-school days. Since beginning to use natural skincare, my acne has pretty much gone away entirely. That said, if I return to chemical based skin care, even momentarily, I always notice a break-out the next day. The SPF Beauty Oil has been amazing for me, because it is effective against the sun, without clogging my pores at all. It’s lightweight, and the natural oils have actually helped to balance out the overproduction of oil in my skin.
Non-Nano vs. Nano: 2 forms of Zinc Oxide
The main natural ingredient in this sunscreen is Zinc Oxide in the Non-Nano form. We’re going to get into the science of this, but it’s worth it—stay with me! Nano Zinc Oxide refers to Zinc that is in tiny powdered particles. However, these particles are so small, that they can potentially enter the skin, and possibly the bloodstream. We want to avoid that. Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, on the other hand, is what we want. Zinc is not only an extremely effective sunscreen, but it is also safe for human use, and non-toxic to marine life. A final, huge benefit to this beauty oil, for me, has been the fact that the natural plant extracts it contains have helped to actively lighten dark spots on my skin. All in all, the most important thing to remember, is that all sunscreen is not created equal. If you check the ingredients list when you buy your sunscreen, you can get the best of both worlds—protecting your skin and the environment at the same time!
Peace and Love,