By Arwa Lodhi
We all know by now that the sun causes not only skin damage, but skin cancer. There’s no question in any sane person’s mind that if you want to protect your skin from premature ageing, sunspots, blotches, uneven skin tone and melanoma, you need to stay out of the sun and slather yourself in sunscreen whenever you’re outdoors. But finding a great, natural sunblock is way easier said than done.
We’ve written in Eluxe before about the dangers of wearing chemical sunscreens. Many of them contain harmful ingredients like Octocrylene, which can actually accelerate ageing, and potentially harmful nanoparticles that can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream.
Luckily, there are also many great organic and natural brands available. Whether you’re just going to work in the city, or swimming in the sea on a beach holiday, here’s our pick of the best organic sunscreens on the market.
1. Badger Balm
The brand makes all kinds of completely natural – and in some cases, organic – sunscreens, including those aimed at men, children and those who love sports. Waterproof, with no nasty nanoparticles and with many organic ingredients, this is a brand all members of an active family can use on their faces and bodies on holidays. Just be sure to rub it in well, or it will leave some white residue.
This botanically moisturizing natural sunscreen provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection as defined by the FDA. Made with preferred sunscreen ingredients, this soothing lotion is non-greasy, quick-absorbing (but without nanoparticles, of course), water resistant for up to 40 minutes, and is perfect for both daily wear and the beach. Aloe vera and sunflower seed oil effectively nourish and moisturise sun-exposed skin – no wonder this one is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
3. Raw Elements
Raw Elements’ eco conscious formula is the conscious consumer’s answer to serious sun protection. All natural and free of all harmful chemicals, this formula boasts balanced UV protection through its Organic Eco-Shield Performance Technology. Water resistant for around 80 minutes, this is a beach holiday must have- besides being gentle and moisturising, it’s also packed with biologically active antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and extracts.
This high protection mineral block spray pump has a pleasant, slightly cinnamon/lemony smell. It’s tinted with a ‘flesh’ tone, but actually goes on quite light. Lasts all day, and is water and sweat resistant too. Contains some organic ingredients, but is mainly based on all natural minerals for light sun protection. This is a great spray for urbanites – its SPF of 15 is enough for daily living (but better up the factor at the beach).
This daily moisture lotion provides daily UVA and UVB protection plus organic sunflower, jojoba and borage oils to repair and nourish. Fortified with antioxidant-rich vitamin C, lemon bioflavonoids and white tea to soothe oxidative stress and help fight the visible signs of photoaging, this can be used daily to protect the skin from sun damage. Because the SPF is only 15, this is not one to depend on for sunny summer holidays; better to use this for everyday life. The refreshing aroma of organic sweet orange essential oil is an added bonus, especially for those who aren’t fans of the typical coconut scents put into sunblocks.
A market leader in all types of sunscreen products, Green People has something for everyone: from children and newborns to sportsmen and women and mature skin. Their natural sunscreens are made without parabens, lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants to bring you the purest sun lotions that nature can offer. This one is perfect for your entire family on holiday.
This sunscreen is formulated for the face, and so doesn’t block pores. It comes in a very high SPF 50 to ensure skin is as protected from the sun as much as possible, and goes on a bit white but fades when it’s rubbed in. What we love best about this one is how it leaves your skin looking dewy – this brand is perfect for those with dry or mature skin. In fact, some makeup artists are even said to mix this in with foundation to give their clients a glow! Unscented, it contains Monoi de Tahiti for extra moisturising and anti-ageing benefits, which also gives the skin a nice radiance.
This weightless, matte-finish mist is seriously upping the game in terms of makeup/skincare combos. It protects your skin with broad spectrum SPF 30 while it also setting your makeup— contoured jawlines and noses stay sharp, and wonderfully applied eyeshadow won’t budge – and meanwhile, you’ll protect your skin from ageing with a single spritz, thanks to the additions of green tea and aloe! .
An excellent everyday sunscreen for body and face (just avoid contact with eyes). Water resistant. A natural mineral filter protects skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but this block only goes up to 15SPF–good for incidental sun, but not enough for say, a beach holiday. This contains a deeply nourishing trio of organic tamanu, coconut and rice bran oils is blended with shea butter and a soothing antioxidant-rich blend of aloe vera, white tea and chamomile. A bit pricey at £20, but many loyal to the brand will not find that troublesome.