By Fredrica Syren a.k.a Green Mom:

Goodbye winter clothes and hello sandals, swimsuits and long days at the beach. I know we all have been lectured about the importance of sunblock to prevent skin cancer and premature aging, so I’m not going to preach about that. However, natural sunblock is something I would like to talk about and why “regular’ sunscreen is not a good option.

Most common sunscreens contain an array of chemicals such as avobenzone, sunscreenhomosalate, octisalate, oxybenzone, acrylates copolymer, acrylates and ethylparaben. These chemicals in a sunscreen are absorbed into the skin and bloodstream via a chemical reaction with UV rays, and may pose hazards to human health. It’s been proven that these chemicals mimic hormones and disrupt the hormone system and, in high enough quantities, may also pose cancer risks.

The much better option for protection against harmful UV rays is a mineral based sunblock. Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, they work by staying on your skin instead of being absorbed, and will reflect the sun from your body. The downside of all natural sunblocks is that it’s super hard to rub in and can make you look a bit pale, and it’s a little more pricy than the commercial brand. But it’s so much safer for your family. Sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or grater and be water resistant to work the best. For me and my family who spend a lot of time outdoors we use a SPF of 50 and re-apply throughout the day. These days you also want to make sure that you only use reef-safe sunblock.

Here are a few great natural sunblock brands:

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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