Where I live the sun has been shining down brightly over the last couple of weeks and with Summer beginning I thought this would be the perfect time to write about the extremely important SPF. We all know that year round SPF is one of the most important factors for protecting our skin but even more so we all find ourselves reaching for a bottle of sunscreen during the Summer months. There is so much information out there about the harmful chemicals that are in some mainstream sunscreens and the problems they create for our eco-system and our own bodies so I wanted to share with you a few alternative ways in which we can protect our skin aswell as the planet.
Protecting Our Reefs – I’m sure that you’ve heard about some absolutely tragic changes to our reefs and have across the news seen some horrendous and devastating pictures of these changes. There is more awareness about the effects that synthetic UV filters can have on our delicate coral reefs and with this awareness it has started to change our approach to suncare. (The most known synthetic UV filters are; Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone.) It’s amazing because change has happened and these ingredients have been banned in places like Hawaii, Key West and The Islands In The Caribbean and Pacific Ocean but sadly they are still very active ingredients in most major suncare brands. If you are really wanting to do your part to protect our beautiful coral reefs then I would suggest that you take time when purchasing a sunscreen to check the ingredients list and ensure that you are buying a sunscreen with no synthetic UV filters in it.
Use Mineral Sunscreen – Do you remember the years that sunscreen was incredibly thick and sticky always leaving a noticeable white cast behind? Well in the 2000’s there became a rise of the much loved non-sticky and see-through sunscreens however, research has suggested that the popular ingredient Oxybenzone damages not only our marine eco-systems but also interferes with our own bodies endocrine functions…which makes synthetic UV filters even less appealing. A great alternative are mineral sun blockers with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These ingredients physically block UV radiation. The downside to these though is that they can be chalky and don’t wash off as easy but I personally think that’s a small downside if your wanting to protect the environment and your own skin. People who have extreme sensitivity to UV radiation or people with sensitive skin will benefit more from physical sunscreens than chemical ones. If I were to recommend a mineral sunscreen it would be the Tropic Great Barrier Sun Lotion which is available in SPF 15, 30 or 50, I really love this one but of course there are other great mineral sunscreens on the market too that I haven’t yet tried. Although mineral sunscreens are more expensive than sunscreens that use synthetic chemicals they are definitely more beneficial to your own body and our marine eco-system so worth the price I feel. Finding ones that are unscented are also the best type.
Reduce Your Sun Exposure – It can be expensive to daily cream up your body with products that protect your skin, don’t harm the environment whilst using the required amount of sunscreen every couple of hours and honestly alot of work remembering to do so. But there is no point using it if your going to skimp on the amount or the quality of your sunscreen. So a cheaper suggestion is to cut back on your sun exposure during the peak hours. These are usually between 11am and 3pm, stay indoors during these hours when you can as a cheaper alternative.
Layer It On – SPF is found in alot more skincare and cosmetic products as suncare protection has become an important feature due to our awareness of the importance of it. It’s found in foundations, moisturisers and even lipsticks! However, even though skincare and makeup products include SPF it’s unlikely that you will be using enough of the product to get the SPF level that is stated on the packaging. It’s great to purchase products with SPF in where you can but I would also recommend layering it up with a separate sunscreen too for complete coverage. If you do decide to do this then make sure your layering the products on your skin in a correct order. For example; Apply your normal skincare products first, then add the separate sunscreen ontop and then follow up with your makeup products.
Protect Your Delicate Eyes – When thinking about sun protection for your body it’s easy to forget one of the most important areas…your eyes. Eyelids and the area around them are the most likely areas to be missed during sun protection application. Ensure that the sunscreen your personally using is okay for eyelid application (obviously not in your eyes though.) UV filter sunglasses are the perfect summer accessory to ensure that you have protection for your delicate eyes, you can even find eco-friendly UV filter sunglasses made with wooden or bamboo frames.
Apply Enough – We’ve all seen those summery adverts of families spritzing sunscreen in a speedy slick way before swiftly entering the waves… if only it was that easy and quick for sufficient sun protection! What people don’t usually remember is to apply enough of it, you can’t get sufficient coverage with just a few spritzes. So how much is enough? The average adult should apply more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm and the neck, just over one teaspoon to each leg, the front of the body and the back of the body and a quarter of a teaspoon for the face. I hope that you found these suggestions useful for more friendly alternatives of suncare. It’s important to remember suncare choices are personal decisions so do what you feel is best for you and your own body. I would love to know what your favourite sunscreen brand is and if you have any other suggestions to add then feel free to share down in the comments below. I love hearing from you all!