Let's Talk About Sun Safety, Baby

Sun safety is a hot topic (no pun intended) for me lately. Many people ask if my products have "natural SPF", or if I make sunscreen. While I'd love to have sunscreen in my product line right now, there are some restrictions and hoops to jump through before you can put a natural sunscreen on the market. You have to send the product off to a lab to get tested in vitro or in vivo before you can slap a label on your products and attribute an actual SPF, and then bear many things in mind while you're making it, and get the formula right to boot. Let's cross our fingers for a Naked Kitty Naturals sunscreen for next year!

Though I love natural products, I'm also pragmatic about what works and what doesn't, which ingredients to embrace and which ones to stay away from. Sunscreen fits the bill: would you prefer skin cancer? And no, conventional drugstore sunscreen won't give you cancer. 

This video should serve as a constant reminder to slap on that sunscreen before you leave the house.

Pragmatic sun care tips from a lover of natural products:

  1. Wear. Long. Sleeves. Clothing is your first line of protection. Walk on the shady side of street. Don't spend a ton of time outside between 10-4 if you can help it. Wear a hat, stay hydrated, don't burn! Stay out of the sun when it's hottest. Don't touch a tanning bed with a 10-foot pole if you don't want lizard skin when you're 40. The Skin Cancer Organization will back me up (check out this skin cancer prevention PDF here). And if you're interested in some more sun cancer reading, culture and business, check out this article from Forbes.
  2. You only get one skin for your whole life. Pretty self-explanatory. Saskatchewan is closer to the massive hole in the ozone layer, the sun is getting hotter, folks. What you put on your skin does matter, especially if it's repeated use, but if you can't find a lab-tested natural sunscreen option (links to some great natural options here and here), opt for drugstore brands that have "non-comedogenic", "formulated for sensitive skin" and/or "fragrance-free" on the label. They'll do.
  3. Rubbing oil on yourself is like basting a turkey: you might not burn right away, but you'll be cooking your skin. Tasty. You've heard me preach before about why you shouldn't use coconut oil on your skin, and oh what a surprise, it's not an effective sunscreen. Pinterest might boast that coconut oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil and raspberry seed oil may have a tiny tiny amount of SPF, but it's not broad spectrum (it won't protect you from UVA and UVB rays), will simply absorb into your skin, and help you brown faster. Your skin needs a sun blocking agent like Titanium Dioxide, Avobenzone or Zinc Oxide to keep the skin out. Sunscreen is your friend!
  4. Use different sunscreen for your face than for your body, just like how you'd moisturize your face and your body with different lotions! I moisturize as usual with Matcha Love in the mornings when I'm getting ready, then I apply a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging), light-feeling sunscreen like Shiseido's Urban Environment Broad Spectrum 42 SPF on top. It's lightly fragranced and great for sensitive skin. If you'd like a fragrance-free and more reasonably priced drugstore option that is also, non-comedogenic, and great under makeup, I highly recommend this Garnier brand option.

Have a happy sunburn-free summer!

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