I almost solely use natural sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens. A few years ago I made the decision to use more eco-friendly sun protection and every year the feeling of that just grows and grows. I think natural sunscreen is the best choice not only for the planet, but also for your skin. Why? Well, I’m gonna tell you five good reasons.
Mineral sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays away from the skin using white pigments.
UV-filters used in natural sunscreens:
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
Chemical sunscreen absorbs the rays and turns them into thermal energy. UV-filters used in chemical sunscreens:
Oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone
Why I choose to use natural sunscreen
1. Natural sunscreens offer widespread UV-protection and they’re more effective than chemical ones. This is based solely on my own experience. I have found that natural sunscreens tend to stay on my skin really well and therefore they offer better protection. The slightly sticky consistency, which is typical to natural sunscreens, is actually a good thing. It makes it lock onto the skin well. This also means you need to wash the sunscreen off your skin really well, but oil based makeup removers work great for that.
2. Chemical sunscreens are linked to health hazards.
This is actually scary. Studies show that some of the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and bloodstream, causing hormonal disruption and other health hazards. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are not known to absorb into the skin. Therefore they’re much safer.
“In just two instances do we have enough safety information about ingredients to determine whether they’re safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. For 12 other ingredients, the FDA has said there isn’t enough data to determine whether they’re safe.” Source: ewg.
3. Natural sunscreens are more eco-friendly and don’t harm our marine life. Multiple studies have shown that chemical sunscreens are harmful to our marine life, causing coral reed bleaching, damage and deformation. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have not been found as harmful. Their nanoparticles can be harmful, but certified organic products don’t contain them. So choosing a natural, eco-certified is my choice. Source.
“Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are considered biodegradable and safe, although mineral substances are by definition, non-biodegradable. In addition, the nanoparticle form of zinc oxide is now known to be toxic and not necessarily ‘reef friendly’.” Source: ICRI study.
4. Natural sunscreens are suitable for all skin types.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not known for causing skin allergies or irritation – whereas the most of the chemicals used in chemical sunscreens are known to cause skin irritation. Source.
5. Natural sunscreens offer a beautiful glow to the skin.
The sunscreens that I use give me a great glow and I’m all about that. I actually use Madara’s SPF 30 sunscreen and their City CC SPF 15 all year round, because of the glowy skin finish. They act a my makeup products, which is why wearing them doesn’t feel like such a task. They simply make my skin look a tiny bit better.
Now, if you already bought a chemical sunscreen, don’t worry. You shouldn’t stop using sunscreen, since the harm from the sun exceeds the potential risk of the chemicals. Most important thing is to wear a sunscreen. But I think it’s good to know why a mineral sunscreen might be the safer choice.
My favorite natural sunscreens
My favorite natural sunscreen brands are Madara and Alga Maris. These are the products that I use. I know the SPF number doesn’t sound that high in some, but I didn’t burn myself at all last year when I was using Madara’s products! I really feel like the mineral UV filters work well for me. Also – I don’t really sunbathe and I try to protect myself with clothes.
The three things I recommend actually are: staying in shade, wearing protective clothes and sunscreen.
I take my tan from self tanners. Best ones are listed here!
ALGA MARIS SPF30 Sunscreen Spray Super lightweight and lightweight consistency. I was actually pretty amazed when I tried this! Also love the sweet coconut scent.
*Madara City CC SPF 15(US, CA)
*Madara City CC SPF 15(UK)
This has been my go-to base product for forever and it’s especially good for fall/winter/spring, since the SPF is lower. It evens out my skintone and leaves a natural glow to my skin. I adore this!
What is your opinion on this whole sunscreen thing? I know there needs to be more studies, but it doesn’t look promising for chemical UV-filters. Do you wear chemical sunscreens or do you opt for natural ones?
If you want good skin, you need a skincare routine. Chances are, if you’re oily or combination, it’s the difference between breakouts and clean skin. Your diet, exercise and genes play a part in your skin’s condition, but a good skincare does make a difference too. I didn’t win at the gene lottery (actually, I still have hormonal acne), so my skin is otherwise in a good shape, because of my skincare routine and a healthy lifestyle. My skin doesn’t feel oily or dry and my hormonal acne stays manageable with my routine.
Skincare is more than just washing your face and slapping some lotion on. To me it’s self care, pampering myself and feeling good in my own skin.
I created a skincare routine that works for all the different skin types: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily. I also talked about sensitive skin (spoiler alert: it’s not a skin type!) and acne, which I’m very familiar with. Hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two from this post or perhaps find new great products for your skin.
Different skintypes – How to determine your skintype?
First things first – know your skin type. Then it’s easy to choose products that are meant for your skin.
On normal skin the pores are very small or not visible at all. The skin is even and it doesn’t really have impurities, excluding the occasional spot here or there. It can get dry or sensitive on some occasions, but usually there’s no problem with it. I would still recommend taking good care of your skin, because it’s easy to take it for granted.
Check out my product recommendations on this post and also the dry skin post, since you probably know yourself if your skin needs more hydration or just light products.
Combination skin is a mix of normal, dry and oily skin. Usually the T-zone is more oily and the pores are visible but the cheeks are almost normal or a bit dry. There can be several problems: impurities, enlarged pores and dryness.
With combination skin you need to find the perfect balance of cleansing and moisturizing your skin. It’s likely that you need different type of products for different occasions. In summer you might feel oilier and might want to switch up your lotions and cleansers. In winter you probably need the extra moisture.
Check out my product recommendations and routine on this post.
Oily skin has a tendency to impurities. The pores are visible and likely enlarged. Skin gets oily and shiny. Even oily skin can be sometimes dry and sensitive, but the biggest problem is the oil production and impurities.
