Happy Summer! We are finally seeing some warmer temperatures here on the East Coast.  Although we can do without so much rain and 100% humidity for a little while.  Here’s hoping!! 🙂 What is your favorite season??  Summer is it for me.  I feel like I come to life.  Life slows down a bit with the end of school, kids sleep in, lazy mornings, days at the pool or beach, BBQ with friends, afternoons at the park.  I could go on and on! But with all the fun comes great responsibility.  Who am I???  I sound like SpiderMan now! LOL! But you know what I mean by that right?!?!  Being responsible when it comes to sun protection!

Sun & Vitamin D

The sun is wonderful, it gives us life and definitely a smile when it comes out after a stretch of the lack of it.  It gives us a dose of Vitamin D that we all so desperately need especially coming out of winter.  I recently read an article by Dr. Axe that said “when you sit in the sun unexposed, without sunscreen for roughly 10 minutes, you likely absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D.  However, keep in mind that this amount differs from person to person, depending on skin tone.”  He also mentioned that a lot of the population is deficient in this vital vitamin.  I know for me, my mood is so much better when the sun is out.  But we all know the age-old saying ‘too much of a good thing’!

Is Sunscreen the end all be all?

According to an Environmental Working Group article, it mentioned that even though ‘the science is not definitive (regarding the reasons of the rise of melanoma), the consensus among researchers is that the most important step people can take to reduce their melanoma risk is to avoid sunburn but not all sun exposure.’  The EWG disagrees with the FDA’s allowing sunscreen makers to claim that their products prevent cancer.  They aren’t saying we shouldn’t wear sunscreen at all.  They are saying that we shouldn’t depend on it completely!  Which to me makes sense.  Nothing is an absolute guarantee.  So what else can we do in addition??  A few things can do is not be out in the hottest parts of the day which is between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., wear sunglasses, wear a hat and use an umbrella at the beach or pool.   For more check out the EWG’s tips.

Is Sunscreen Safe?

So yes we we need to wear sunscreen at certain times of the day if we will be out in the sun for a substantial amount of time.  Now you are going to ask about what has been in the news recently about ingredients in sunscreen.  Smart cookies you are to question it!  This month a pilot study published in JAMA made news everywhere.  Wow!! Finally some more information confirming what so many in the wellness community already knew!  The study found that some of the active ingredients in conventional sunscreen are absorbed into your bloodstream.  What are some of those ingredients that were found? Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene and Ecamsule were all found in the blood and at levels that need to be studied further for possible cancer risk.  Recently Key West and Hawaii banned products containing Oxybenzone to protect the coral reefs in the ocean.  If they are not safe for the oceans what are they safe to humans?

I am not for fear mongering as I know you aren’t either.  However, we want to be informed so that we can make better decisions in the products we use.  For us and our families!  The truth of the matter is, what is on the shelves is not always safe.  We’ve been told that sunscreen is safe, so for years we used it and used it on our babies.  We need to be our own advocates.  Also we need to speak our minds through our dollars.  Refusing to buy these harmful products will hopefully dictate what is on the shelves .

Fortunately, we have many safe options for sunscreen out there now and we don’t have to look far.  I have had a chance to try a few sunscreens that do NOT contain chemical ingredients but are really effective.  They all contain either Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide or both.  Let’s get into it!

