Guide to Natural Sunscreen

Guide to Natural Sunscreen main image

Are you looking to keep your skin looking younger? As part of our core foundational steps, we highly recommend using natural sunscreens, as over-exposure to the sun can parch your skin, causing lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and open pores.  

Natural sunscreens protect your skin, preventing irreversible sun damage and protecting from further damage, as well as keeping it hydrated, glowing and free of marks and blemishes. They offer safer, effective alternative to chemical sunscreens, providing sun protection free from synthetic emollients, preservatives and fragrance.

They work by creating a physical shield instead of chemical barrier to harmful UVA and UVB rays (sunscreens come in two forms - either a physical blocker, or a chemical UV absorber.)

We recommend a physical blocker that contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which form a barrier on top of the skin that reflects or scatters UV light. 

Many sunscreens on the market do not protect against harmful UV rays, and can contain chemicals that effect our hormones, damage our skin, and sometimes increase the risks of skin cancer. 



Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide occur naturally. Research has shown that both are safe to apply to the skin as a lotion. The chemical structure enables the skin to react and scatter ultraviolet rays of both UVA and UVB spectrum while remaining completely photo stable. Zinc Oxide is a physical barrier, sitting on the outermost layer of skin. Any free radicals released from the reactivity of this compound does not affect living skin cells below. 

While chemical sunscreens can protect against damage from UV rays, they can also contain a host of nasty chemicals which are all absorbed through the skin and end up circulating your blood stream.  

We have included a list below of common ingredients to watch for in mainstream sunscreens. Pay attention to where a questionable chemical falls in the ingredient list. Active Ingredients are caused for more concern because they can constitute a significant proportion of the product, it’s like food ingredient lists on the back of packaging, what you see first is the highest percentage. 


Dioxybenzone and oxybenzone These two are some of the most powerful free radical generators around as they can disrupt hormone function. 

Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is common in many sunscreens, acting as a dye that absorbs ultraviolet B (UV-B) light in much the same way as oxybenzone. PABA releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity, and causes allergic reactions in some people. 

Octyl methoxycinnamate The main chemical used in chemical sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet B light is octyl methoxycinnamate. OMC kills cells in mice even at low doses. It is also particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine... so it is a double whammy.

Benzophenone a sunscreen ingredient which prevents sunlight from breaking down the products in the sunscreen. Nicole Bjilsma, a naturopath, acupuncturist and building biologist says BP is a hormone disrupting chemical that interferes with thyroid function and lowers testosterone, and there are serious concerns about its impact on male fertility. 

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A palmitate) Sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol, and retinyl palmitate. The problem occurs when this form of vitamin A is exposed to the sun (as opposed to when it is used in night cream, for example), which is why sunscreens that contain it should be avoided. 

We have several Australian brands in-store (and online) that offer fantatsic natural sunscreens. Visit our Paddington or James Street showrooms and chat to our highly trained staff about the best options for you!


1. {Simple As That} SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Lotion, $29.95
This is a 100% natural, light-weight mineral sunscreen that is non-greasy, preservative-free and suitable for the whole family. 

2. Drift Essentials Sun Cream, $29.95
A sun protection of SPF50+, this dry-touch finish lotion is 4 hours water and sweat resistant and packed with aloe vera and Vitamin E.

3. Wotnot Anti-Aging Facial Sunscreen & Primer, $26.95
A multi-purpose product with an SPF of 30 that is full of natural extracts that protect, prime and brighten the skin.

4. Skin Juice 10-in-1 Multitasking CC Cream SPF15, $49.00
This antioxidant-rich SPF 15 is so much more than a sunscreen, feeding the skin full of nutrients to help defend against the sun's aging force.


For additional information, we highly recomend the following blog posts...

Why I've switched from chemical to physical sunscreen |

How to choose a toxin-free sunscreen |

Non-toxic sunscreen review |


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