With oily skin I recommend taking the extra steps to maintain a clear skin. It’s important to cleanse the skin, but don’t forget to hydrate! In worst case scenario you’re making it worse by not hydrating and moisturizing.
Dry skin is pretty easy to perceive. Dry skin has small pores or they’re not visible at all. They don’t really develop sebum so the skin gets easily dry and it can look dull and flaky. There might be the occasional spot here or there, but it’s quite rare. Dryness can cause redness and sensitivity.
Your skin can be problematic but with the right products it can almost be perfect. Take good care of your skin, find the right moisturizers and don’t forget to exfoliate too. (Yes, even dry skin needs exfoliating).
Acne is not a skin type but a skin issue that is more likely to happen on mixed or oily skin (and on any skin type really). If you have mixed or oily skin your skin might be acne-prone, which means wrong products or ingredients can irritate it and cause acne. There are different types of acne. If it’s mild acne, you can probably treat it by upping your skin care game. If it’s really painful and bad – you should see a doctor.
I first suffered from acne when I was a teenager and then again as an adult. I tried all the products and pills and finally what helped me were birth control pills. You can read more about my acne struggles here.
I also want to say that with hormonal acne, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t get rid of it with products. It’s not your fault. You can, however, maintain it. My skincare routine keeps the worst inflammation at bay, though depending on my cycle, the acne can look a bit worse for a few days. I don’t really use any harsh products for my acne – only some light acid containing toners, TBS serum and argan oil.
Every acne case is different and it depends on your skin type, but following the routine for combination skin is a pretty safe bet. I would also recommend using the Body Shop Serum, which helps with impurities and skin texture. Another must have product is Argan Oil. It’s gonna help moisturize your skin and prevent scarring.
+ SENSITIVE SKIN
This is what I’ve learned at school and what I believe in: sensitive skin isn’t a skin type. You might be sensitive to some ingredients or certain products. All skin types can be sensitive. But there are always exceptions. For example if you have skin condition such as rosacea, it’s safe to say your skin in sensitive.
If your skin is sensitive, you need to learn what ingredients irritate your skin. It’s a good idea to avoid alcohols, harsh cleansers and strong exfoliants, though there are exceptions.
Here is what your skincare routine should look like in the evening. If I were to simplify it even more, it would consist of double cleansing, toner and lotion. But if there’s any problem with your skin, I really recommend using a serum. You’ll also benefit from using an oil. Argan oil actually works for battling different skin problems too.
Tip: You can mix your oil with your lotion to save some time.
Morning routine is slightly simpler. I like to splash my face with cold water before cleaning my face with a toner. Then I just apply my serums and lotions. I use a lighter cream in the morning, so that it works under makeup too.
You should always take off your makeup with a makeup remover. I recommend an oil based makeup remover, because it’s gentle but effective in soaking the makeup off. Another good option is makeup eraser, which is a soft microfibre towel. That also removes makeup well and is machine washable.
After you’ve taken off the makeup you need to wash your face to get rid of sweat, excess sebum and dead skin cells. I really like Lavera’s Cleansing Balm, because it’s gentle yet effective.
Many people skip toner thinking it’s not important. Guess what – it is! A toner helps to maintain the right ph-balance on your skin and bring some very much needed hydration to the skin. I like acid containing toners in the evening, because they help to brighten up the complexion and keep blackheads at bay. In the morning I like to switch to a hydrating toner.
The importance of serums
A hydrating serum works wonders and suits all skin types. It absorbs deeper into your skin and keeps your skin hydrated and radiant. My favorite hydrating serums contain hyaluronic acid, which helps to absorb water to your skin. I use a hydrating serum in the morning before my lotion.
If there’s any problem with impurities or texture in the skin, I would choose another serum for the night. AHA or BHA containing serums are awesome for oily or combination skin. They really improve the skin’s texture by gently exfoliating the skin with acids. You can use serum as a treatment when needed. TBS Drops of Youth Serum is great when my skin is acting up. Recently I’ve been using Evolve Beauty’s Liquid Radiance Glycolic Toner, which is very effective as well. The morning after I’ve applied it my skin feels very smooth and my redness/impurities have calmed down. It’s a toner, but I would use it as a serum, since it’s a bit too effective for constant use.
Natural oils are amazing when it comes to moisturizing and treating the skin. Argan oil is non comedogenic and it works for all skin types – even acne. I always mix oil to my lotion and then apply it all over my face and neck. I use oil only in the evening, so that it really has time to work its magic during the night.
Lotion/Cream To lock all the moisture in, you apply a moisturizer. You can get away with just one, especially if you’re using argan oil (which you can mix in with your moisturizer for the night). But you can also choose a lighter one for day and a heavier one for the night. Most of the time I use two different lotions, but it’s not a necessity.
Don’t forget your eye cream! It should be a different product made for the sensitive eye area. The one I linked is awesome, because it suits irritated eyelids and soothes the skin.
Radiant skin comes from masking
If you really really want to make the best out of your skin, you pamper it once per week with an exfoliating mask. It’s the secret to a radiant healthy skin. It’s only once per week so take this as your personal spa moment once per week – enjoy it.
Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells and dryness. All skin types benefit from exfoliating. It makes all the products absorb to your skin better and your skin feels softer. Exfoliating your skin makes it glow!
My absolute favorite masks are from Evolve Beauty and they both work in just 5 minutes. *Radiant Glow mask is a safe bet for eveyone and a great option also before a big day (I also recommend it for brides!). It smells like vanilla and exfoliates the skin gently using coconut shell powder.
*Miracle Mask is an awesome even more effective one, that is your salon-like treatment at home. It looks like mango jelly, but is packed with fruit acids that make your skin baby smooth.
Hopefully this post was helpful to you and not too in-depth. Let me know in the comments!