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Organic Sunscreen for Your Face
Looking for an organic sunscreen for your face? Find out everything you need to know about organic sunscreens, plus a few recommendations.
We all know that sunscreen plays a key role in keeping us cancer-free and wrinkle-free.
But if you feel a little nervous about slapping chemicals on your face, you’re far from alone.
Consumer distrust in chemicals—particularly, ones that go on the face—are at an all-time high these days.
This growing distrust in skin care companies has led to more people seeking out organic sunscreens that promise to block UV rays without using potentially harmful chemicals.
But what is organic sunscreen?
And can it really protect your skin just as well as traditional sunscreen?
Read on as we take a closer look at organic sunscreen for your face.
First, here are three things you should know about organic sunscreen:
- The term “organic” is not regulated by the FDA.
- Organic sunscreens are commonly used to describe mineral-based sunscreens.
- When applying an organic sunscreen to the face, don’t forget your lips.
What Is Organic Sunscreen?
There are few beauty terms that cause quite as much confusion as “organic,” especially as it relates to sunscreen.
Although many people believe that chemical sunscreens are bad for the skin, the truth is that, technically, chemical sunscreens are organic.
Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate and other common sunscreen ingredients in chemical sunscreens work by absorbing ultraviolet radiation through their chemical bonds.
That’s organic chemistry at work.
See the confusion?
Lax labeling on what constitutes skin care to be “organic” has further muddied the waters.
Currently, FDA does not have a definition for the term “organic” as it relates to skin care.
In other words, the FDA doesn’t care if a sunscreen product touts itself as being organic, so long as it provides the SPF protection it says it does.GOT WRINKLES?
So, What Do People Mean by Organic Sunscreen?
These days, “organic” and “natural” sunscreen is commonly used to refer to physical sunscreens that contain active mineral ingredients.
The two most common mineral ingredients in sunscreen are zinc and titanium dioxide (which, ironically, are “inorganic” because they’re not carbon-based).
Unlike chemical sunscreens which absorb high-energy UV rays, physical sunscreens work by staying on top of your skin to reflect and scatter UV rays.
Are Physical Sunscreens Better Than Chemical Sunscreens?
In terms of efficacy, both physical and chemical sunscreens can protect against skin damage and lower your risk of skin cancer.
But in terms of safety, there is a possibility that physical sunscreens have the edge.
As you may have read in the news, several active ingredients in chemical sunscreens have been flagged in recent years as being potentially harmful to humans.
Back in 2019, the FDA decided to take a closer look at these ingredients—and their findings weren’t exactly reassuring.
According to the results from their second sunscreen absorption study, there is evidence to show that some sunscreen ingredients can be absorbed through the skin into the body.
The FDA stresses that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the ingredients are unsafe, nor should you stop using sunscreen.
But since many people are understandably nervous about applying potentially toxic chemicals to their face, more people are turning their attention to mineral sunscreens.TAKE THE SKIN CARE QUIZ
Natural and Organic Sunscreen for Face: Our Top 3 Picks
Just because the term “organic” isn’t regulated by the FDA doesn’t mean that your skin care company is lying to you.
But as with any skin care product, you should always check the ingredients label to uncover the truth.
If that sounds like a lot of work, we totally get it.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a few mineral-based sunscreens that are worth a closer look.
1. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face SPF 50
Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc Face is a mineral sunscreen that checks off every box: sweat- and water-resistant, hypoallergenic, suitable for folks with eczema—the list goes on.
If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll also be pleased to know that it’s oil-free and has a lightweight finish.
2. Tiege Hanley Lip Balm SPF 30
If there is one place where you should apply a mineral-based sunscreen, it’s your kisser.
After all, there’s a good chance that you’re going to ingest a little whenever you lick your lips.
And though we may be a little biased, we’d definitely recommend our mineral-based lip balm to soothe and protect your lips.
It contains Zinc Oxide and provides broad-spectrum SPF for safe and long-lasting sun protection you can feel good about.
3. COOLA Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
COOLA’s Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray boasts an antioxidant-rich formula that contains 70 percent certified organic ingredients.
It’s also eco-friendly, cruelty-free and hypoallergenic.
A big word of caution though: Never apply a sunscreen spray directly to your face.
Spray it into your hands first and then work the product into your face.
Protecting Your Face from the Sun
The best sunscreen for your face is one that you’ll use consistently.
Whether you’re applying a daily moisturizer with SPF, a mineral sunscreen stick or some other SPF product, remember to follow the directions.
Apply your sunscreen liberally and reapply every two hours for maximum sun protection.
FDA In Brief: FDA Announces Results from Second Sunscreen Absorption Study, Jan. 2020.