Want to clean up your beauty and household products?
If you want to clean up your beauty and household products you are in the right place! If you have found yourself here on our blog you have likely been thinking about this for a while. There are many places to go for information on products and the ingredients in these products but I am going to tell you all about my favorite app, The EWG App! The EWG (Environmental Working Group) app or website has been my go-to for years now. They are a non-profit corporation designed just for the purpose of sifting through the info and providing us the information to make better choices about the products we expose ourselves to.
When it comes to sunscreen choices, this app has certainly helped me even if only to realize how many options there really are out there! It is so overwhelming to know where to start with sun care, there are so many different ingredients to look up. On top of that there is a lot of false marketing, stating the product is ‘natural’ or even ‘organic’ just to lure you into thinking their product is less harmful when really the word natural is approved even when only speaking about the active sunblock ingredient and not any of the other many ingredients in the product. This is why I love the EWG app. I can plunk in a product or look up one of their guides and it will give me a general score number along with any issues known about an ingredient. The system is a little broader or maybe forgiving in its definition of ‘safe’ than I like to be personally but the app is still such a useful tool as it breaks down ingredients, their immediate concerns and links to further information right in an easy to read and navigate system.
When looking for natural sunscreen, the most important factor is the active ingredient being Zinc Oxide. Think of the classic white stripe on a lifeguard’s nose, yep that’s zinc oxide! This is a natural mineral that works to physically deflect the harmful rays as opposed to chemical compounds like Oxybenzone etc. that actually have a chemical reaction with the sun’s rays on your skin to prevent burn. Many of the other ingredients in ‘natural’ sunscreens are questionable if you do some digging, it is a matter of perspective. Maybe the caprylic triglycerides are derived from totally natural sources but the high amounts of processing it goes through alters it enough to be arguably not natural anymore. But still, likely better than a manmade chemical?
Another point to consider when choosing more natural is the environmental factor. What will the ingredients do to our water ways once we swim or wash these off? Love spray screen? Not a great choice as the cans are not easily disposed of nor recyclable.
I personally don’t think there is a unicorn sunscreen. It is a matter of you finding your personal balance of convenience, availability, effectiveness and “clean” ingredients. If you make just one shift in the natural sunscreen world, let it be the switch from chemical active ingredients to Zinc Oxide as the sole active ingredient.