All sunscreens are not created equal. And it’s about darn time that something is done about it! The FDA announced yesterday that it is taking a much-needed look at cleaning up sunscreens' ingredient and marketing act. It has acknowledged that only two active sunscreen ingredients are considered safe and effective based on current data. Those are mineral-sunscreen ingredients zinc oxide and titanium DIoxide.
The health regulator also warns that PABA (cousin to controversial oxybenzone) and trolamine salicylate are UNSAFE and ineffective, so check those labels, folks. Plus, it is reviewing 12 other active sunscreen ingredients for efficacy and safety. The agency has also proposed to increase UVA protection (UVA rays are the skin-cancer/wrinkle-causing ones) and limit the inflated high SPF claims (like 100+ or whatever), capping SPF at 60. Read more about its new proposed regulations here.
My Fave Mineral Sunscreen That Doesn’t Turn You White
The main reason people steer clear of mineral sunscreens is that they notoriously turn your skin white. They also can feel thicker and take longer to rub in (tough for hairy men for sure). But here, too, not all sunscreens are created equal. I am constantly testing different mineral sunscreen products to find the most esthetically friendly, yet effective sunscreens out there. I’ve found one that I truly love. (Please note, the brand is not paying me to say this and I have purchased these products for myself without receiving any freebies.)
Yes, it has “baby” in its name, and truth be told, I discovered it when researching sunscreens for my infant. Thinkbaby has since become my go-to sunscreen. (Why shouldn’t adults use the safer products they use on their babies?) Whenever I try a new mineral sunscreen, I end up going back to Thinkbaby because it’s just better. It goes on smooth, rubs in easily, dries fast, smells nice, provides great coverage and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (a bonus because we go through a LOT of sunscreen in my family LOL). Thinkbaby comes in a family size (6 oz.), which will last for a while, and a smaller 3-oz. size, which is helpful for an already-heavy purse or beach bag (I buy multiples and stick them in my car, purse, stroller, etc.).
Here’s some info about its awesomeness:
It was the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods’ premium-care requirements.
It has been rated “1” (super clean) on EWG’s Skin Deep Database.
It has the broadest spectrum for both UVA and UVA.
It has the highest SPF that can legally be stated at this current time.
It uses a natural tree sap instead of petroleum for water resistance.
It contains no PABA, parabens or toxic ingredients.
It doesn’t use nano-particles, which are ultra-fine particles that have the potential of getting into your bloodstream.
The scent to mask the zinc oxide is a pleasant papaya…yeah, the real fruit, not a fragrance chemical cocktail.
Chemical vs. Mineral (Physical) Sunscreens
In case you’re unfamiliar with the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens, here’s a quick overview: Chemical sunscreens are absorbed by your skin and absorb UV rays; a chemical reaction then takes place between the UVs and the sunscreen’s active chemical ingredients within your skin, where the rays are changed to heat and then the skin releases that heat. Physical/mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, sit on top of your skin and deflect and scatter the sun’s rays. They are also called physical blockers because their ingredients are actually blocking the sun from penetrating your skin to begin with.
Don’t Forget Good Sunscreen Practices
“I applied sunscreen. Why am I burned?” Well, did you apply enough and re-apply? Remember, no matter how awesome your sunscreen is, it won’t work if you don’t diligently apply it all over (think: a shot-glass-full amount) and re-apply it every two hours or after swimming.
What are YOUR favorite mineral sunscreens? Have you found one that doesn’t turn your skin ghostly? I would love to check it out and compare it to Thinkbaby!
Now swap your petroleum-based lip balm or Vaseline habit with this cleaner product.