In the Californian eternal Summer we have to think about our sunscreen use often, lest we resemble a ninety year old at forty. Of course we always have the option to pay money to painfully inject numbing fluid into our face muscles so we can achieve that youthful glow of the expressionless, but that’s not for everyone.
So there are two main ways to block harmful rays, one is mineral filters and one is chemical filters. If you read the ingredients of that sunscreen bottle you’ll see they will almost always contain the chemical filters. These chemical filters penetrate skin and their most common problem is that they can affect hormones and do things like bump up estrogen, which is connected to cancer. Here are a few of them listed from worst to least worst: Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene. You gonna remember those? Maybe just generally avoid O words.
Mineral sunscreen uses Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, which have much fewer risks and side effects. They are made from ground up minerals and they generally don’t penetrate the skin and yet are still equally as successful in blocking the harmful rays.
The trouble is that some mineral sunscreens are horrible. I once used a natural sunscreen that would never rub in, it sat that the surface of my skin white as snow and ready to extend its UV blocking glory to any person I came in contact with, you could have trailed my activities that day by following the faint white residue I left behind. Also, some brands like Sun Bum give off that natural aura because they have no phalates which is good, but they still have the harmful chemical ingredients listed above (unless you buy their baby products) so always read the listed ingredients.