Here’s a quick guide to help you protect yourself and your loved ones including what you need to look for in a sunscreen product and suggestions for natural and organic sun cream products for all the family.
Sun damage to your face
If you’ve ever doubted the power of the sun to cause damage to the skin take a look at this photo of a truck driver showing the incredible effect of the sun’s rays to the side of his face which was next to the window as he drove around.
With the beautiful sunny weather we’ve been having recently, you’ve no doubt been thinking about buying sun cream products. So here’s my quick guide to what you need to look for in a sunscreen product and some natural and organic sunscreen suggestions.
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
Choose a sun screen that protects you from both UVA and UVB. UVB radiation is the main cause of sun burn but both UVA and UVB have been implicated with skin cancer and both UVA and UVB can damage collagen fibres, which accelerates the ageing of the skin.
What does sun cream factor mean?
SPF25 sunscreen offers 96% protection from rays while SPF50 offers 98%. SPF 30 sun lotions do not offer twice the protection of SPF15. Applied properly, SPF15 filters out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 filters out 97%. Even the highest SPF100 offers only 99% protection against UVB rays. It is far more important to apply sun lotions regularly and liberally.
Sun protection advice
The SunSmart campaign recommends that you:
- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
- Choose a sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum”, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a star rating of four or five stars.
- Apply sunscreen to clean, dry skin.
- Use around two teaspoons of suncream to cover your head, arms and neck.
- Use at least two tablespoons of sunscream to cover all your exposed skin, if you’re wearing a swimsuit.
- Re-apply sunscreen regularly (at least every two hours) as it can come off through washing, rubbing or sweating.
- Re-apply sunscreen after going in the water, even if it’s labelled waterproof.
- Use sunscreen along with clothing and staying in the shade to avoid getting caught out by sunburn.
- Don’t be tempted to spend longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.
Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your sunscreen, and don’t use it if it has expired. I’ve been looking into natural and organic sun products available and here are some you may want to try:
Organii SPF50 Sun Milk
Organic, fragrance-free, mineral sun milk with an SPF50 so suitable for the whole family. Organii say it’s quickly absorbed and rubs in without leaving whiteness or residue which can be an issue with mineral sun creams.
Buy from Ethical Superstore
Lovea Natural Sunscreen Spray SPF30
This sounds like one of the greenest sunscreens around as it’s an Ecocert certified organic product. The formula is non-greasy and applies without white traces. Please note it’s not suitable for children under 3. Lovea is coral-safe and contains natural mineral sun blocks combined with certified organic, bio-degradable plant extracts. It does not contain any chemicals which can damage coral reefs.
- Paraben free
- Lightly scented with natural essential oils
- Made in accordance with European regulations
- Provides high UVA & UVB protection
- Water resistant
- Dermatologically tested
- Made with Tahiti Monoï: moisturises
- Monoï fragrance
Other Lovea products:
- Lovea Organic Kids Sun Lotion SPF50
- Lovea SPF 50 Daily Face Cream – This is the first organic certified SPF 50 face cream that also provides maximum protection against premature skin ageing and is the one that I use.
- Lovea Natural Sunscreen Spray SPF15
Buy from: Big Green Smile‘s Lovea products range
Jason Kids Sunscreen SPF45
This provides full spectrum skin protection for active children with a unique formulation which combines a natural mineral sunblock with botanical extracts to protect children’s delicate skin.
Winner of Natural Health’s sun screen category in their 2012 Beauty Awards
Natural Health say:
“Yes, we know this is meant to be for children but when a cream is this good we don’t care! It’s non-greasy formula makes it easy to use on your face and with the trusted UVA and UVB it ensures skin is the safest it can be in the sun.”
- UVA & UVB protection
- Paraben free
- Water resistant
- Provides long lasting solar defence
Green People offer a wide range of sun lotions, self-tan products and after sun. Their natural sunscreens contain antioxidants and anti inflammatory ingredients with skin vitamins A, C and E (Green Tea, Olive, Avocado and Rosemary extract) to help support the skin’s immune system and protect against cell damage. Their organic sun lotions are made without:
- Pore-clogging ingredients (which can cause prickly heat)
- Artificial fragrances
I’ve used their sun cream before and you can read my review. Helpfully, they offer some trial sizes products for sale so you can try them out before you buy a full-size product. Some products are specifically designed for children, some are scent-free and some have a tan accelarator so I think there must be something for everyone!
Lavera Sun Sun Spray SPF 20
Lavera Sun Sensitive Award Winning Range – Natural Health Beauty Awards 2009 & 2010
100% mineral sun protection provided by organic ingredients of Sunflower Oil and Calendula together with the natural UV protection reflect the sun’s rays and cares for your skin.
- UVA and UVB Protection – tested to Colipa – European Standard
- UVA and UVB Balance
- Water resistant
- 100% mineral
- Hypoallergenic and fragrance free.
Join the discussion
Can you recommend these or any other sun products? I’d love to hear from you so please post your comments below. (First published May 2012, updated June 2019)