With the Victoria Day weekend coming up, I know most of us are hoping to spend some time outside, which is a good idea because being outside in nature has so many health benefits.
One thing that isn’t among those benefits, though, is a sunburn. Not only are they painful, but they can also increase your risk of skin cancer. As someone who has had skin cancer once already, I’m pretty adamant about the need cover up (hats, long sleeves, sunglasses, etc.), but both the impending summer heat and upcoming summer fashions mean that there will be times when skin will be exposed to the summer sun. Luckily, we’ve got sunscreen to keep us covered when our clothing doesn’t.
I’ve already talked about the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens on the blog, as well as what I look for in a sunscreen. Personally, I tend to be a fan of mineral sunscreens because 1) they tend to have more natural ingredients and 2) they act as physical sunscreens, so you don’t have to wait between application and sun exposure before you’ll get maximum effectiveness.
That said, there are a lot of mineral sunscreens out there, and some of them are cleaner – and nicer to use – than others. And “what sunscreen should I buy?” is probably the most frequently asked question I get every year as the weather warms up.
So without further ado, here are some of my favourites.
Best for Sport (or a Day at the Beach): COOLA Sport Mineral SPF 35 Citrus Mimosa. (Note: There is a cream and a spray product with very similar names. The one I'm recommending is the cream.) This is my go-to sunscreen for an active day outside. It’s thick, but still goes on smooth, and it’s pretty darned water-resistant, thanks to the beeswax. It even holds up pretty well when I go for a run. (But you still need to reapply after swimming or sweating, no matter how good your sunscreen is!) Also, over 70% of its inactive ingredients are certified organic and it smells pretty darned good too.
Best for Face: Cyberderm Simply Zinc Sun Whip.You wouldn’t use body lotion as a face cream, right. Well, the same goes for sunscreen. The delicate skin on your face deserves a sunscreen that is specifically designed for it. Mineral-based sunscreens can have a slight whitening effect, which is another reason why it’s often worth it to invest in a separate face sunscreen, since formulas designed for the face tend to be lighter, and have almost no whitening effects. Joy actually recommended this one to me. It’s practically invisible and goes on silky smooth. Prefer something with a bit of a tint? Check out Consonant’s Perfect Sunscreen.
Best for Budget: Green Beaver SPF 40 Adult Body Lotion. Mineral sunscreens with certified organic inactive ingredients can be pricey, but this Green Beaver one is cheap enough to use every day without breaking the bank.
Best Lip Balm: Hurraw! Sun Protection Balm SPF 15. Yes, your lips can get sunburned, so you’ll want to protect them with a sunscreen that’s clean enough to eat, because you’ll probably end up eating at least a little bit of if by accident. It can be tough finding a lip balm with zinc that doesn’t leave you looking like a corpse and that doesn’t taste like a chemical factory. This lip balm goes on almost clear and tastes like oranges, and its ingredients are all organic and either raw, cold-pressed and/or wildcrafted.
Did I miss your favourite sunscreen? Let me know in the comments if you think there are any other sunscreens that should be on my list!