  1. Raw Elements Certified Natural Sunscreen – This sunscreen is great!!  They are knocking it out of the park especially when it comes to using mostly organic ingredients that are safe not only for humans but safe for our oceans.  I have used this sunscreen for a few summers now for myself and my family.  No sunburns!  It’s a thick consistency.  So you have to get your rub on.  I think it helps when your skin is moisturized beforehand.  This sunscreen has been top-rated by the EWG for the past 8 years!! The company founder and CEO, Brian Guadagno was a long time Rhode Island Ocean Rescue Lifeguard.  He saw a need in the industry for a clean sunscreen so he created Raw Elements!  What is really exciting is that they partnered with the state of Rhode Island in bringing complimentary, certified natural and environmentally-safe sunscreen dispenser stations to all Rhode Island State Beaches & several Parks for the 2019 summer season.  I not only heard about this but I actually experienced it 2 summers in a row.  I hope this encourages other states and clean sunscreen brands to get in on the action!! Shop at The Choosy Chick with my coupon code GREENGLAMGIRL.IMG_1600
  2. Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreen – I don’t remember how I discovered this small family brand but I decided to try and ordered from Amazon last summer.  The ingredients are clean and safe for the whole family.  No nasty ingredients like PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, to name just a few.  Another great choice for your family this summer.  Again like Raw Elements this is a thick consistency that needs to be rubbed in.  Shop here!
  3. Goddess Garden Organics –  What I like about this brand is that I can find at my local organic/natural market, Target or Whole Foods.  Also, it comes in a mini travel size.  This SPF is a thinner formula and a little easier to rub in.  They recently reformulated.  I reached out to them and they were so nice to shed some more light on their new formula.  Their Continuous Sunscreen Sprays now contain Tacamahaca (Tamanu) and Pongamia Glabra (Karanja) Seed Oils instead of Coconut Oil. One of the other major changes is the increase in Titanium to Zinc ratio. This has allowed for the formula to be much less whitening than in the past while still allowing for a spray option.  The SPF 50 and Daily SPF 30 lotions are an all new Zinc only formula. This zinc has been processed to be rounded and smoothed which has given their sheerest formula yet. This now has only coco and shea nut butter instead of Sunflower and Safflower seed oils which they have found leave a much lighter feel on the skin.  I did notice that they added Phenoxyethanol to the kids reformulated so I won’t be rebuying the new stuff.  That is an ingredient I try to avoid.  Shop here!
  4. Erin’s Faces – Have you met Erin??  I have!! She is the sweetest.  We met last year at WELL Summit.  I became obsessed with her Tinted Lip Balm.  If you haven’t tried it get on it!! But we are here talking about sunscreen.  Erin formulated her Peptide SPF 30 with some amazing ingredients to not only protect from the sun but also help to repair sun damaged skin and rebuild collagen.  Yes please!! Ingredients like Aloe Leaf Juice and Gel for hydration, Cucumber which reduces hyperpigmentation, Blue Passion Flower an anti-inflammatory,  Avocado and Grapeseed Oils which are hydrating but don’t clog your pores and Vitamin E which is an antioxidant.   Sounds good right!?!?  It is amazing!! When Erin launched the travel size of the Peptide she very generously gifted me one and I love it! It doesn’t take much elbow grease to rub clear.  It also feels very light and hydrating.  No burning here!! I have even worn under makeup.  In my opinion a good bang for your buck too.  Shop it here.
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  5. Hynt Sun Prep SPF 30 – After being introduced to this SPF by a friend of mine, this has been my OG SPF under my makeup for a few years now!  The smell alone will keep you coming back for more.  This is a 3 in 1 product.  Sun protecting, moisturizing and makeup primer!! Win Win Win!  I really love it.  It goes on very light and does not leave a white cast at all.  It contains such moisturizing ingredients like Aloe and Hyaluronic Acid.  Also it has Pine Bark Extract that slows down skin aging by enhancing skin’s elasticity and hydration levels while improving skin fatigue, improving skin’s smoothness and reducing fine lines.  Organic Green Tea Leaf which is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin’s cells from the damaging effect of free radicals.  Skin care with sun care!  It is pricey but again this has a lot going on in this bottle for the price.  Shop here at one of my favorite online green beauty stores!
  6. 100% Pure Green Tea SPF 30 –  This is a new product that just launched.  I haven’t extensively tested this but the ingredients are amazing and I used on my son for a couple of outdoor activities and no sunburned nose!  This is a dual-purpose moisturizing sunscreen lotion which shields skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays with SPF 30 protection, while nourishing and hydrating thirsty skin. Made with natural mineral zinc oxide and infused with the protective and anti-aging properties of green tea, plus antioxidant benefits of vitamin E.  Other ingredients are aloe, cucumber juice, oils of raspberry, avocado, olive, and rosehip.  It goes on white so it has to be rubbed in really well.  I think this would be good not only for face but body as well.  Shop it here!

Bonus!!!  I’m adding in W3LL People Tinted Moisturizer SPF because I love it so much!  I’ve talked about it a few times but it’s a great summer staple to have.  It gives you some makeup coverage and protection from the sun!  You can’t beat the price of $28 and you can find at Target in a pinch.  I am the color medium.  You can shop here!

So that is it ladies and gents!! I am so excited for summer and all that it brings.  Wishing you all the best of these days.  They are short but can bring lasting memories!  Enjoy it!  Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried any of my recommendations or any others!

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*Some Affiliate links used.  Opinions and thoughts are always my own!