Most everyone worries about sunburn, and as more people become concerned about sunscreen ingredients, they’re starting to read labels on the tubes of stuff they use to protect their skin in the sun.

Many sunscreens contain some pretty nasty that cause rashes and other allergic reactions (and don’t actually protect against deep skin damage). Sunscreens are meant to protect the skin, not make things worse, but if yours has good ingredients, it will keep your skin safe without such unfortunate side effects.

Here’s a short list of top, natural ingredients your sunscreen should contain. (And don’t miss the video at the end.)

 

1. Coconut Oil

An edible oil taken from the meat of mature coconuts, it mixes with active ingredients to provide a smooth texture. Coconut oil itself has an SPF about 4-8, and it’s been used safely for centuries to prevent and repair dry skin.

Its composition of healthy fats also makes coconut oil greatly beneficial for hair, and its natural antioxidant properties help stop wrinkles and delay the skin aging the process, even speeding healing after a cut or infection.

 

2. Olive Oil

An essential fruit oil which we get from the olive tree found mostly in Mediterranean areas, it’s been used by mankind for many centuries, for both food and skincare.

Like coconut oil, olive oil delivers an SPF of 4-8, while repairing damaged skin and protecting against skin cancer, as its natural antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals. Those antioxidants also slow the natural aging process of the human body both inside and out.

 

3. Beeswax

In sunscreen, beeswax works as a natural binder, stabilizer and skin-conditioner. Beeswax is the purified wax from the honeycomb and is often used as a topical, non-allergenic sunscreen ingredient to condition and repair dry, chapped skin and lips. Beeswax locks in moisture and helps keep skin firm and helps skin irritations heal.

 

4. Vitamin D

Sunscreen hinders skin’s ability to absorb UVB rays in sunshine and thereby create Vitamin D, a fat-soluble hormone needed for strong bones, immune system and protection against cancer.

Since it’s not found in most foods, and since most Americans don’t spend enough time outdoors, up to 40% of us suffer from chronic Vitamin D shortages. Read sunscreen labels and look for Vitamin D enhanced sunscreen, which helps make up for what this shortcoming of a typical American lifestyle.

 

5. Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide is the only active sunscreen ingredient that’s FDA approved for use on children less than 6 months old and has been scientifically proven as the world’s safest sunscreen and most effective UVA/UVB physical sun screen barrier.

Effective across the entire UVA and UVB spectrum, zinc oxide holds tight to its electrons when it absorbs UV energy, limiting creation of free radicals. It’s non-toxic and safe for marine life. Stable in sunlight, it provides greater protection from deep tissue UVA rays than titanium oxide (a toxic heavy metal) or any other sunscreen chemical approved in the US. It is mildly antimicrobial, and it won’t block pores.

In its non-nano variety (without really small particles), it does not penetrate the skin, sitting on the surface to physically block UV light. Zinc oxide MUST be non nano to be fully safe. Nanoparticles are smaller than 100 nanometers, and some companies have used them in their sunscreens to make them less white. The problem is that when it penetrates through the skin, such particles can damage the system. Zinc oxide is safely used sitting on top of the skin. Choose sunscreen with at least 20% zinc oxide and is the only active ingredient.

 

In Closing

Just because a sunscreen is marketed as “healthy” or “for sensitive skin” or “broad spectrum” doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin or your long term health. It’s the actual sunscreen ingredients that matter, so make sure yours uses those above, without man-made toxins and chemicals that do more harm than good.