It’s no secret that behind some of the best makeup looks is an incredibly hardworking skin care regime and an excellent sunscreen…
Especially as we’re at the height of summer, protecting our skin against the sun’s harmful rays is more important than ever. But, as always, we should be mindful of what’s in what we put on our skin and look for the very best and, where we can, natural ingredients for our families and ourselves. Here’s a short overview of natural sunscreens for summer – and all year round – including some of my favourites!
There are two kinds of protective sunscreens that help to prevent the sun from penetrating and damaging your skin: chemical and physical blocks...
A chemical sunscreen soaks into the top layer of your skin and absorbs the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that would otherwise damage the skin’s surface. Whereas a physical block contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (or a combination of the two) and sits on the surface of the skin, deflecting the sun’s UV rays and protecting your skin. Many plastic surgeons and dermatologists recommend natural sunscreen products as a must for their patients, rather than a chemical block. However, a common complaint about these sunscreens is, on the face, they often leave a distinct white cast behind.
While most daily moisturisers contain some form of sun protection factor (SPF) and should be used each day, if you work outside or spend a large amount of time in the sun, it is recommended that you use a sunscreen with a high SPF in addition to your normal routine. Note that there are two types of UV light that we consider when it comes to sunscreen: UVA and UVB. UVB rays affect the superficial layers of the skin and cause sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and contribute to damaging long-term effects, such as premature ageing. However, both types of UV rays damage the skin and can lead to skin cancer, as the cells within the skin are damaged.
While the SPF rating of a sunscreen refers to the protection it offers against UVB rays, a physical sunscreen will block both UVB and UVA rays. In regards to the level of sun protection across a range of protects, the SPF starts at two and extends up to 50. To figure out how long you can stay in the sun with any given SPF sunscreen, you can use this equation: minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time.
I searched for the best lightweight physical sunscreens for the face that won’t leave your skin looking pale and washed out. Here are some of the best physical sunblocks that sit well under foundation...
Clinique City Block Sheer 25 SPF – This has the lightest texture, it doesn’t leave the skin looking overly white or lighter in colour, and absorbs into skin well.
Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 – This is a medium to heavy coverage lotion that leaves a little more shine and whiter finish on the skin.
Soléo Organics Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 – A very heavy coverage with lots of shine on and a paler and whiter finish on the skin.
However, if you’re not going to be outdoors or in direct sun all day then you can mix any of the natural sunscreens with your foundation to give a lovely dewy finish and that extra sun protection factor.
Our favourite tinted sunscreens…
Beauty Editor's Pick...
Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Finishing Powder SPF 50 is a lightweight mineral makeup that provides instant UVA and UVB sun protection in a matte finish with a barely-there feel.
Benefits: It is convenient and easy-to-apply with a portable brush. The powder provides light coverage to smooth imperfections, easy re-application over makeup for touch-ups and broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. It’s suitable for the entire family, including babies and children, with its safe and non-irritating formula that’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Zinc Oxide – Sun protection
Titanium Dioxide – Sun protection
Iron Oxides – Provides colour
Calcified Red Algae – Guards against environmental stressors