You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: sunscreens are an essential part of your skincare routine. South Africa has one of the highest monitored ultraviolet (UV) levels in the world which results in over 20 000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the country each year, mostly attributed to ultraviolet exposure.
Furthermore, research shows that in SA, the incidence of malignant melanoma is among the highest in the world with at least 23.2 cases per 100 000 reported among white people and 0.5 per 100 000 among black people. With such frightening stats, leading SA health expert, Vanessa Ascencao, says that it’s of critical importance that everyone — regardless of skin tone — wears sunscreen.
Chemical vs Mineral sunscreens
Choosing the right screen can be tricky as many of them are filled with ingredients that can be harmful to your skin and the environment. Ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate — the main ingredients in chemical sunscreens — are being banned in places like Hawaii due to their contribution to coral destruction.
Besides contributing to the bleaching of coral reefs, chemical sunscreens can also cause skin irritation and acne. Ascencao suggests using mineral sunscreens which contain safe ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These kinds of sunscreens have a lower chance of irritating your skin and damaging the environment.
Sun protection from within
Ascencao adds that a diet and supplements support skin health, helping to protect the skin against sun damage. She advocates for a natural, anti-inflammatory, organic, whole food diet including blueberries, nuts and seeds, carrots and leafy greens, green tea extract and cauliflower which help protect against wrinkling and sun damage while fighting free radicals that cause stress on the body.
There are plenty of sunscreens on the market but it can be pretty confusing reading ingredients that you can’t even pronounce — especially when the good ingredients are mixed with the not-so-good ones. That’s why it’s we gathered ten mineral sunscreens that will protect your skin and won’t damage the environment.
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
Formulated for daily use, the 22% non-nano naturally derived Zinc Oxide sits gently on the skin’s surface as a barrier against sun damage, and won’t clog pores, cause allergies or irritate sensitive skin.
Avene SPF 50+ MINERAL CREAM
Avene SPF50+ Mineral Cream 50ml is specially formulated with soothing thermal spring water to comfort intolerant skin. UVB and UVA filters lend maximum protection from the sun’s rays.
Clinique SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Fluid for Face
An ultra-lightweight, 100% mineral sunscreen that is incredibly comfortable, even for sensitive skins.
Badger Clear Zinc Sunscreen Spf 40
Made without any harmful substances like aluminium compounds, titanium dioxide, or oxybenzone. This non-whitening sunscreen offers you broad-spectrum protection for up to 80 minutes.
Hey Gorgeous Gorgeously Natural Sunscreen
The Hey Gorgeous sunscreen is 100% natural, made with the active ingredient zinc oxide. This mineral sits on top of your skin, where it blocks out harmful rays, protecting your skin from sunburn and ageing.
Eli & You Natural Sunscreen SPF40+
A mineral-based sunblock made with zinc oxide, with a powerful SPF of 40+ for long-lasting effects. Eli & You Sunscreen shields your skin against UVA and UVB rays, and is also water resistant.
Sunumbra Daily SPF30 Sunscreen
Made with zinc oxide and a blend of natural botanical ingredients, the Sunumbra formula is safe for the whole family and suitable for those with sensitive skin.
READ MORE: 6 Ways To Soothe That REALLY Painful Sunburn
Oh-Lief Natural Body Sunscreen SPF30
This CANSA-approved SPF30 mineral sunscreen is made using non-nano zinc oxide and protects your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Back 2 Nature Face & Body Mineral Sun Shield
This all-natural sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVB and UVA radiation using non-nano zinc oxide. The non-comedogenic formula won’t block pores and is light enough to use on the face and body.