The question of all beauty questions....
What is the best natural SPF?
Is definitely a tough one. There is no simple straightforward answer to this topic.
I will tell you what I am using personally and what works for me and why, as well as my take on all the confusing information about sunscreens. I hope this will be a helpful starting point for you.
There are two real types of sun protection a physical protection due to a mineral barrier (Zinc or Titanium Dioxide) or synthetic sun filters based on several different chemical compounds.
Then there are natural oils which can give a low level of protection.
I personally avoid any synthetic sun filters as they aren't toxin-free and contain many nasty ingredients that will be absorbed through your skin. The advantage, however, is that these filters are invisible. Therefore you can wear a light lotion and won't even see or feel that you are wearing sunscreen.
I rather protect my health and don't risk any of these being absorbed into my body.
That's why I am going with natural sun protection.
Another important reason is also the ocean & sealife as all the synthetic sunscreens are actually destroying the reefs and polluting the water & sea life each time you head into the water. We have no Planet B people!!!
So, get over yourselves if that sunscreen feels a little thicker then the toxic version, you are doing the right thing :)
What to look for:
Avoid nano zinc (nanoparticles are too small and can be harmful)
All nasty ingredients like fragrance etc, listed in my guide here.
Only buy products which do list ALL their ingredients.
Some sunscreen brands do not enclose all ingredients, step away from those.
Day To Day Protection
No.4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion
(or Vanilla Silk TINTED Hydrating Lotion)
These have natural sun protection due to Black Raspberry Seed Oil. This moisturiser goes on like a normal lotion, as it's not an actual sunscreen. It's super lightweight as well.
It also smells divine.
Combined with all the other clever Australian botanical ingredients, this protects your skin from the elements and keeps it young and healthy. Remember all my readers get a special discount, simply use "LIV15" at checkout!
Founder Anna Mitsios says
"A luxurious lightweight moisturiser with a natural SPF, rich in natural AHAs and antioxidants.Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion is a hydrating, firming cream with a luxurious satin consistency. This lotion has an abundance of wildcrafted Australian extracts which are potent antioxidants. The Australian Rosella Extract, one of the key botanicals in the skin care, is known as the "botox" plant - it is a natural source of AHAs which enhance the skin's natural cell turnover to encourage fresher and younger looking skin."I only wear a natural moisturiser for day to day wear, meaning walking the dog & bub in the park in the morning, mainly being in the shade, running small errands etc.
I have a medium skin tone that tans easily, so if you are extremely fair and sun sensitive this might not work for you. I love wearing hats & sunglasses and I cover up my shoulders on longer walks. This way I still get a healthy and important dose of Vitamin D, without overexposing my skin. If you head for a swim in the evening or early morning only then you can get away with this and won't have to worry about acutal SPF.
If I am heading to the beach, for a very long walk or other any outdoor activities during the Summer months I do wear sun protection on my face & body. There is no way around it here in Australia. I still don't think there is a perfect product but here some great ones that work well for me.
For The Face
I use Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Cover BB Creme when I go the beach. This is a full coverage foundation! Yes, I would prefer not wearing makeup to the beach and especially not a full coverage... but this protects my skin SO well and is even water resistant. I always get a very sweaty nose too and this is the only stuff that actually stays put on hot summer days.
It's SPF25 PA++, but due to the physical barrier that mineral sunscreens create, I never burnt with this even on the beach in Australian Summer. Pretty Awesome! It doesn't block pores, goes on easily and has some amazing skin care benefits. This product is based on Titanium Dioxide, a natural mineral sunscreen. I believe that Zinc is the safest, but it's hard to find a good Zinc sunscreen for the face that doesn't have lot's of other rubbish in it and that isn't too thick and causes break-outs. It's also suitable for the most sensitive of all skins.
Make sure to double cleanse at night to remove this fully, as it really does stay on all day and takes extra care to wash off. My favourite oil-cleanser that washes this off instantly is Purity&Grace by Max&Me.
For The Body
UV Natural has become my go-to favourite mineral sunscreen for the body.
It's SPF 30 based on Zinc and enriched with lovely clean natural ingredients.
No funny smell, very moisturizing and suitable for babies as well.
We have been using this for the whole fam and have been super happy with it.
For a mineral sunscreen it goes on easily and it absorbs well. All Zinc sunscreen will leave a little white cast, especially if you are very tanned like me. On fair skin, you might not notice it and are more happy with it. I have tried them all. There is not such a thing than a natural sunscreen that isn't at least a little gluggy & white, as the Zinc which is needed in a certain concentration to protect from the sun is thick and white in itself.
I prefer vegan products and a lot of the natural ones do contain beeswax, but not this one, yay!
Another good one for babies but with beeswax is Moogoo SPF40 we got some given and used it on Faye and it's very good for babies. It's a little thicker than the UV Natural one. But again, I prefer no beeswax, if possible so UV natural comes out a winner. I also find it goes on more easily. This one is definitely great for dry skin and VERY moisturising, I heard people finding it too oily but I really like it. I have in an emergency used this on my face on a few occasions and was really surprised how it didn't make me breakout. Dave always uses this on his face when we go to the beach.
The Moogoo one is a little more "dry" if that makes sense so it won't leave the skin oily.
There are many great natural options out there, these are what works for us.
So there you have it! I hope this was helpful!