5 Tips for the Safest & Most Effective Organic Sunscreens

What should a consumer look for in a safe and effective sunscreen this summer? We’ve developed a list of tips to help you shop. The good news for fans of natural products is that dermatologists and skin cancer experts agree that major points go to Zinc Oxide, a mineral that performs as a natural sunblock offering both UVA and UVB protection and is very stable in sunlight. Everyone from the Skin Cancer Foundation, to Vogue Magazine is recommending consumers seek zinc oxide.



80% of consumers buy their sunscreen based solely on its SPF rating. SPF (sun protection factor) only measures protection from UVB rays, ignoring the UVA radiation exposure that is also cancer causing and damaging to skin. The ridiculously high SPF’s (70+) are unsubstantiated and for the purpose of marketing.

As far as UVB protection, SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB, SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 99%.

Since SPF excludes UVA protection information, the only way to insure your sunscreen offers UVA protection is to read the ingredient label. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends “looking for UVA blocking ingredient zinc oxide”, which is the closest thing to a total sunblock on the market today. A high quality sunscreen will have around 20% zinc content.


#2) SEEK MINERAL (zinc oxide) vs. CHEMICAL INGREDIENTS (all the rest)

Zinc is a physical sun blocker that actually reflects or bounces the sun’s ultraviolet rays off of your body. It has over a 300 year history of safety with no known adverse reactions (which is why it is used on even the youngest babies in diaper rash creams). On the flip side, chemical sunscreens (avobenzone, oxybenzone, homosalate, etc.) absorb the UVA rays once they hit your skin. Many chemical sunscreen ingredients have shown to be unstable when the rays are absorbed, causing the chemical to break down and cause free radical damage.



Its difficult to find a mineral sunscreen that is purely zinc. Most formulations rely on a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. As far as performance, Titanium Dioxide degrades in the presence of uv light to form free radicals. Not good…especially if we are talking about use in a sunscreen. A new report from the American Cancer Society identifies Titamium Dioxide as one of their top “suspected carcinogens”.  The safety of Titanium Dioxide is one of the least well studied in humans, although it has been long established as a cancer causing agent in animal exposure studies. There is conflicting evidence as to whether nanoparticles of titanium dioxide can pass through the skin. But if nanoparticles do pass through, the presence of titanium dioxide in a large variety of sunscreens, cosmetic powders and creams may be a cause of concern.



Depending on the brand and zinc oxide content, mineral makeup has the potential to offer great everyday UVA/UVB protection. By applying a high quality organic mineral makeup with 20% zinc content or higher, you’ll get easy, natural sun protection everyday. So easy to apply, reapply and its non-irritating to even sensitive skin and eyes. Be sure to look for non-nanoparticle zinc and a formulation that’s free from titanium dioxide.



If you invest in a few key pieces of SPF treated swimwear, you’ll have a sunscreen alternative available if you are unable to apply sunscreen or need more protection after a few hours in the sun. Look for wide brim hats and rash guard shirts with long sleeves and higher collars. You’ll only have to reapply sunscreen to the skin that’s visible. NO sunscreen or block will stop 100% of harmful rays so adding a second physical blocker (SPF treated clothing) on top of physical blocker zinc oxide will be the ultimate protection for a long day in the sun.




If you are ready to buy sunscreen that meets or exceeds all these standards then check out Miessence Reflect Outdoor Balm on OrganicGlow.com. Its a fantastically effective, broad spectrum sun blocker with no synthetic chemicals (only mineral and organic ingredients). Environmental Working Group annually ranks the safety and effectiveness of 1700 SPF products and Miessence is consistently ranked in the Best Sunscreens list.

Read further into the ingredients and production of this product and you will agree it is above and beyond even other top ranked sunscreens. The Reflect Balm’s gold standard formulation is a whopping 22% microfine zinc oxide which offers protection from harmful rays while organic olive oil keeps the skin supple. Potent antioxidants including natural vitamin E, beta carotene and polygonum extract, protect the skin from premature aging and prevent damage caused by the elements.

  • Creates a physical sunblock that bounces the sun’s harmful rays off of your skin, unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb rays
  • Non-nanoparticle zinc; Reflect uses micronized (physically crushed zinc minerals) that is 150 nanometers
  • Non-coated minerals; Reflect’s mineral zinc is not coated with aluminum compounds, silicone compounds or titanium dioxide

While you are shopping, check out our mineral foundations as well. At 25% zinc oxide, they provide up to 5x the amount of zinc oxide sun protection of other brands. Its awesome!

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