When it comes to searching for the PERFECT beauty product, its stance on animal testing is my main concern. Regardless of its popularity as the “IT” miracle product, if it’s not cruelty free, it’s pretty much useless. Beyond ethics, choosing the right sunscreen can be a downright daunting task. With SPF numbers at an all time high, how do you know which one’s for you? First let’s look at the facts:
Sunblock Vs. Sunscreen
In order to properly assess your skin’s needs, first figure out the difference between sunblock and sunscreen. While physical sun BLOCK contains titanium dioxide and protects the skin by deflecting the sun’s rays, chemical sun SCREEN works by absorbing rays. Most skin types can tolerate physical versions better, since chemical filters may cause irritation. However, sunblock has the tendency to leave a whitish cast on the skin and is more difficult to apply. Decide what’s better based on your skin type and what I like to call, “priorities for pretty”.
The Truth In Numbers
Though sky high SPF numbers may give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that you’re getting maximum sun protection, the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is marginal. According to the New York Times and Dr. David M. Pariser (President of the American Academy of Dermatology): “As you get higher and higher, it’s not really a practical difference.” Not to mention, it’s how often and how much you apply that really counts. So if you’re assuming that putting on SPF 85 just once during the day is sufficient sun protection, think again.
After determining what number realistically suits your skin, consider the three W’s: What/Where/When. Some sunscreens/blocks are too heavy for the face and may cause breakouts, so be mindful of its formula and ALWAYS read ingredient labels. Don’t forget to apply to areas like the neck and hands. Make sure to apply and RE-APPLY throughout the day, even if you’re spending a short time outdoors.
If you’re oleophobic like I am, there’s a huge variety of non greasy formulas to choose from. Sprays, powders, lotions, dry oils. You name it, they have it. Just make sure it’s ETHICAL.
1. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Green Tea SPF 45– For face and body, the formula contains antioxidant green tea and certified organic aloe vera. Non greasy.
2. Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30– Contains Amazonian camu camu berry (highest concentration of Vitamin C in nature). Designed for the face, the moisturizer is also a must for the neck and hands. Besides offering protection against “environmental aggressors”, Vitamin C also helps to promote collagen production. Lightweight and easily absorbed.
3. Jason Sunbrellas Mineral Based Physical Sunblock SPF 30– Chemical, fragrance, and Paraben free. Ideal for sensitive skin. Contains Calendula and certified organic Chamomile, which helps to soothe the skin.
4. bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen– Tinted POWDER sunscreen that can be applied to face and body. Sheer and weightless, the sunscreen won’t clog pores, perfect for acneic skin types.
5. Kiss My Face Sunspray Lotion SPF 30– Perfect for kids and easy to apply. Contains carrot extract, which has outstanding skin protecting and regenerative benefits.
*For a complete list of beauty and personal care products and their status on animal testing, visit Peta.org.
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