Have you ever seen those pictures of people’s faces that show the unseen damage that has been caused to their skin by UV radiation — the “what you see/what you don’t see” comparison? If that isn’t enough to make you apply natural sunscreens, I don’t know what possibly could!
Wait, there is one more thing: Have you heard about the results of studies that have examined human exposure and toxicity information for FDA-approved sunscreen chemicals? Also not pretty.
Considering the dangers of skin cancer, photoaging and spreading toxic chemicals on your skin, you simply can’t deny the importance of year-round protection with natural sunscreens.
Why Are There Special Natural Sunscreens for the Face?
It is a good idea to use natural sunscreens that are made especially for the sensitive skin on your face. Often, all-over sunblocks contain ingredients that are too harsh for this area. They can also cause blemishes and clogged pores.
Facial sunscreens are generally lighter, non-greasy, water-based, oil free and non-comedogenic/non-acnegenic (don’t clog pores). They also tend to have some sort of skin nourishment, which is always a plus.
Avoid Toxins by Using Natural Sunscreens
The Environmental Working Group has evaluated human exposure and toxicity information for the chemicals that are commonly found in commercial sunscreens. Each chemical was assessed on factors related to skin penetration, hormone disruption, reproductive and thyroid effects, skin allergy reactions, inhalation effects and other toxicity concerns.
The two with the highest toxicity concern ratings were:
- Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate)
Those given moderate toxicity concern ratings were:
Make a conscious effort to pay attention to what’s in your sunscreen. Considering that your skin will absorb 60 percent of what you put on it, your health could be at stake. Be especially cautious with the ingredients listed above. Or, avoid chemicals altogether by using natural sunscreens.
The Best Natural Sunscreens for Your Face
To help make it easy to chose natural sunscreens, I’ve listed the best-selling facial products at Natural Healthy Concepts. These all-natural selections come from trusted brands that are committed to providing healthy products to consumers.
This organic facial sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is non-whitening, goes on sheer and doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy. Natural Facial Sunscreen contains immortelle oil to promote skin repair. It has water resistance, is cruelty free, and has been approved and top rated by the EWG.
Also a broad-spectrum formula, this natural facial sunscreen is lightweight, paraben-free and hypoallergenic. Its organic aloe vera and chamomile help to soften and repair sensitive skin. Very Emollient Facial Sunscreen also contains green tea, gingko and vitamin E for antioxidant protection. It is water resistant and cruelty free, and has a “low hazard” rating by the EWG.
This natural sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection for the face and neck along with the moisturizing properties of Hydresia. It contains antioxidants to protect skin cells from free radical/oxidative damage. Face Factor is paraben-free, fragrance-free and cruelty-free. Its water resistance remains even after 40 minutes of activity.
For those interested in daily facial sun protection within a moisturizer, this 100% vegan formula may be for you. It is designed to diminish the visible signs of aging and the look of irregularities. Age Defying Antioxidant Moisturizer contains a UVA/UVB sunscreen that’s packed with antioxidants. It is non-GMO, paraben-free and cruelty-free.
This all-natural mineral sunscreen also combines broad-spectrum protection within a light moisturizer. It was formulated especially for those sensitive to breakouts. Solar Protective Moisturizer goes on feather-light and does not feel greasy. It is non-GMO, paraben-free and gluten-free, and has been approved and top rated by the EWG.
As a handy stick, this broad-spectrum, 100% certified natural sunscreen is a great option for on-the-go spot protection. It is especially designed for use on ears, noses, cheeks and lips during surfing and other performance sports. All Season Face Stick Sunscreen is a non-nano zinc oxide formula that is water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Nutraceutical Skin Protectants
Emerging science is pointing to the use of nutraceuticals as a second line of defense against the damaging effects of UV exposure. Some of those being studied include:
- Astaxanthin: This carotenoid antioxidant is referred to as an “internal sunscreen.” Initial research is showing that it limits UV skin damage, skin wrinkling and loss of elasticity in the skin.
- EGCG (Green Tea): This catechin in green tea may protect skin from UV damage, facilitate sun damage repair and minimize fine lines.
- Grapeseed: This extract is rich in proanthocyanidins and may limit the occurrence and severity of skin cell death.
Sun Exposure Affects the Collagen in Your Face, Too!
You may want to do what you can to support collagen in your body as you are exposed to the sun. As Dr. Ronald Hoffman points out,
“Notwithstanding the benefits of endogenous vitamin D production with sun exposure, there are real risks from excessive UV rays—skin cancer of course, but also degradation of superficial collagen which leads to prematurely wrinkled, leathery skin (think Tan Mom!).”
This post looks at the Top 9 Nutrients to Support Collagen & Younger Looking Skin.
Finally, remember to wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation!
Do you have a favorite natural sunscreen you use on your face? Share your experience with us. We’d love to hear from you!