Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Natural Sunscreen Recommendations (All Natural Cosmetics and Skin Care)

I have been getting a lot of questions on sunscreens recently so I decided to write an entry on my favorite all natural or nearly all natural sunscreens. Most on this list also double as a cream or balm (except for the spray sunscreens). None of the sunscreens on this list have a 'chemical' smell; most are scented with natural essential oils and smell very nice.

Aubrey Organics makes a wide range of all natural to nearly all natural (depends how a person classifies some of the ingredients) sunscreens. Some sunscreens contain only a naturally derived source of PABA esters (PABA can be an irritant to some but I've never had a problem with it and my skin is fairly sensitive. PABA used to be classified as a B vitamin, but is no longer considered a vitamin), and most contain a combination of PABA and titanium dioxide. I especially like the green tea spf 25 one (which is suitable for adults as well as children). It smells fantastic like jasmine and chamomile. It absorbs pretty quickly, but the consistency of each bottle may vary (sometimes it is a little thick so you may have to apply to damp skin. But with all natural/nearly all natural products that are crafted in small batches, sometimes variations in product texture happens, so changes in texture are a given). I also like the saving face spray (spf 10) since sometimes I prefer a spray product instead of a lotion/cream type product. Their sunscreens can usually be found in all health food stores or their website online. Good for nearly all skin types. Their sunscreens are my second favorite.

Badger Balm's sunscreen is 100% natural. They call it a cream but it is really a balm (it contains no water) so it is a bit thicker and takes a lot longer to absorb into the skin. I recommend applying to damp skin (which helps with absorption). Good for very dry skin, dry skin, normal, combination dry, and some people with dehydrated skin; I think it is better for the body rather than the face unless your facial skin is on the dry to normal side. It's found in some health food stores or online.

Burt's Bees also has one, but I haven't tried it yet (Personally I've been feeling mixed about Burt's Bees products recently; not sure what I feel about the direction the company is moving in but still like many of their products and their previous eco-work). All health food stores, some other retail and book stores, and online.

Dr Hauschka's sunscreens have a very nice non-greasy texture. They offer a couple different formulas and just came out with a spray (that I now have to try!). I would recommend their sunscreens for all skin types except for very dehydrated and very dry skin. It is preserved with natural alcohol (which tends to be less drying than synthetic alcohols but may still be a tad drying for very dehydrated and dry skin), but it is a wonderful formulation for most other skin types, and I think would be okay to use on most mildly dehydrated and mildly dry skin types. Their products can be found in most health food stores or online.

Lavera. This is my favorite sunscreen :). Probably the nicest, lightest, non greasy formula I've found. But if your skin is very dry, it can be drying (like Dr Hauschka's products, Lavera products contains natural alcohol to preserve, but I find Lavera is not as drying as Dr Hauschka's products. My skin is very dehydrated and I can use Lavera most of the time; I usually just add more a couple drops of oil based serums or a tad of shea butter and use plenty of hydrosols to keep my skin soft and hydrated when using this sunscreen). They can be found in some health food stores or online.