As summer approaches and you start to investigate whether you need a dedicated sunscreen for your face as well as your body, this handy guide will help you choose the products that are right for you. Since natural & mineral sunscreen generally uses the mineral zinc oxide for protection, and zinc oxide is naturally drying, the ingredients that surround the zinc oxide make a huge difference to how your skin feels at the end of the day once you have washed it off.
Do you need a dedicated face sunscreen as well as a body sunscreen?
As we age, the delicate skin on the face changes and things you were once able to tolerate are no longer viable. Using a body sunscreen on your face is one thing that usually falls in to this category. Once you find body sunscreen is drying on the face, it's time to have a dedicated face sunscreen vs body sunscreen, especially when you're using a zinc based mineral sunscreen.
One of our staple brands Eco Sunscreen (pictured above), has an SPF30 sunscreen for the body, one for the face and one for babies. They all use zinc oxide as their protection hero ingredient, they're all rated SPF30, but there are differences with other ingredients. In the face sunscreen, there is a higher concentration of the moisturising and nourishing ingredients than in the body. If you have dry skin all over, you can use the Face Sunscreen on your whole body, but they do cost more. If you have sensitive skin, there is also an Eco Sunscreen Baby that you may like to try. Baby products are always an excellent alternative for sensitive skin in older children and adults too.
Choosing a face sunscreen from a sunscreen brand
Different brands have a different focus when formulating products. We have found that most sunscreen brands who create a dedicated face sunscreen will use their body sunscreen as a guide and tweak ingredients to provided added moisturising benefits. This is usually done with price and affordability still being a factory. If you're not wearing a face sunscreen every day and you're going to be at the beach or a park and exposed to the sun for any length of time, choosing a full SPF30 sunscreen from a dedicated sunscreen brand is probably your best choice.
The two best examples of this in store come from Eco Sunscreen which we talked about above and also from Wotnot who created an Anti-Aging Natural Face Sunscreen just in the last couple of years. At just $26.95* for a 75g tube, they've managed to tick a lot of boxes - primer, spf 30, anti-aging (with the addition of a plant collagen), water resistant. They have stepped in to the skin care space a little here, but for those who have very specific needs for a daily moisturiser, you may need something a little more tailored to problematic or sensitive skin.
Choosing a face sunscreen from a skin care brand
When you're wearing a face sunscreen every day with only moderate sun exposure, your skin will thank you for stepping in to the realm of natural skin care formulas with added SPF protection. Our favourite are the two products from Mukti Organics, with SPF15 protection in a straight daily moisturiser with sunscreen and also a tinted version. At more than twice the price, you are paying for certified organic ingredients, biophotonic glass packaging (not plastic tubes) and a range of high end ingredients from rosehip oil and CoEnzymeQ10 and active native botanicals that you won't find in a tube of sunscreen under $30.
These won't be suitable for swimming or a day at the beach, but for those who drive and get in and out of their car and walk between meetings with moderate exposure daily, your skin will thank you for stepping up.
The best of both worlds
There is one brand in store that crosses both sectors, sunscreen and also natural skin care and that's Simple As That. Created by a pharmacist with a passion for natural skin care, this brand embodies the best from science and nature. Our Simple As That Sunscreen is priced like a face sunscreen and has been tested with great success on many of our customers with sensitive skin from little kids through to adults alike, both on the face and body. It is my favourite face sunscreen from a sunscreen brand.
Mineral makeup with SPF protection
Mineral Powder Foundation has naturally occuring minerals with an SPF rating of around 15 depending on the brand. This type of coverage is really only suitable for short stints in the sun and will wash off if you sweat or go swimming. A dusting of mineral powder will not give you as much coverage as rubbing in a moisturising lotion like the Mukti we talked about above, but you will get some protection from them.
TIP: If you find you can't get a good colour match with the tinted SPF lotions, use the Daily Moisturiser with SPF and then dust over your perfect natural mineral powder foundation shade, regardless of the brand, and you'll have a boost of protection and get rid of any potential white cast on your skin from the zinc oxide.
Is there such a thing as a certified organic sunscreen?
If you want an SPF rating of 30, then no. Why? Zinc oxide is a mineral and cannot be certified organic (which is why those La Mav mineral powers are not certified organic either). To have a product certified as organic, a very high level of certified organic ingredients must be present. The amount of zinc oxide required in a sunscreen to get the SPF 30 always pushes this over the limit. So you can scour our organic skin care range from top to bottom, and while you'll find products listed as 'natural' or 'contains organic ingredients' with an SPF30 rating, you won't ever find a certified organic version.
There's one thing I always feel the need to mention when talking about sunscreen and SPF and that's coconut oil. There are bloggers galore that tell you to use coconut oil as sunscreen. It has a natural SPF rating of around 5 and provides virtually zero protection. There is also information on the web about carrot seed oil and raspberry seed oil showing high SPF ratings. I have yet to find any research to show that they are effective. Zinc Oxide has many studies to show its effectiveness in reflecting the sun's rays away from the skin. All the dedicated sunscreens in our store have an AUST L number and are registered with the TGA.
*prices subject to change - please visit the product on the website for the latest accurate price