What Is Natural Sunscreen?
Natural sunscreens contain naturally occurring minerals, óxido de cinc or titanium dioxide, to block and reflect the sun's harmful rays away from the skin. The terms "mineral," "natural," and "physical" are interchangeable when describing protector solar products that use the minerals zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both to physically block or reflect the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiations from penetrating the skin.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently allows 16 sunscreen ingredients. Among them, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two active ingredients that they recognize as safe and effective. The sun radiates two types of UV rays harmful to the skin, UVA, and UVB. UVA radiation can cause damage leading to age spots and wrinkling, and UVB rays are associated with the redness and pain associated with sunburns. An effective sunscreen that helps protect skin cells from both is called broad-spectrum. Sunscreens that are not broad-spectrum usually only protect against UVB rays and leave your skin vulnerable to lasting damage from UVA.
Benefits Of Natural Sunscreen
Natural sunscreens are sun-protection products that use natural minerals as active ingredients rather than chemicals as key ingredients. In addition, herbal essential oils, plant oils and plant butters are often substituted for other synthetic ingredients often used in conventional sunscreens. Some people prefer sunscreen without benzene and other harsh chemicals because they are striving to reduce their eco impact by cutting down on the number of chemicals that they use in their daily lives. Individuals who are sensitive to synthetic ingredients commonly used in sunscreen may also benefit from natural products.
How Natural Sunscreen Works
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the two minerals that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as active ingredients in sunscreen. These two ingredients act as physical sunscreens. This means that they reflect ultraviolet energy before it reaches the skin. Both ingredients offer broad-spectrum protection, meaning that they filter out both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet (B) radiation. Natural sunscreens are offered in a variety of forms, including lotions, creams, mists, sprays, sticks, gels and oils. You can find natural sunscreens that are formulated specifically for adults as well as products made especially for babies, toddlers and children.
Best Natural Sunscreen
When shopping for natural and organic sunscreen, you'll want to carefully consider the Sun Protection Factor or SPF ratings of the products. The Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how much UVB a natural sunscreen reflects. Formulas with higher SPF levels provide more protection from UVB than sunscreens with lower levels. Generally, experts recommend using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF level of 15 and that you apply one full ounce of the product from head to toe 30 minutes before sun exposure. If you have fair skin or are at an increased risk for skin cancer, you may need a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating. Your medical provider can give you advice about what SPF level is right for you.